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..
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.
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!