January 28, 2012

Overdue Nationals Show Reports

I am very remiss in not posting these earlier, I have show results for the North American Nationals and the Australian Down Under Nationals from 2011 to share with you. (and I updated the NAN page of the website, too).

Lyn Norbury's Summer Shades had a great show...
with a Top Ten in breed,

 A Reserve National Champion in Other Costume (Western Sidesaddle)

 and National Champion in Saddleseat!

Jeni Lambert's Dun In Squiggles earned a Reserve National Champion in workmanship

and Nancie Warga's Scribbles earned a Top Ten in workmanship

Congratulations ladies!

Then on the other side of the globe, Katrina Sterry reports on the Australian Down Under Nationals...

 Friendly Skies was Reserve National Champion in Other Performance

 Indiana Jones was National Champion in Parade/Other Performance

 and Fool's Gold earned both National Champion in Western Riding/Reining 

and Top Three in Western Pleasure

Congratulations Katrina on your wins with these lovely set ups!

January 21, 2012

In Progress Commissions

The last three commissions. I kind of feel like it's the end of an era. Granted, I haven't taken commissions openly in several years, yet somehow I always manage to have one or more models on the books for some incredibly patient people. This time two are for trades, one for a resin I missed out on during the original release, but really wanted, and the other for tack from a great tack artist. How could I not? I think my development as an artist has benefited greatly from taking commission work. Working with customers to bring their vision to life helped me see things from other perspectives. Doing portrait work fine tuned my ability to portray what I was seeing. And I've gotten to work with some really great people over the years. Going forward I will be creating for myself, if time allows and occasionally offering pieces for sale.

So here are in progress pictures of The Last Three.

Dapple Grey is such an elusive color for many artists, myself included. Each one is as unique as a snowflake. I have the privilege of working on two dapple grey Arabian resins at the same time. One is warmer and darker and the other cooler and lighter. It's been fun to work on them simultaneously and note the differences as I go along. This one is the traditional scale Nahar resin by Sarah Rose. Above he has had one "layer" of pastel work and then sealed with a matte fixative. Don't be fooled, I spent countless hours over many evenings with different shades of grey working on that single layer. This is more involved than my usual approach to laying down the first layer. I usually stick with one or two colors and do more of a blocking out method of the dapples, which is how I approached the Indian Silver below on his first layer, and what I demonstrated in my The Art of Pastel: Dapple Grey DVD.

Here is where the Nahar is now after additional layers of pastel to deepen the color and further define the dapples, followed by an acrylic layer to simulate hairs over the entire horse, followed by another pastel layer to pick out areas and deepen the dark areas. Somewhere along the line I fine tuned his face, lower legs and painted his mane and tail. A little more tweaking and this boy will be done. He has been the most time consuming of the three, so he is the furthest along. I try to work in groups to be more efficient. They will all get their final details, like eyes and hooves, at the same time.

The Indian Silver, by Deborah McDermott, is meant to be much lighter and cooler in color (more "blue", less brown). This photo shows the initial blocking in of dapples in just a few shades of grey. Taking your time at this stage will lend for a more realistic dapple grey "pattern" in the end. I also leave the face and lower legs for fine tuning after this stage.

And the Indian Silver after the acrylic stage, followed by more pastels. I also painted the mane and tail a slightly mellow color to stand out against the body and I'm really pleased with it. Still trying to figure out how I want to shade it though. I also want to work on the dapples a little and the color transitions. I think I'll do another layer or warm white acrylic to meld the transitions again. He needs a little more tweaking. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the two side by side to document the differences between them.

And here is sweet little Pixie, by Sarah Minkiewicz. I was given artists choice on color and I have always wanted to do a baby bay tobiano on this sculpture. My own Pixie I did in a silver grulla. This is one layer of color to block in the pattern. Same technique that I use in my The Art of Mixed Media: Chestnut Tobiano DVD.

Pixie has come a long way since then, with acrylic to add more panagre, especially to the flank, but also variation throughout the coat to bring out the fuzziness, as well as pastelling all the white areas to create the warmth of flesh under the hair. I talk about that technique in my The Art of Mixed Media: Leopard Appaloosa DVD (another shameless plug :D). Next step will be to highlight all the white areas and work on the edges of the pattern.

I am so pleased with how these three are turning out. I will post finished pictures of them in a few weeks, after my second CPA is past and I have a short break. In the meanwhile, I will be posting some past-due show reports next weekend. See you then!

January 15, 2012

State of the Studio

Imp resin sculpture by Sarah Minkiewicz
Collection of the Artist

The time has come to reflect on the future of Feldman Studio as I enter a new phase in my life. I am currently pursuing my CPA and Masters degree and will be joining a large accounting firm this fall to work full-time. While I am excited about this opportunity and what it will mean for my family, I also enjoy being a part of the model horse community as an artist and exhibitor. This is not an end to my involvement in the hobby, or at least I hope not!

My intention is to continue to offer my series of instructional DVDs, perhaps adding a few more additional titles. Many people have expressed how much they've enjoyed them and learned from them, which makes me so happy. For the foreseeable future, I will have DVDs in stock, and I will be re-stocking those that have currently run out. The prepping and detail painting DVD should be back in stock in 6-8 weeks. You are welcome to pre-order them at this time through the website.  All other titles are in stock and ready to go.

Going forward, I will no longer be able to accept any commission work. I just can’t devote the necessary time to paint for others anymore. I love to paint and sculpt and may offer finished pieces for sale, so I hope that you will stay tuned for those opportunities. I am down to finishing the last 3 commissions and look forward to sharing them with you here. Next week, I'll post some in progress shots of them. Their owners have been very patient, it's been about a year since they were started. I am excited to bring them to completion and am thrilled with how they are turning out.

I do hope to finish sculpting Panache, the floating trot Warmblood, that I started last summer at the AAEA workshop. I will see if there is interest at that time in having him cast in resin. He still has a long way to go. And I have so many other ideas to put into sculpture. We'll see what time allows.

Really, this is not much of a change from what you've seen come out of the studio lately. I have been in school for awhile now preparing to head down this path. My undergrad degree was in Dance from BYU, so switching to Accounting has been quite the journey. I have not been to a show in almost two years and I think I can count on one hand the number of horses I’ve been able to finish over the past few years. I guess the biggest change is my acceptance of the facts. My time is not what it used to be.

I do hope to stay connected with you, so I have set a goal to make a blog posting every weekend. I love to read your comments and would be happy to post any show successes you've had with models I've painted on the blog, as well as the website. I plan to post how-to's, in progress and finished pieces as they're made, maybe revisit some ideas, share show reports, and more. Just tell me what you would like to see posted and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for reading. I hope you'll stick around!

January 10, 2012

More Dry Pigments for the Palette

The last blog entry featured a rather extensive list of the pastels that I have. There are, of course, other dry pigments out there that can be used in the same manner as pastels and I've begun to add them to my palette as well. Hopefully this will help you take the guess work out of picking new colors to add to your palette.

Earth Pigments

Jaime Baker introduced me to these at Breyerfest one year and I finally got around to getting a small starter set from someone. Sadly, I still haven't had the time to actually try them out. I like the idea that they are non-toxic. So many art products can't say that. The colors in my current palette all look promising, they are:

Light Yellow Ochre
Dark Yellow Ochre
Clay Brown
Natural Sienna
Brown 610
Brown Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Titanium White
Black 318


I did include these in my pastel list, but they are actually a different medium than pastel. I use black charcoal interchangeably with black pastel. It covers really well, but it also messier. You can also find white charcoal to use as a mix with other colors. I tend to work from light to dark, so don't often need to mix my dry pigments on a palette. I do like the white charcoal better in pencil form though.

Pearl-ex Powders

These are metallic and interference colors that can be added to your normal dry pigments for a bit of sheen. I have the 32 color set, which includes all the blues, greens, reds, purples, etc. The colors that might best lend themself to equine artistry are:

Interference Gold
Mircro Pearl
Macro Pearl
Pearl White
Sparkle Gold
Sunset Gold
Antique Gold
Super Bronze
Antique Bronze
Antique Silver
Antique Copper
Sparkle Copper
Super Copper
Red Russett


Another product that I have added to my palette, but haven't yet used much are PanPastels. Granted, these probably should have been included in the pastel list, I overlooked them because they aren't in stick form. Instead they come in a pan, which have the convenience of stacking one on top of another by screwing the bottom of one on top of another. They sell a wide variety of sponge tips for application, which I work for some people. They have a nice consistency and of course, don't require shaving to use. Just rub your bursh, qtip, or sponge over the "pan" to load pigment. I bought a wide selection of these hoping to get all their best equine-amenable colors, thought I might have missed a few. Here they are:

Black 800.5
Titanium White 200.5
Yellow Ochre Tint 270.8 - bright, but mellow yellow
Burnt Sienna Shade 740.3
Burnt Sienna Shade 740.5
Burnt Sienna Shade 740.8 - nice pale shade for bascoats
Red Iron Oxide Shade 380.3
Red Iron Oxide Shade 380.5 - may be too "bright"
Neutral Grey Shade 820.3 - cool grey
Neutral Grey Tint 820.7 - cool grey
Neutral Grey Tint 820.8 - cool grey
Payne's Grey Tint 840.8 - cool grey
Payne's Grey Tint 840.7 - cool grey
Payne's Grey Tint 840.3 - cool grey
Raw Umber 780.5 - too green, skip it unless you're looking for natural grass stains
Raw Umber Tint 780.8 - really light, but use with caution as may cast green tone