This Was a New One For Me!

One of the projects I recently finished was totally different than anything I had ever done before.  A client brought me 3 sets of serving tiers.  I am not sure of the proper name for these things (if you know, I would love for you to leave a comment regarding such!).  I have seen them in a small form usually made out of glass or china used to serve small fruits, candy and hors d’ouevres, etc.  They were made of wood and metal, with gold mats to place in the trays.  All were a bit rough and the client asked if I could paint wood grain on them with foxes and hounds running around the edges and some larger ones in the centers as she did not care for the mats.  I said I would see what I could do, so I took them apart and got out my sand paper and latex house paints and set to work.

Art, foxes, hounds,
Here are a few parts of the tier sets ready to be painted

The smallest set was 21″ high, with only one tray that was paintable, as the other two were metal baskets.  The tray measured 15″ in diameter, and grain of the wood was extremely rough, so it required a good amount of sanding prep.  I brushed some paint to get coloring of wood, but the grain was so fine it barely showed through.  So, I painted the grain in with a brush.

Art, foxes, hounds
The small tier set

The middle set was 28″ high and the large tray at the bottom was 19″ in diameter.  This wood was a grade better, but once again the grain did not show through  well at all.  So, again, I painted in the grain, then painted foxes and hounds around the edges and inside.

Art, foxes and hounds
Medium tier set

The largest set of the three was completely different.  The lower tray measured 20″ across and the entire set stood at 30″.  Each layer consisted of a wood tray with deep metal sides.  The wood was much better quality, so I only had to highlight the grain.  However, the metal sides had to be completely painted to look like wood.  These took a bit longer, but I was able to make the figures of the foxes and hounds larger.

Art, foxes, hounds
The large tier set

I seriously think I can now paint foxes and hounds in my sleep!  There are 90 figures on the three pieces, yes, I actually counted.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on these, and found it challenging and fun at the same time.  I almost feel guilty that I am able to do ‘work’ that is so enjoyable!  Notice I said, “almost”!

Art, foxes, hounds
Detail of figures around edges of tiers

Hope you enjoyed viewing these!

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.




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.