Monday, July 9, 2012

Base Coat Experiment

Today I started my experiment on using a dark acrylic base and pastelling over it.  First, I took the horse I prepped the other day and set up my station.
Horse, dark brown paint, short/flat brush, paper towel on kitchen table.

Next, I put a coat of paint on the horse.  I put a glob of paint on the paper towel to start with, but for the 2nd coat I just worked out of the bottle with the top off for less clean-up.

I held the horse by the tail to paint the bottom, minus the bottom of the feet, then set the horse down and carefully painted the tail without knocking it over.

After one coat.

After the second coat.  

I sprayed it with matte finish.
Next, I took a q-tip and rubbed it on the black pastel.  I followed my picture of a black bay to add darker points.  Our lighting in the house is really bad, so it was hard to tell where I had black, but it looked neat in the living room.  I will do more coats and hopefully it will muscly when I'm done.

And after two more coats on the pastel gang, here is the whole group at the end of today:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Starting to look different

Well, today I got about 3 layers on, I don't know for sure, I didn't keep count.  I watched some videos online last night and found some good tutorials.  I didn't get to watch everything I wanted, but got some ideas to play around with.

I tried using a Q-tip to apply dust today, it seemed to work fine, not sure if it's better or worse than the brush.  I also grabbed a clean make-up applicator to try but I didn't do anything with it yet today.

I also cut the bristles on my brushes a bit shorter in hopes to get more grinding action and less dusting.  It worked great on two of them, one of them wasn't thick enough.  I think I will have to get more brushes.

The other thing i did today was I started prepping another horse.  I want to play with using a dark acrylic base and adding accents on top of it with the pastel.  We'll see what happens, I'm just curious.

Some of the videos and galleries I was looking at mentioned that they used colored pencils on their horses.  I have watercolor pencils and I'm curious if I can use those.  I have to explore that more online, but I'm excited to try some different media and see what happens.

Here is my work station today:
You can see my reference photos and the brushes and colors set out on the left.  I keep them all together with the right photo so I don't accidentally grab the wrong one.  The in the middle, you see my towel work-space, the container lid that I brush over to lose as little dust as possible, the note where I wrote the goal coat for each horse so I don't forget if it's been a few days since working, the case of jars, the tv remote (catch up while you work!), and a horse.  On the right, you see the pastels and the edge of the supply box with a piece of soft t-shirt for buffing in between coats.

Here is a close up of the work-space.  I hold the horse over the lid so excess dust falls into it and can be reused, and I can set the horse on the towel if I need support from underneath to grind dust into the face or a small part like that.  My list is on the left, and I was experimenting with q-tips today.

Here are my horses after today.  It doesn't feel like they're changing, but looking at the photo from last session, I guess they are more colored.  It's just really slow going.  The final base coat color goal for each horse is; top left: black bay with a plan to be a paint in the end, top right: red bay, bottom left: chocolate brown, bottom right: gray with light points.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sucking it up and starting to color!

The other morning, I finished sanding and spraying 5 models, so I have 5 bodies ready to color.  I spent a couple hours getting reference pictures ready.  You need them to see where to put lighter color and darker color so that the muscles look more realistic than the original factory paint.

I got a set of little jars at Joann's to put my pastel powers in.  I use a blade from the exacto knife set to shave powder off and then mix colors to get the right shade for each layer.  I took white labels and wrote what coat color it is for so I remember.  I spread out a cloth to work on.

Tips I've discovered in my first session of working all by myself; wash you hands a lot.  After shaving and mixing each color into a jar, wash your hands before touching the horse you're going to color because somewhere on your hands is a big spot of color that will stick on the horse like a patch of bright colored glue.  Label your jars, label your brushes.  Remember which horse is going to be which color.  They all look similar for a while, when the color is so light.

Here is my work space and the results of coat 1:
 Here is a closer shot of the reference photos and labels jars and brushes.
 Here are the 4 horses I started after one layer of pastel!