June 12, 2020

Bert & Ernie - 2020 Customs Contest Theme Entry

Bert and Ernie
2020 Breyerfest Customs Contest Theme Entry by Danielle Feldman


This is my first-ever entry for the Breyerfest Customs Contest.
When I learned that the Theme division this year was "Pairs Well Together" I instantly knew
that I was finally going to customize this pair. I've had the idea kicking around in the back
of my mind for quite some time and even had the Breyer bodies for it. From there, the idea grew to
include this scene. Call me crazy, but I've always wanted to make an in-scale tree!




Original models
Breyer Classic QH Foals

First step was to cut and heat the models into position. 

Next step, dremel down the excess plastic and 
insert a stable rod to replace a hoof.

Sculpting in progress. I used sharpie to mark bony landmarks or areas that 
needed to be dremeled down or filled in. Lots of back and forth.

More sculpting in progress with mane and tail armature added. 


Handmade dandelions using laser sheets by Mary Kinloch.
They are time-consuming, but I am hooked!

My husband's and my initials are carved into the tree. ❤

Every leaf was hand stamped and individually glued. I am exhausted!

Sometimes they squabble just like their Sesame Street namesakes.

April 26, 2020

NaMoPaiMo 2020


NaMoPaiMo models
I am two out of four for finishing the challenge in the month of February!
Maybe the other two will get completed this year?


NaMoPaiMo was held in February 2020, but I figured it's better to post about it late than never! This year, I chose to paint the adorable mini Peanut resin by the amazing Sarah Minkiewicz. I learned last year that I'd best stick to a smaller scale if I wanted to finish on time (I'm still working on detailing last year's model, also an Appaloosa, but traditional scale!)




To kick off the festivities this year, I invited hobbyists over for a painting party and potluck. Both Amanda Reed (left) and Donna Gruhn (right) were able to join me. I'm so glad they could come, I had so much fun! 







I like to share my journey on the NaMoPaiMo Facebook group, as a big part of the experience is about sharing knowledge. I always get way more out of it than I can contribute! I copied below my posts, as I thought it might be helpful to have them all in one place.

1 week in...

This guy started with a base coat in titanium white that was applied with an airbrush. I learned to ALWAYS cover primer completely with paint, as it can yellow over time. You could hand paint a base coat, but it takes longer, as it requires many thinned down coats to get full coverage and stay smooth (which Amanda has mastered with her copper foal!).

The next step was to start blocking in spots with a blend of black and burnt umber. I tried adding Golden satin glaze to extend the working time, which helped a little. Having reference photos at this stage is really important.

I am now in the process of darkening all the spots with the same color blend. If they get too thick or show brushmarks, I use a fine grade sandpaper to smooth them out once dry. Or if I notice while wet, use a q-tip to pick up the extra paint. These will get a wash of white over all the spots to set them back as dark skin color.

Tip for working with minis and micros is to paint them by looking through a magnifier. Ott light makes a great table lamp with the magnifier arm. I got this tip from Lynn Fraley at a RESS workmanship class at Meows and Minis many years ago!!!


2 weeks in...

Added pinking in all the wrinkles and goo with a blend of acrylics. This little guy has an amazing amount of sculptural detail that I hope not to lose under all those spots! By shading the whites with pinks and creams, this will help to highlight all that glorious detail. He is really pink in this photo, as the white wash will tone it down.


Next, I added a wash of Jo Sonja warm white all over to set everything back and give the illusion of skin. I used a larger flat brush for this step. Then I did a little fine-tuning, going back and forth with the pink and white after this photo to get it where I wanted it. Next step, fill in all those spots again!
3 weeks in...

Started this session off by adding spots (mostly) within the (now grey) spots. I’m always hesitant to go too big on the first round of spots (the edges will become the mapping around the spots), so the final spots are not as big as I’d like. Not totally happy with his pattern. Not enough spots... (I forgot to take a picture of this step. Imagine him without the grey on his neck, mane and tail). Also his mapping got washed out too much when I was trying to tone down the pink. I’m on the fence about adding more mapping and spots..


My reference photo has lovely roaning on the neck, so I next stippled in some dark grey pastel over the area. Once sealed, it looked solid (rather than speckled) and spread too far onto his barrel. Ugh! Should have done this step first!!! Much easier to deal with pastels before all those handpainted spots...
4 weeks in...

Almost there! I spent the week pretty much redoing what I had done in the first three weeks. That seems to be the way NaMoPaiMo works for me! Last session, I mentioned being unhappy with his pattern, so he got another wash of white over his body. 
Then I added lots more spots in Jo Sonja carbon black. I liked this better than the Liquitex as it went on smoother. I had thought I would do another white wash layer, but decided I liked his pattern now, so I wasn’t going to mess with it! Not all spots have mapping and apparently this guy didn't want any.
I then went about fine-tuning. This involved going back and forth with white and black on his feathers, with white and shades of grey on the roaning on his neck. I really tried to focus on highlighting his sculptural details (wrinkles!) while still looking roany.

Next up we’re his eyes, which are tiny! I tried shading them like I would a larger horse, but I was just happy to get the pupils generally in the right spot.


 On to hooves... I painted a base coat of unbleached titanium and let that dry. Then I mixed up transparent burnt umber, neutral grey, and black, each with a touch of satin acrylic liquid glaze. This helps them go on more transparent and keeps the paint wet longer, so that I can blend the colors using a wet on wet technique. I just keep playing with it until I like it. I usually add strips of unbleached titanium on top to bring out the shell color. Then I do horizontal shading with unbleached titanium, going for a lighter periople at the top and rings across the hoof. At this point I also painted the chestnuts on his legs.

Finally, I worked on his mane and tail. Thin washes of white, black, neutral grey, and a touch of burnt umber to keep it from looking blue. I mix the acrylic glaze into the paint colors here, too. I find it helps with the consistency of the paint to aid in blending. I just keep working at it, back and forth until I like it.

Next, a final seal with Testors Dullcote, dry and gloss. Thank goodness it was a Leap Year! I needed that extra Saturday! Here is the finished model. I need to take photos with better lighting...


An added bonus this year, was the addition of joining #TeamMinisPaintingMinisSo many fun dolls and other figures joined the party and "painted" a mini. Here is Opie with his pony. This was the first micro I've painted and it was a lot of fun. This little one is Kelly Sealey's MM Shetland Pony, so cute! As of the time of this posting, she still has some available to order!


And like prior years, the unbelievable Jennifer Buxton orchestrated a wonderful community-building experience (thank you!!!). And like prior years, there were many generous prize donors. A special shout out and thank you to Denise Gimarro (right, I am so excited to paint this fuzzy pony with pansies!) and Jennifer Kroll (left, for Opie, look at that tiny Frida medallion and miniature packing!) for these beautiful prizes and to Lynne Penner for orchestrating Minis Painting Minis! I can't wait to do it again next year!


April 3, 2020

Reveler Commission Opportunity!




It has been several years (eight!) since I have offered a commission opportunity and I have no plans to open my commission books. However, I thought it would be fun to offer this one commission opportunity.

This commission opportunity is for the Sarah Rose large stablemate scale resin, Reveler, in the color of your choice. I have the model in hand and he is already prepped and ready to paint. You may choose the color or I can paint him as an artist's choice color. There are no limitations on color, pattern, or markings, other than no fantasy colors. If you have something specific in mind, I appreciate reference photos.

I work in a variety of mediums, including acrylics, pastels, dry pigment, charcoal, and sometimes oils depending on the color I'm painting. If you would like to see examples of my work, please stop by my website at www.FeldmanStudio.com.

I do not guarantee a completion date, but I expect to be able to finish this model within one to three months, so please plan your finances accordingly if you choose to make an offer.

I will accept time payments of half down, $100 per month, and the balance due upon completion. Payments are non-refundable.

I accept PayPal, Venmo and money orders.

I will be accepting offers through my Facebook page.  Please visit the thread at this link to bid:
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10159077040301808&set=a.312893146807

If you do not have a Facebook account or you want to bid privately, you can email me at danielle@feldmanstudio.com and I will place a bid on your behalf on the Facebook thread in $10 increments.

No deleting or editing bids after posting. Bids are binding. If there is an emergency, please contact me privately. Facebook provides a history of page posts, so I will be able to see if anyone deletes or changes a bid. Don't be that person or you might be left out on other opportunities!

The auction will run from Friday, April 3rd through Tuesday, April 7th at 8pm EST.

I will use the Facebook timestamp if there are any last second bids. Any bids arriving after 8 pm EST will not be considered.

The winning bid includes the price of the model and finish work in your choice of color, but does not include postage. I will only ship priority insured, domestic or overseas. I declare full value on all packages.

Starting offer is $500. Please place bids in $10 increments.

Thank you and good luck!