Monday, August 17, 2009

Cold Painting Skills?

So... I got it into my head that if I was selling resins, maybe I ought to paint some myself. I used to paint resins- it was what came next after painting Breyers, before I got into ceramics (and everything else went out the metaphorical window). Back in the good o'l oil-painting, pre-airbrush days. I was actually building some skills there, before my world became shiny. Post-shiny, my few attempts at resin painting were rather feeble (I lost my oil abilities!), and really never were worth finishing. That noted, I was determined to do it differently this time. Because this time, I had 10 years of airbrushing experience under my belt! It ought to be good for something... And do you know what? It worked! I can airbrush resins! Well, before I sound too excited here, let me say that it is much more challenging than I thought it would be. That thin paint rubs so easily, I might as well be working in underglaze. And oh, that dreadful prep-work... I didn't miss it! But the end result, was rather nice. I especially liked the part where I was finished with it, and I didn't have to spend time glazing & firing it- just give it a quick mist of krylon. My mom's best friend let me experiment with the resin she had purchased, so I'm especially glad it worked out, for her sake. I also started a resin for myself (to sell), that's just about done, so you'll see final pics of her soon, though she is hiding in the first image below. I tackled this task in a very close manner to my ceramic work. It was different though, in that I weilded a paintbrush more than an x-acto! I've chronicled the process below, for those who are interested. I don't know that I will cold paint very often, but I must admit, it was a fun change of pace!

Unmasked!Fun with Pencils...
A little more paint, here & there...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Crit Time!

Yes folks, I've reached the point on my mini mare where I've started to get critiques! I cannot stress enough how important it is for artists to do this- it has always been very helpful to me! Critiques teach me a lot- they aren't the only way this slow brain learns sculpting, but as a visual person, seeing my sculptures diagrammed, or having someone point out areas & angles I may want to re-think, really help the connections to go faster, leading to more of those 'aha', or "Oh, now I get it!" moments.

They are also good eye openers to things you should have seen, but couldn't because you were simply looking at the piece too much (a.k.a "barn blindness")! "Look at this reference picture you gave me," if I might parapharase what one critiquer said to me, "see how the hindquarter is like this here in the photo, but isn't like that on your sculpture? You tried to do a regular horse's hindquarter, but this is a mini- not quite the same animal!" And really, I couldn't see it before she pointed it out.

So the lesson here to all you other artists, if you are not already, get your sculptures critiqued! You will be amazed at what you learn if you pay attention, and listen closely*, to the opinions of people you respect & trust (which are musts in a critiquer!). I'm not going to list the names of my critiquers here- I do not want to flood them with requests or somehow suggest that they might endorse my work, but I thought I'd bring this topic up, as it is an important thing for all artists to persue, no matter how long or short of a time we've been doing this. Okay, off my soapbox now! I'm excited to be getting along in this mare, and I thank you all for taking this journey with me!


*One more thing I remembered- it is helpful to keep an open mind, and not to take anything said by your critquer personally. As an artist, I know I always put a bit of my soul into my work, but I've learned how to 'detach' myself when it comes to critiques. After all, this person is trying to help you make your work better! If they say, "No, really, you need to carve off most of the buttocks", then rip out your shaving tool! And if you are certian they haven't got something right, get second or third opinions on the area!