Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wonderful Difference in Mediums - Part 1

I'm back again, this time with an exciting topic. Mediums!

I was asked on Instagram to discuss my opinion, and the differences, of using different mediums (oils, airbrushing, pastels/pigments) to paint model horses.

Before I start, I wanted to mention that there is absolutely no "wrong" medium. Each of these mediums has it's pros and cons, though when these artists use them, I'm not sure there are any cons!

The first -- and the one I find to be gaining popularity quickly -- is that of oil paints. In my opinion, these can be the hardest to use, but also give the most vibrant colors. I am always in total awe of an artist who can *really* use oil paints, and by *really* use them, I mean those who get a silky smooth finish with perfectly blended colors. The amount of practice that goes into that must be staggering.

I have picked two really well-known and, in my opinion, leading artists who use oil paints to discuss here. While there are lots of artists who produce beautiful models with oils, these particular two create models that really speak to me.

The first is Tammi Palmarchuk of Winter Glen Studio. The second is Chris Flint of Beau Cheveaux Creations.

When I see models Tammi has painted, I'm always struck to see how beautifully oil paints can bring a brilliant vibrance to the color and make the model stand out. Her workmanship is exceptional, with finishes that are remarkably smooth and well blended. This is no small feat when using oil paints, as I've experienced myself. 

Some people believe oil paints give the most durable finish and that models painted with oils are the best for performance showing. Others believe that any medium can be equally durable: that the durability just depends on the quality of the finish. I am not necessarily subscribing to either camp here.  Oil paints dry to a remarkably hard surface, while other mediums (I'm thinking of pastels and pigments particularly) need a series of sealants during the painting process to attain the right color depth and intensity.  Every custom-painted model is going to need to be sealed with some kind of finish, and it's the final finish that will determine the durability of the paint job, even with the harder-drying oil paints. When performance showers express a preference for oil paint, it's to suggest the harder oil finish will stand up to the repeated contacts with show tack.  However, remember that the tack will be touching only the finish, not the actual paint, so it's the finish that's most at risk rather than the paint.

Anyhow --getting back on topic -- oil paints are my favorite medium because of the potential vibrance of the colors, and flawless blending that's possible in the right hands. The colors can be very true, especially for black horses. The black is BLACK, not a dark grey or muddy brown. 

Without further babbling, here are examples of Tammi Palmarchuk's excellent work using oil paints:

Model Painted by Winter Glen Studio to a Bright Golden/Red Bay

Model Painted by Winter Glen Studio to a Dark Shaded Chestnut

Model Painted by Winter Glen Studio to a Glowing Buckskin

Model Painted by Winter Glen Studio to a Brilliant Black

As you can clearly see, size doesn't seem to matter here: the buckskin is near stablemate sized.  Tammi's colors are always glowing and spot on, as are the dapples and other features. They don't look choppy: you can't see where a color ends, as the blending is absolutely perfect. You can see more of these beauties on the Winter Glen Studio website and Facebook Page. Winter Glen Studio's flashy works of art are many-time live show champions as well!

It's my DREAM to have her paint my Hornet resin to a golden/red dappled day! <3


The second artist, Chris Flint, also has a fabulous talent for oil painting, and has been showing her gorgeous creations for many years. I proudly own a couple of models painted by her that will have a forever home with me.

As you can see, these two artists both use oil paints, but their creations look vastly different. Each has  her own special set of techniques, which bring stunning life to these marvelously detailed models. Just because artists use the same medium, doesn't mean they use them the same way.  

Chris Flint of Beau Cheveaux Creations creates works of art with extraordinarily smooth finishes and crisp details. Her models can replicate their references with amazing accuracy, and usually and have a velvety look to them -- that's how smooth they are!
Her work has won so many championshsips, including at NAN, that her Hall of Fame is 32 pages long. Wow! 

Chris mostly paints traditional scale models,  though the very few-and-far-between smaller models are just as wonderful.

In my opinion, Chris' work is usually a bit more subtle and soft, but can be just as brilliant and fiery as any other, as shown below.

Here are some examples of her stand-out beauties:

Model Painted by Beau Cheveaux Creations to a Soft Palomino

Model Painted by Beau Cheveaux Creations to a Fiery Red Bay

Model Painted by Beau Cheveaux Creations to a Stunning Shaded Bay                                                                        "Magnets Iesha"

Model Painted by Beau Cheveaux Creations to a Medium Chestnut
"Prince Charming"

Chris Flint really shows a sculpture off to its very best when she paints models: the muscles are nicely defined without looking overemphasized; the muzzles are so well blended they look as soft  and velvety as a real horse's nose; and the hooves are beautiful while still realistic. All this makes each piece of her work one of a kind.

You can see more of Chris Flint's creations on her Beau Cheveaux Creations website and Facebook Page.  And don't forget to check out her never-ending Hall of Fame!


Both these artists are at the top of their craft, and create amazing works of art. I think they are among the absolute best using oil paints today to bring models to life, and they have the rosettes and praises from happy customers to prove it. 


Oil paints are not for the faint of heart: it takes a lot of practice to get the blending, shading, and other details down. Chris Flint has published a book that I found really helpful as I got my feet wet in this demanding medium. I don't mind admitting that my own efforts have yet to get what I consider decent results, but I hope to keep improving and become proficient some day!  It seems you can achieve any color imaginable using oil paints. It really is a wonderful medium.

Trade Secrets and Methods of a Model Horse Artist by Chris Flint
I wrote about this book in a previous post as well.


Winter Glen Studio Winners
Winter Glen Studio Winners

Winter Glen Studio Winners
Beau Cheveaux Creations NAN 2007 Winners

Ending on a happy note with all these winners, my next post will be on airbrushing model horses (Part 2), followed by using pastels/pigments (Part 3). 

*All pictures are used with permission from the artists, Tammi Palmarchuk and Chris Flint. Thanks!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Arcane" Resin to Golden Bay

I have finished my very first traditional artist resin!

I think that this is a beautiful resin, with a very refined, feminine look. Love it! This is Seunta LLC's Arcane resin. I highly recommend resins from there, great for your first time painting a traditional resin as they are clean casts and if you seriously mess it up, you aren't out a huge amount of money, but if it turns out well, you have a stunning new show pony! Best of both worlds right there!!!

Without further ado, meet my unnamed Arcane resin who will be hitting both the performance and halter live show rings this season!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Southern New England Winter Round-Up 2015

My first SNEWRU went exceedingly well. I met lots of new people, caught up with old friends, and saw the stunning new models painted over the winter that were floating around.

One thing I learned: sitting with the right people can make your show much more memorable! Brenda, the show hostess, made sure to place everyone in just the right spots!

This was an all halter show, no elaborate set ups or shiney tack! That will have to wait for another time.

With such a long class list, no plastic ponies were left behind!

And without further ado, here are the dusted off, fresh from the wintery cold, said plastic ponies!

There were OFP ponies...

Dappled ponies...

and brown ponies.

Black ponies...

Spotted ponies...

and really bright ponies!

Roan ponies...BIG roan ponies...

and even MORE spotted ponies!

There were custom Breyer ponies...

and mean ponies...

and pretty Morgans...

and polite ponies.

And even some teeny weenies!

Hornet's In The House!

I have many blog posts in the works right now, but this can be a short one while I finish those.

Hornet by Maggie Bennett has arrived today, and he is awesome! He has wonderful little veins all over, really giving the impression that he is a hot headed, worked up warmblood. His face is spot on, with a focused expression, beautiful detail, and overall lovely presence.

I am SO thrilled I snagged him!

He is definitely one of the more dynamic, action-packed jumpers out there. He doesn't look stiff at all - like some sculptures can. He has motion, and lots of it!

Maggie didn't only create a wonderful sculpture, she also packed him very nicely, and really gave the new present feel - I almost forgot I paid for him!!!

Her attention to detail and always adding the little extra touches makes her resins stand out and go that much farther with the customer.

Definitely an A+++ for this one, Maggie!