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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Needle-Felted Tiger

This is my FIRST needle-felting animal, it's a Siberian tiger:

I'm in the middle of making an Okapi too, I'm quite pleased how it's turning out, I'll post pictures when I've finished.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Step by Step: How to Paint a Somali Giraffe

Step 1: This is an AAA Giraffe, which I will paint with acrylics into a Somali (Reticulated) Giraffe.  The first thing to do is lightly sand the model down, getting rid of any unwanted bumps or mould lines.  The first lot of pictures are of the model sanded down ready to paint.

Step 2: Make sure the model isn't greasy as the paint will not go on very well otherwise.  Once it is clean and smooth, put your first coat of white paint on. 
You will see, from this picture above, that there are still areas that are showing through... You will need a second coat of white paint.  Don't be afraid of putting it on nice and thick, but make sure there are no lumpy bits and all is smooth...  wait for it to dry
with second coat of paint
Step 3: Now that the model is fully covered, with no bits showing through from the old paint-job, you can put your third coat of paint on.  But this time mix a light yellowy colour... white, yellow and a bit of Burnt Sienna (reddish-brown).  Don't bother to paint the mane or the tip of the tail.  Wait for the paint to dry.
Step 4: Get some white and mix it with water on a plate. This is a wash, which you will evenly spread over the whole model; it's to dull the yellow colour you've just put on, so make the white paint quite watery but don't over do it.
Step 5: With the latter done, start painting the spots.  Don't get too excited and start painting the best bits i.e. eyes, horns, mane, tail and hooves; I always leave them till last.
Mix a red-brown colour, Burnt Sienna and a little yellow.  The first coat of the spots doesn't matter too much; it's just to mark out where the spots will go.  The spots continue onto its belly and a little way down the legs, getting smaller as they reach the knee.
I think it's best to start on the neck and work down.

Step 6: Having finished painting the undercoat on the spots, mix a darker colour for the second layer.  Again Burnt Sienna, yellow, a tiny bit of black and a bit of orange.  Don't mix too much black in, or you'll get a muddy colour.
In this picture you can see where I've started with the second spot colour.
Don't paint the spots with the darker colour on the lower part of the legs, I will explain in a second.
Step 7: With the spots done, you can add detail.  So mix some watery white paint and put a wash over the areas that I have encircled below:
Put this wash also on the inside of all the legs right to the top and over its belly.
Step 8: Now for the fun part! Mix a dark brown (Burnt Sienna, bit of black and yellow) for the nose and up the middle of the face to the forehead.  After that colour is on and dried, add a few spots, almost black, for a faded pattern.

Then mix a lighter, more sandy colour, Burnt Sienna, white, yellow. Get some on your brush then wipe it on some kitchen towel, so that it almost dries the paint out - it's called "dry brush technique"; this will give a 'dust' like effect over the dark brown and faded spots. Black out the nostrils, and you can put a few highlights on the nose.
Step 9: You can use the same dark colour you used on the middle of the face, for the horns. Then useing the "dry brush technique" put a dusting of white on top.
For the ears, first paint the insides black then mix a sandy colour and paint fine lines over the black to give the effect of hairs.  Finish with some white highlights over the sandy colour as you can see in the final picture.
Step 10: Now add the finishing touch to all the spots. Again make some watery white paint and with a small brush go round the edge of all the spots. This gives a very nice softening effect and covers any mistakes.
Step 11: Finally you can paint the eyes, mane, tail and hooves.
Eyes: mix a dark brown colour (Burnt Sienna, black and a little yellow). This will be the colour of the iris.  Then paint the black horizontal pupil, which is like a goat's or sheep's.  Paint black around the giraffe's eye.  Then you can put one or two little white dots in the eye, like a glint.  To give more depth to the eye, paint just below it a grey line, as you can see in the picture:

Mane: Mix Burnt Sienna with a little orange and yellow for the base colour. Add some highlights using a lighter sandy colour and a darker brown.
Tail: Simple, Giraffe's tails are black, but you can add some highlights like dark brown and even a little white.
Hooves: Mix a grey colour then add yellow, this should give you an almost green colour, paint the hooves.  You can put a grey wash over it if you like. Then once they're dry, paint the cloven hoof line with a dark grey colour.  After that the dry brush technique comes into play for the last time - dust over the hooves.
So now you have completed your Giraffe!  And your finished model should look something like this:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, they were on the chicken shed.
Most of them were about 12 inches long

A cute picture of two Blue Tits and a Robin
And snow piled up on some of this summer's flower heads

Monday, 13 December 2010

Mosaic Leaves

I'd just come back from a walk and I saw that the roses had a wonderful frost on them, making them look almost like a Mosaic.  It was really beautiful.

The Broom shrub looked rather fantastic too

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Bongo Antelope

While waiting for a Bongo Antelope from my friend Ana, I painted one in Acrylics. 
And... I had a wonderful surprise this morning, Ana's Bongo arrived!