I usually don’t do this…

Back in February I was contacted by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety) to see if I might be interested in helping with a fundraiser they are having in June.  The help they were wanting was to paint a pig.  As in a little ceramic piggy bank.  Since the organization supports horses and a couple of other farm animals, and most equestrians love farm animals, they decided on the piggy banks for artists around the country to get creative.  The only requirement was that they had to have them by the end of March.

The fundraiser is an online auction that is from June 1 to June 15, 2017.  For tickets (if you plan on being in the area) or more info, please visit their website by clicking here.

I usually don’t do too many fundraisers, not that I am not wanting to give, but I am usually busy or already have my giving lined up for the year.  I gave it some thought and immediately had a couple of ideas come to mind:  a Jump Hog (for the English riders) and a Trail Hog (for the Western riders).  I asked for two and immediately set to work.  Below is a record of the process and the end result.  Would love to know your thoughts on these!

 

Pigs before modifications- Denny Martindale
Pigs upon arrival to the studio
Tools for creating saddles- Denny Martindale
Tools used to create saddles, exclusive of paint

I wanted to mold saddles on the banks, and leave the coin slot opening intact.  I started applying blobs of drywall paste to start forming the saddles.  This had to be done in small applications as the blobs of paste would start sagging down the sides and flattening out.  So, that meant a number of apply/dry sessions to get the desired forms.

English saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming English saddle
Western saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming Western saddle

Next, it was time to shave with an artist’s knife and sand for a clean, smooth finish to prep for painting.

Western saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
Western saddle almost ready for paint
English saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
English saddle is ready for paint

I then began painting with latex house paint, added a couple of layers of satin acrylic varnish, and finally added a few adornments for reins and bling!

Jump Hog bank 1- Denny MartindaleJump Hog bottom- Denny MartindaleJump Hog top- Denny Martindale

Jump Hog front- Denny Martindale
Jump Hog, ready for the event!

Trail Hog top- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog saddle detail- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog front- Denny Martindale

Trail Hog bank- Denny Martindale
Trail Hog ready for the auction!

This was a really fun project, and I hope they bring a good price for the fundraiser.  Hope you all have a blessed week!

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Painting on a Milk Can

One of my latest painting projects was a milk can.  It was old, with very old black paint on it that was starting to chip and had a tad bit of rust showing.  Once again I was doing the fox hunting theme which I thoroughly enjoy.

Milkcan, acrylic painting, fox hunting
This is the start of the milk can project. The grey paint is the adhesion primer, which will be completely covered in paint.
Milk can , acrylic painting, fox hunting
This is side 1 in progress
milk can, acrylic painting, fox hunting
Detail of side 1 completed
Milk can, acrylic painting, fox hunting
This is side 2 completed. This view shows the finished top.

 

After completing the painting, I placed the milk can in front of our fireplace.  It looked really good there, and I received many complements on it.  Finally, the client came to pick it up and I was sad to see it leave.  I have picked up a milk can of my own, now to get time to work on it!

 

Cutouts, the latest project

This has been a very interesting summer thus far.  I normally paint in pastels, watercolors, and acrylics in the studio in the house.  I also do a few murals and other things.  However, when one of my clients commissioned me to paint the horse troughs, I began a studio in the barn as well.  When we built the barn about 8 years ago, that was one of my “someday” goals, to have a real studio there.  I dreamed it would be in the west end of the expansive hay loft, complete with heat and air and a small water closet on the lower level.

art, studio
Art studio in the aisle of the barn with the finished horse troughs

Upon finishing the troughs, my client asked if I could possibly paint some wooden cutouts she had of hunt figures.  I said I would see what I could do.

painting on wood
Wooden cutouts awaiting paint (fox has primer coat)

She brought them out and I spent the next month painting life sized cutouts of Masters of the Hounds,  fox hounds, and foxes.  It is interesting to work on these as you have to use the shape that has been formed for you.  Once I got going though, I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

Master of the hounds, foxhunting
Masters of the Hounds partially complete
fox hunting, master of the hounds
A completed Master of the Hounds ready for shipping

 

I painted them with latex house paint, using only about 8-10 base colors from which I mix the myriad of other colors needed.  Once complete, I coat them with polyurethane.  Each figure had two bases which also needed paint and coating upon which they will stand upright.

fox hound, art
Fox hound with the bases attached. I painted the bottom of the figures and the bases to look like grass.

This week I delivered 2 foxes, 6 Masters of the Hounds, and 9 Fox Hounds to my client.   She was delighted.  Now I have 8 more foxes to do, plus I am looking into some more horse troughs!   Looks like the animals might have to move out!

artist, fox hounds, studio
The artist with 3 of the fox hound cutouts ready to ship. They are on one of the two easels my husband built on either side of the aisle with the paint tables in the center of the aisle.

 

 

Finished!

Here are the last two horse troughs.  I finally finished them and then put a coat of polyurethane on them.  The client is going to use them for flowers at horse shows.

horse trough with fox painting
This is side A of the fox trough
horse trough with fox painting
Here is side B
horse trough with hound painting
This is side A of the hounds trough
horse trough with hound painting
Side B of the hounds

The client was very happy and I am looking forward to doing more of these!

3 finished horse troughs
All 3 troughs finished and ready for delivery

 

Background work on horse troughs #1 & #2

Here are the photos of the background work on horse troughs 1 & 2.  All of my work on these troughs is done in acrylics.  At this point I am also just painting, no airbrush, projectors, etc, just letting the troughs dictate what goes where.

acrylic painting on horse troughs
This is the start of the background work
acrylic painting on horse troughs
Here, things are finally starting to take on a bit of shape
acrylic painting on horse troughs
This is a closeup of the background

The background for troughs 1 & 2 are very similar.

acrylic painting on horse troughs
More detail of background

 

Horse trough #3 side A

Here are a few photos of side A of horse trough #3:

horse trough full view
Full view of side A

This is a 3/4 shot of side A.  The light was glaring bad even with the doors shut in the barn/studio.

detail on horse trough
Smaller horse and rider on side A

Here I am blocking in the horse, the rider is almost finished.

horse trough acrylic painting
“All I need is a good horse”

Beginning second horse and rider.