Wednesday, February 13, 2019

And....We're Off....With Instant Issues!

It's tradition here in my studio to start my NaMoPaiMo horse 2 weeks after the start of the event. I'm a bit of a procrastinator with my own projects and this one is no exception.

Part of my procrastination is not only gathering my thoughts on what I'm going to do and how to do it, it is also mixing the color in my head before I start, and clearing my work bench of pressing items so I can enjoy the process of creating my NaMoPaiMo horse.

My belief is if one isn't "in the moment" with art and enjoying the process, no matter how difficult a time it may be giving you, why is one doing the art? Seriously, one must always ask themselves that question if they are not having fun making art.

As is tradition, I started "Cerberus" 2 weeks late and as is also tradition I immediately had issues. The moment I put the first layers of acrylic on his body I saw I missed two areas while prepping. These were areas that needed attention quickly. In the past I've ignored such prep issues thinking I'd get to them "later" only to have them become bigger issues later. These were in crucial spots and they needed sanding. Once sanded, I was left with two huge white patches of exposed resin.

Two prepping issues sanded and smooth now.

So, you're probably asking, "Now what?"

A few of you might be in a similar situation and the first step is not to panic, but to remind yourself that as long as you can match the color you can cover it perfectly and hide the boo boo. This first step is key in hiding such a mark. Match the original base color and you'll never know.

For Pastels:
I water down gesso and apply to the sanded areas. Two or three smooth coats. If you find there is tooth left then take a very fine sandpaper and gently sand down just the gessoed areas to make it smooth. Wipe dust clean and then begin the process of pastelling from light to dark just in the marred areas till you reach the color of the rest of the horse. Keep adding dust till it eventually blends. This process is fairly lengthy with pastels, but it is totally doable. Have patience and don't give up.

For Acrylics:
The first thing I do is seal what Ive already painted in acrylics. Seal that good color up....boos and all. It's ok, remember, you'll be covering up the boo boos in no time and you want to protect all the good stuff you're already painted. Spray it and let it dry fully.

After everything is dry start mixing the base color and apply it directly ON the area that is good. (Remember the horse was protected so if the color you mixed isn't correct you can use a 50% rubbing alcohol to wipe the test brushstroke away without doing any damage.) Do this so you know you have an exact match of color. You may have just started painting and haven't mixed much of any color which makes covering even easier, but, if you are well into the painting production you will need to test match the color.

Once you have found the exact match then start covering up your boo boos. Start with light layers. The first layers won't cover. You will most likely need 10-15 layers of acrylics to hide the unwanted marks. If you are hand painting you will need to keep the layers watered down so strokes don't form.

The process will take a long time, but keep adding those layers. Eventually all the boo boos will literally disappear into the background. To speed up the drying process in between all those layers of paint, use a hair dryer.

Boo boos all covered and
the piece is ready for the next layer of color.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dappled & Broken

Breyer's new "Malik"
sculpted by Sarah Mink. Customized and for Sale.

It's been a very busy week in my studio. Dapples have been the main focus this week as I completed two pieces. One dappled piece, a new Breyer Malik, is a grey dapple with lots of fading dappled areas. The other, a "Abrantes" resin, is a mulberry grey. Both were challenges and I walked away feeling as if I learned something new about color and patterning from each piece. One offered lessons on fading while the other offered lessons on individual hairing of the dappled pattern.

Malik is for sale. Click HERE for more info.

Abrantes Resin all dolled up.

More views of Abrantes.

Commission books are open.
Email at

The other time spent this week was on restorations, especially this foal. She was in a state of woe and it took about two weeks total to get her back together. This is probably the most breaks in one piece Ive ever encountered in the studio. The most difficult part of this restoration was figuring out what broken piece to adhere first! She is all better now.

Japan china before restoration.

Same china after restorations

Although my restoration books are currently closed they will be opening back up at the end of the month.

For more information you can visit my restoration page on my website: Restorations by Jennifer ODonnell Danza

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

NaMoPaiMo 2019

Brigitte Eberl's "Cerberus" resin
waiting to get painted.

NaMoPaiMo 2019 has begun!
This is the model horse industry's time to come together and paint a horse and share their journeys! It is a time of being together as collectors and artists. Even if one has never painted a model horse before, the celebration of NaMoPaiMo is the time to start! Participants pick one model horse, a color, and they determine what they would like to achieve and then they start in on their project.

This year I have chosen another one of my nakid resins from my personal collection to paint and to explore color theory with and on. The Cerberus resin has been in my collection for a long time and I have always envisioned him as a dappled bay with very dark points. I never dove into painting him for two reasons. One, I never seem to have enough time to paint my own pieces and two, I was afraid Id mess him up. I had envisioned these lovely dapples running throughout his barrel and on his neck and I could never figure out how to make them look the way I was seeing them in my head. There aren't too many of this mold around and messing him up would be upsetting. But, NaMoPaiMo is about diving in and just doing it and learning. So, off I go....

If you'd like to learn more about NaMoPaiMo and join next year, check out the official Facebook page.