Monday, February 19, 2018

Emma's painting party

Have I mentioned how much I love NaMoPaiMo painting parties? Everything about this post makes me so happy. Thank you, Emma!

The London Model Horse Club's NaMoPaiMo Painting Party

by Emma Witney-Smith

Held: 17th February in Central London, UK
Attendees: Emma Witney-Smith, Amanda Dunning, Amber Hitchman, Charlotte Jago, Curtis Sayers, Suna Akiah and Suna's mum Mary. 

Back in December, filled with excitement and impatience that NaMoPaiMo was right around the corner, I decided to organise a painting party for members of the London Model Horse Club. As my guests will attest, when I have a long time to plan things, I go slightly crazy....

Party bags were made...
and filled with goodies....(thanks to Curtis for the picture of the contents) 
Stablemates were bought, prepped and primed...
and my twenty five year old sewing machine was dragged out of storage (along with my equally old sewing skills!) in order to make pony pouches so everybody's ponies could travel home in style.
And a cake was made! Well, bought and iced--I ran out of time on this one!
The plan was to meet at the nearby British Museum to see awesome horsey things, but train delays and traffic meant people arrived later than planned. Charlotte and I did manage to see my favourite bits: the Assyrian friezes depicting royal lion hunts. I love the beautiful sculpting on the  horses and the detail in the tack. One day I dream of making a performance scene based on these!
Suna, Mary and Charlotte continued looking around the museum whilst I tracked down people who were lost. They went to see the Parthenon marbles. I'm so jealous! Thanks to Suna for letting me use her photo here.
After the lost people had been collected, we ate lunch and then made our way back to the flat for painting! We started out filled with enthusiasm.
We chatted a lot, and slowly, horses started to come to life. Here's Charlotte's model in progress, looking a lovely slate grey, and Mary's bright red horse photobombing in the background!
This was Suna's first time using pigments. She struggled a bi , but said she definitely wants to try them again. I think her Andalusian is looking great here! 
One of the best parts of the day for me was seeing first-time painter, Amber get so into it. Her horse was a real stunner and won the popular vote at the end of the day--well worth the 'war paint' she got all over herself!
Another thing I loved seeing was people's different approaches to painting. Amanda used acrylics to paint this dapple grey, painting around the dapples first with darker paint and then shading with the airbrush over the top. We were also all treated to her fabulous recitation of the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
My own horse didn't get much done today, just some colour on one side and a few dapples roughed in. Sadly, it was not Curtis' day either and both of his models were uncooperative so no photos for either of us.

Some ponies had already been packed away before I remembered to take this photo, but this is where things stood by the end of the session. Amanda painted the teeny donkey. So cute!
The painting part of the party ended with the group working together to scrub some pesky pigment out of the carpet... Thanks to Suna for recording this part of the day!
Then we had cake and snacks and finished with a raffle in support of Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Mary made Curtis' day by gifting him the pink elephant she won in the raffle. He was promptly named Whiskers! It made sense at the time. Thanks, Curtis for this picture.
All in all, a fun, though tiring, day was had by all. Thank you to everyone for coming and to Jennifer for starting the behemoth that is now NaMoPaiMo!

Young entry

Today is Presidents' Day, which means most American schoolchildren are enjoying a three day weekend.
And what could possibly be more enjoyable than painting a model? 
This is Erin Corbett's daughter Olive working away at her NaMoPaiMo PAM. Erin writes: Thank you for making NaMoPaiMo accessible for people of all ages and skill levels. It would be easy for this to turn into a ‘serious painters only’ sort of thing, but letting people participate just for fun and be just as valued is amazing. An unexpected result is that my kid is now asking if she can paint everything on my shelf that is white or grey, haha. I think I need more bodies to primed white.
Good job, Olive! I'll make sure you get some more ponies to paint.
Kate Springer's niece Jae also painted a model. 
Another masterpiece! Good job, Jae!
Krista Wasco's eleven year old son, Jack, is painting today... 
as are Leslie Osborn's children. 
Emmett says, "My horse is going to be a Sonic horse. I like painting horses."
Kira adds, "I think my Pikachu horse looks amazing. If you see my horse front ways, the eyes really pop out." Kira
Thank you so much to Erin, Kate, Krista and Leslie for letting these young painters be a part of NaMoPaiMo. They are an important part of our community!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Winners circle

NaMoPaiMo is a lot like endurance racing: To finish is to win. Every single one of these models is a winner.
That said, some stars shine a little more brightly than others. Here's a quick look at some of my favorite members of the NaMoPaiMo class of 2018, starting with Maggie Garlock's little warmblood.
This was the first horse to be finished this year, and also, the first to be shown. Great job, Maggie!
Jean Sorensen was my first friend in the model horse hobby. We met through a penpal ad in Just About Horses and have kept in touch through snail mail and Facebook for thirty years now. I was so excited when she signed up to paint this year, and even more excited when I when I saw what she painted.
You should do this more often, Jean. You're really good at it!
Tegan Skaggs is also really good at this, but like Jean, it had been several years since she'd painted a model. Now she's making up for lost time. In addition to finishing her official NaMoPaiMo entry...
she's also completed a gorgeous bonus horse... 
and there are more on the workbench. Keep going, Tegan!
Last but certainly not least is Darleen Stoddard's amazing Tadpole resin.
Darleen is best known for her tack making skills, but I think we can all agree that she's just as talented in the finishwork department.
Congratulations again to Maggie, Jean, Tegan and Darleen. You are all winners!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Disaster strikes

Today I had a disaster. 
It wasn't the first I've had with this horse...
but it was the last, at least for this go round. Now we're back to the primer stage.
I feel like I should be sad about this, but I'm really not. As much as I want this horse to be done, I also want her to be done right. I got close this time. Next time will be better.
With any luck, it will also be faster. I'd really like to finish her before the end of February. Realistically, I know that's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up to the task. If I'm not... Well, that's okay, too. The success of NaMoPaiMo isn't tied to the completion of this particular horse. No matter what happens with her, I feel like I'm already a winner.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NaMoPaiMo day fourteen

We are halfway through NaMoPaiMo, and there are fifty five models in the winners' circle.
Mine is not one of them. 
I was hoping to be done, or at least mostly done, by now. Instead, I've lost a lot of time to real life drama, non-drying oil paint, and most recently, a broken leg.
I think she's finally ready for the flea bites, but I am scared. This is either going to be really bad or really good. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A hairy situation

I share my life-and my house-with two beautiful, fluffy dogs.
I've long since accepted that everything I own will be covered in dog hair... 
but that doesn't mean I want it in my finishwork.
I'm not the only hobby painter with this problem, so today's third Tutorial Tuesday post is all about dealing with pet hair and other random fuzzies.
Charlotte Donahue believes in a proactive approach. She keeps a designated brush on a used dryer sheet next to her work bench. The dryer sheet helps reduce the static electricity that causes pet hair and debris to cling to her paint projects. She paints with pastels and before sealing each layers, she brushes away all the visible cling-ons.
photo by Charlotte Donahue
Stephanie Blaylock uses a toothpick for much the same purpose.
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
She writes: What’s the one surprising tool you can’t paint without? Mine is a basic wooden toothpick. I use it to gently remove weird hairs and dust from my model's  finish. It works like magic!  
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
The toothpick is most effect before sealing. After sealing I tend to use the sanding stick. You can find these at most craft stores.
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
But what if you're having trouble seeing the dust and dog hair until it's too late? Emma Witney-Smith offers this creative solution: I use a UV light to help find fuzzies before sealing. They usually fluoresce a different colour than the rest of the model, which makes them easy to find and remove! Here's a model in normal light...
photo by Emma Witney-Smith
and under the UV light. What a difference!
Thank you so much, Charlotte, Stephanie and Emma. With your help, we can all look forward to having a little less pet hair on our ponies!