How to Paint Faux Turquoise Battle Mountain Blue Gem Acrylics
I promised a friend to paint her a turquoise clydesdale horse head magnet, easy-peasy right? I thought for sure the internet would have a bevy of articles on how to paint something to make it look like it was carved from turquoise. But apparently I’m the only one that’s trying this brand of madness.
So a grabbed a spare cat magnet cast and here’s a tutorial on how to create a faux turquoise paint job using acrylic paints!
Short version: I’m using acrylics to paint a replica of a Battle Mountain, Blue Gem turquoise. As always click on the pics to embiggen and if you have any questions, just ask in the comments below. 🙂
The Art Desk Lives!
There hasn’t been any movement on the workbench in over a month now. Mostly because it was unreachable, buried under the bookcase, the things that were in the bookcases, and bits of the moldy basement wall that I was disassembling. So there’s been plumbing work, wall removal, spackling and sanding… but no art.
That said, I dipped into clean-up overdrive this weekend. I got the two bookshelves repaired and reassembled. I repaired and painted the framing for the wall, and finally got things put away to the point where I could get to my art desk again. (It’s still a bit cluttered, but I figure that’s pretty much par for the course at this point.)
Which means… ART TIMEZ NAO! 😀
Taking art one spot at a time…
I’ve been in a bit of a painting rut for a while now… I’ve had no trouble working with 2D art (as you can see below by the crazy number of badges I’ve been making for Wordwar Z). I just couldn’t work up the focus to sit down and really put brush to horse– but that’s starting to change! 🙂
Well, at least a little. I’m still not churning out hordes of horses and I’m taking much longer than I should to get a foal done (even a leopard appy), but there’s finally progress happening again.
Which is good because I started to take an inventory of all the work in progress art projects that I have… and it’s not a small number. *sighs*
LeCUTEis of Borg
The blog has been a bit writing-heavy in the past few weeks and I apologize to the folks who are more fond of the artistic end of things! I’ve gone ahead and removed a lot of the non-art posts from cross-posting to the Facebook page, so that feed is a little cleaner. (Twitter and G+ readers just get to suffer! 😉 )
But the Lost Lands of Art aren’t that far away!
Now that the temperature has warmed up and I’ve come out of my winter hibernation mode, things are slowly starting to move again. The joys of Virginia mean that with the warm weather comes the humidity, but I have a dehumidifier next to the art desk so I’m safe for now.
So what have we got on the workbench this week?
Live from the Workbench! (The ‘Before’ picture)
I finally made my way back into the basement again to take a look at the workbench. I’ve been using the desk upstairs for single projects, but I really need to get things back to their proper home. Painting on the same tiny table as the laptop is not a good idea… but omg, the basement workbench is so messy!
Sadly, I still don’t have an ‘after’ picture, but I did manage to clear out enough space to work. Which means I can finally get back to getting paint on some horses. I’m going to try and get it cleared off again before the week is out so the next update will look a bit more organized. *crosses fingers*
I’ve been in and Art Slump recently, but finally finishing off that cavaletti post seems to have gotten me back on track and I’m raring to go! 🙂
Making Stablemate (1:32) Scale Cavaletti and Poles
This tutorial covers how to make model horse scale copies of the wooden poles and cavaletti that are used in a variety of horsey ways. They can be used as training aids (walk-over or trot-over poles), as part of a jump (ground poles or rails), or as part of an English or Western trail class (ground or trail poles). Cavaletti are used primarily for training, but I have seen them used for lower level jumping classes in barn shows.
I’d made a sets of these poles years ago, but have never shown with them, so some tweaking may be needed for true Live Show Quality (LSQ). These are great for play or Photo Showing!
On a scale of 1 to ‘ow my finger!’ These are probably a six because of the bits where you are carving out the notches in the cavaletti with the x-acto blade. Just go slow and be careful and it should be fine! 🙂
Back when I started sculpting shapes to try aluminum casting I tried to make very simple ones… hence the corgiloaf! (aka Sleeping Superman-pose Pembroke Welsh Corgi)
Although it was intended for metal I ended up using this mold to cast a few plaster and wood glue magnets. There’s just too much cute in this little guy/gal to let them waiting in the shadows for me to get my smelter rebuilt!
I started out painting them in non-Pembroke colors, because of my fondness for Cardigans and their multitudes. However when it came time to list them to the Etsy store for real, I resigned myself to only a few mismarked souls.
Onwards to the gallery! (Last Updated: 04/13/2016)
There’s a desk under there somewhere…
Whew, it’s been awhile again!
Someday I’ll get the hang of these ‘same day updates’… I wish I could prewrite these like I do the Saturday Story Prompts, but it seems a little silly when I call them ‘Live’ right in the title. 😉
Anywho… time to roll back the curtain and clear off the desk enough to run down all the projects that have ended up on the Workbench this week!
This little gal has been hanging out in my body box for a loooong time…
Every so often I will buy bulk lots of stablemates off of eBay and that’s where this little gal came from. Eclipse was half-painted and prepped with what I think was automotive primer. Other (saner) folks might have let her go as a casualty of war, but I wasn’t about to give up the fight!
So after several baths of Easy Off, scrubs with a toothbrush, and many a long battle with sandpaper, she was ready for paint again. I prepped her as best I could, but she’s just too rough in places to do much beyond hold sway over a bookshelf herd. So no Photo Shows or Live Shows for this gal, alas.
Prepping Breyer Mini Whinnies
There’s nothing quite as much fun as opening a Breyer Mini Whinnie Surprise blind bag and seeing what pops out!
Well, okay, I fib– most of the fun is finding out which unsuspecting body I get to paint. Mwahahaha! 😉
But preparing a Mini for paint isn’t the same as prepping a Stablemate (or larger scale). These guys have a few weird quirks of their own. Since I wasn’t finding much info online when I searched I figured I should get off my duff and put a page together…
Jane of Aces
She might be a simple brown horse, but this little gal is no Plain Jane. As a filly she always dreamed of flying and if you give her a pasture to run in and she’ll show you her dog fighting moves!
This little gal is named after the flying aces of old, although she’s got more in common with Snoopy than the real Red Baron. If you have a work desk or a bookshelf in dire need equine daydreams, then look no further, this little gal is here to save the day!
Jane is a rich medium bay with only a small stripe on her forehead and snip on her nose. Her Breyer logo was removed and seams sanded, but nothing else was done to the mold. Jane has realistic glossed eyes and uncarved hooves. She is one of my attempts at painting horses using only acrylic craft paints, so no pastels here… although I did stoop to using colored pencils to detail her hooves.
Wax Cats and Sand Plaster Molds
Back when I started sculpting shapes to try aluminum casting with I did a simple cat and a simple dog… you can guess which one this is!
Although it was intended for metal I ended up using this mold to figure out the perfect ratio for my plaster and wood glue mixture. That means I’ve got a lot of bodies to paint and a lot of cats headed to the Etsy store (or as gift for folks with american shorthairs.)
In retrospect, now that I have a cat again (good old President Taft!), the head is a little too big compared to the body, but it still looks okay. I think I’ll do a sitting one in the future, using Taft as a model.
Onwards to the gallery! (Last Updated: 03/09/2016)
President Taft does a surprise inspection of the workbench…
The weather is starting to warm up which means I can finally do some spray sealing again! (Although, per conversation on the Model Horse Customizers Facebook group, I might be able to spray in ninja runs out the door even if it’s cold and rainy.) That’s good news for the two realistic thoroughbreds that have been idling on the workbench for the past few weeks.
But my problem right now isn’t finishing things, it’s getting them photographed and up on Etsy! The more I unpack and put things away, the more things I find that I’d forgotten about. The pile in the photo below is all of the pieces that are ready (or a single step from ready) to post… that I just haven’t gotten around to.
Hark, an Octopus!
I tried combining caulk and cornstarch back at the beginning of my 100% Silicone Caulk mold making adventures… and it was dismal failure. It never set completely and ended up sticking to the sculpture.
But the more I did research into the casting and molding world the more I came across articles and YouTube videos insisting it worked, so I figured it was time to try again!
The tl;dr story is that this works exceptionally well for making molds of sturdy objects that you are looking to cast in resin. It doesn’t work well for for fragile objects, because of the amount of pressure required or for plaster casting (without a release agent) since that sticks to the molds (boo!).
As always, click the pictures to embiggen! 🙂
This little guy was one of my favorite experiments! He started out as a Super Sculpey sculpture that was too fragile to cast in plaster without a backdrop, but made a cute little resin magnet without one.
As you can see by his initial rough-out in Sculpey above, he’s evolved somewhat as the molds and casting went on. He now has two hind legs, his mane is slightly less wild and wooley and he has a variety of flat and rocky backdrops to keep his tail from breaking off.
I do love casting things in resin, but a lot of the casts I’ve made from this sculpt have been plaster because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to cast and to modify the mold once the cast has been made. The one thing I did learn from this whole adventure is always take off the paper labels! (The silicone cast picked up the wood grain and the label in annoyingly sharp detail that both the plaster and resin are happy to recreate).
Onwards to the gallery! (Last Updated: 09/14/2016)