Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Tip

This week's tip is all about sculpting hair! The video pretty much explains it all, so there's not a whole lot to say here. The tools I'm using are all covered in this Friday Tip, just in case you missed it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some In Progress Updates

Hello there! I just finished adding and updating some of the horses on the in progress page, so check that out if you like seeing the scarier stages. I should also be finished up with three new Simply CM stablemates tonight, so look out for their sales information soon!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Tip

Last week I mentioned the measuring spoon I use for adding painting medium to oils, and here it is - Winsor & Newton's Blending and Glazing Medium! This stuff works great, and doesn't smell. It is better for the paint than thinner and lends a nice buttery-soft consistency that is delightful to work with.

Since it comes in a bottle with no dripper (like my cobalt drier), I use the measuring spoon which fits neatly inside the neck of the bottle. I grab some medium and drip whatever amount I need into each paint mix. How much to use depends on the paints to be mixed. Some are thicker than others, and sometimes you might simply want a thinner consistency. Start by adding a few drops, mix, and then if the paint is not thin enough add more medium. As usual, when it comes to mixing paints it's best to add in little bits at a time rather than mess up the batch by adding too much at once!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Tip

Well, sorry about disappearing on you last week! I was driving down to Portland on Friday to judge at Erin Corbett's Hearts 'n Horses show. Erin always does such a great job; it was a blast! And now we're back to our regularly scheduled Friday Tip. :-D

Pictured above are the tools that stay out on my desk because I use them so often. Some are for sculpting, some for painting and prepping, a couple are just random taskers. Take a look and see if any of these will help you! From left to right:

1) Rio Rondo carbide scrapers. Do yourself a favor and get the whole set. I mostly use the CS01 tip, but all the others have very good uses and I would feel lost without them. I pretty much only use the scrapers for prepping or slight modifications to customs, so if you don't do that, you don't need them. If you do prep, you NEED these.

2) Calipers. I love mine because they are durable metal and always hold their position. Plus, they are very pointy for great precision. Use these for measuring and comparing lengths when sculpting and customizing.

3) X-Acto knife with #11 blade (and covered with the cap from last week). Used daily for anything from opening boxes to cutting string, removing gunk from tools and whatever else you might need a knife for. It's super handy no matter what you're doing!

4) Measuring teaspoon. This 1/4 teaspoon fits perfectly in my paint medium jar so I can grab what I want and not worry about spilling everywhere. It makes it easy to drip one drop at a time into paint mixes and not overdo it.

5) Makeup brushes. Small makeup brushes are wonders for smoothing epoxy. As you can see, the one on the right gets used so much I actually had to tape it back together. Clean these thoroughly with soap and water before the epoxy sets up and they'll last a good long while. Replace them when they get scratchy bits that leave marks in the epoxy.

6) Needle tool. Not really for sculpting because it is too harsh, but this is a great tool for poking clogged super glue tubes. It seems like I'm always grabbing mine for something.

7) Curved needle tool. This is one of my two very favorite sculpting tools. Unlike the straight needle tool, this one has a bend in it that makes it easy to sculpt with and add in fine details. Plus, the curved end can be used for shaping as well.

8) Some random tool - all I know is it was given to me with a bunch of leatherworking stuff and I suppose it's meant for shaping carved leather. It is my other very favorite sculpting tool. This one has a bend into a slightly thicker straight part like the previous tool so it's good for small areas that don't need needle-fine lines. The other end has a pointy flattish spoon that is fabulous for general shaping and noses.

9) Paintbrush handles. The last stop for old paint brushes, but a very useful one. The one on the left is just the plain rounded end and the two on the right have been shaped (with the x-acto!) into a smaller round shape and a pointy tip. These all get used for sculpting larger shapes, and the one on the left is also my high tech paint mixing tool.

10) A spatula deal. Mostly this doesn't touch horses, but it's useful for whatever needs scraping or poking. It's also great for oils that are thicker and need to be smooshed when they don't mix well.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hold on to Your Shorts!

Just a little FYI, I am doing a system restore of my computer today. While it should go off without a hitch, I may wind up incommunicado for a bit. So, if I don't get back to an email right away, that's what's up!