Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Slight Detour

Normally, you all know me for creating artwork in colored pencils, pastels, and graphite. Recently, I decided to try something new. Clay. Polymer clay to be exact. So I've been working with the clay and armatures, trying to figure it out for myself with the help of a couple of websites and one book in particular called "Fantasy Creatures in Clay: Techniques for Sculpting Griffins, Dragons, and More" by Emily Coleman.  It's a great book, and very informative.

I had also been working on "Trail of Painted Ponies" statues. I decided to see if I could combine both of them. I found some black clay with gold glitter in it and thought it would look interesting as a horse. I had not gotten the results I wanted by painting the horse statues, so I thought maybe I could literally drape the resin statue with a very thin sheet of that black gold glitter clay. So I did it.  Not real keen on the results, but I know how I would do it differently if I did it again. I also went crazy making all different bases for it and other statues I'll be working on. Now, I have made the armatures for the wings for the horse, and I've begun putting the clay on. I have most of the clay on one wing, but no details and haven't finished shaping each feather yet. It will look much better when I finish all of that, but for now, this is the point I am at.

I have posted some unedited photos for you to see. Some of the photos were taken with my cell phone, some with my camera, but none of them have been edited at all.

The resin horse statue is layered with Fimo Effects Polymer Clay. The color is called "Twinkle, Twinkle." The base is also made of Fimo Effects clay, this one is called "Opal." It is a very hard color to work with because whatever they use for the glitter and sparkly stuff is very chunky and hard to roll out and keep it from falling apart. It may also be old clay and it's just quite dry. The base, as you can see, is just very simple.


The armature for the wings was made with 16 and 20 gauge armature wire and aluminum mesh with a little tinfoil. I didn't get a photo of the armature after it was completed. I used a glue gun to add some wire to the mesh which would give the longer feathers some stability. 

 These last two photos show the clay being added to the wings. In these pictures I have the wings looking a little mussy, you know, not orderly and straight. More like they are being windblown, which they are because they are going to be placed on a cantering horse. But, I'm not sure I want to keep it this way. Plenty of time to decide before I bake them.

There are no details yet and still a lot of shaping to do as well to each feather, so they are not even close to being completed. I took the photos from two different angles.

The clay I used for the wings was "Twinkle, Twinkle" and " "Glitter White." I blended them together in odd ways to make it look more interesting and to go with the "Stardust" name. I also added several different colors of glitter to the clay before blending the two colors together, which is why you can see some odd colors and glitter in the feathers.

Well, that's where I'm at right now. I might be able to finish this wing within the next week, so I can get started on the second wing.

This whole thing, the horse, the base, and the wings are all loaded with sparkly, glittery stuff. I think I over did it a bit much.

One more photo for you. This is another base I made for another statue. As you can see, this is a two-tiered granite base. It was made with Fimo Effects clay. The color was called "Gray Granite" (surprise, surprise).

                                                       Two-Tiered Granite Base

So, there you are. This is what I have been working on lately.

I apologize for not posting regular blog articles for quite awhile now, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of it. I will try very hard to do better for now on.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it.

~ Happy Arting! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paper Review: Shizen Design Pastel Paper

Pkg of 25

Typically when I buy paper, I use it for multiple purposes. Here's the results of my attempts to use this Shizen pastel paper:

First, for pastels, this paper does not work for hard or semi-hard pastels at all! They scrap off the top surface of the paper. Furthermore, if you try to blend harder pastels, it also tears up the paper. I then used some buttery soft pastels and that was okay, but again, I couldn't blend the way I like to, which is with my finger. In addition, the paper does not hold very many layers of pastels at all and you cannot spread the pastel around the paper at all.

Secondly, I love to use pastel paper with my soft, buttery colored pencils. This paper does not handle pencils at all. You cannot blend on the paper well, it tears it up. The pencils, yes, even the soft, buttery ones, literally scrap off the top coat of paper.

Then I went onto Inktense and Neocolor II just to see what would happen. This paper did not handle water well at all!! After getting the colors wet, the colors would not spread and blend like on every other kind of paper I've ever used them on and the paper literally buckled. So, nothing with water should be used on this paper.

Finally, I got out my pastel powders, the equivalent to pan pastels. They worked nicely enough, but again, using anything else on the paper, like your finger or a blender, messes up the paper, and it does not take but a couple of layers of pastel before the tooth of the paper is all filled up.

In my opinion, this paper is not worth the money. I like my paper to be multi-purpose, and I've always used colored pencils on pastel paper because I love the texture. The only thing I'd remotely think of using on this paper is maybe super soft pastels and pan pastels, but even those have limited use on this paper. Blending and multiple layers of pastels are nearly impossible. For paper that is so thick, it sure is very fragile and not very useful.

I am sad because I was looking forward to playing with yet another brand of paper. I heard that this company also makes watercolor paper. MAYBE I'll try that, but not sure I want to throw away any more money on this company. I have heard that they make professional watercolor paper. Still not sure I want to put out the money and try it after this mess. Sorry, but I did try. The only recourse I have left to try to make this paper useful is to try acrylics on it. Haven't gotten there yet, but I will soon enough.

Note: Sorry for not having any photo examples of my experiments on this paper. My camera was still  missing at the time and I had not yet gotten my new camera.  I will take photos when I try acrylics on it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Update on Studio Set-up: Cubbie units for storing art magazines

Now that I have a new camera to take photos with, I can give you an update on the cubbie units for all my art magazines. I keep all my art magazines so I have literally years of magazines and I had no way of storing them. I had a wonderful friend, Helma, make me this cubbie and she did an incredible job. It's perfect! Now, all my magazines are organized by name and year, and they're easy to grab for information anytime.

Ignore the bookshelf to the left that is overloaded with art books. Yeah, I can't fit all my art book in there, so I have some stacked in front. That's another project.  And don't look at the three drawer storage unit to the right. Yet another project. One step at a time. Lol!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review: Richeson Toned Gessoed Hardboards - Part II

Welcome to Part II of this review on Richeson Toned Gessoed Hardboards. If you haven't seen it yet, you can view the first part here. For this part of the review I decided to test out pastels on the Richeson Toned Gessoed Hardboards. For this test I used Art Spectrum, Dick Blick, and Rembrandt soft pastels. Art Spectrum is a bit on the harder side whereas Dick Blick's soft pastels are nice and buttery soft. Rembrandt is in the middle.

So for this test I simply tried to see how many layers of pastel the board could hold, and what it was like to blend the colors. I also tried different ways of removing the pastels.

I started off by laying down some Dick Blick and Rembrandt pastels. I only used three layers because I could not put anymore color on top. At that point, I was simply pushing the color around on the board, even with buttery soft pastels. Then I took my eraser and with the tip of it, I drew a heart in the middle of the pastel. Easy to do since there is really nothing to hold the pastels onto the board.

Next I used Art Spectrum pastels. These are harder pastels and they did not blend together at all! Here are three layers of colors just trying to blend with the pastel itself. Obviously not working. 

 Then I tied to blend with my finger, it was a little bit better, but not much.

 I then put down some more Dick Blick and Rembrandt pastels and tried to blend with my finger. You can see the big empty space in the middle where I just pushed the pastel off the board. 

So, bacsically, pastels, whether soft or hard, should not be used on the Richeson Toned Gessoed Hardboard.  I realize these boards were not made with pencils and pastels in mind, but I always like to try out new surfaces with everything because you never know when you'll find a real pearl in an unexpected place. Like when I started using colored pencils on pastelbord. Now that turned out to be a fantastic winner!

I keep using the same board over and over for these tests, so I had to remove the pastel to prepare for the next test. I didn't want to mess up my erasers by removing pastel, so I decided to try to wash the pastel off under the faucet. Yes, I literally ran the board under water and rubbed the surface with my fingers trying to get the color off. As you can see, the Art Spectrum really stained the surface, but it did come off after I dried the board and used the eraser. The Dick Blick and Rembrandt pastels washed off pretty well, then I used the eraser to finish them off.  If you click on the photo below you will be able to see clearly where I started erasing the pastels off the board. 

So, two mediums down, three more to go.

Happy Arting!