Mustang logo done. Onto the bald eagle face…

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! I hope that you spend it with your loved ones, fur babies included!

There isn’t much to say about my genealogy efforts, although I did find a number of family member on Facebook so that is great! Now I need to pick their brain for all the missing information….

I finished my drawing of the Mustang logo and it turned out rather nice if I can say so myself. Never drew anything metal-like so it was a nice change -and challenge- and something I can use for my dog portraits if they wear a collar.

astrid_mustang

Now for my next project I might be a little too ambitious but I’m going to give it a valiant try. It’s the head of a bald eagle and I would like to draw it very realistic; after all, that is what I am practicing for and practice makes perfect, right?

Set up the sketch and worked some on the eye yesterday evening. Instead of using a ball stylus to indent (something I am used to use for (white) dog hairs) I am going old school and do the real negative drawing to make the feathers stand out.

DSCF2265enhanced

This is the sketch. Not much to look at right now but I do hope I’ll have the eye done by next week; maybe more of the feathers that go around the eye and work my way around from there.

Hope everyone is staying warm with this cold winter. Time for Spring to spring!!

Glass eyes: what is 1st and 2nd quality?

I know I haven’t been posting as I should, but I have been busy. Right now I have 1 “Floating Wizard” almost ready, working on 2 Dobbies at the same time and trying to make a Severus Snape.

We’ve been watching Harry Potter movies as you can tell and they just want me to make them. Snape isn’t going the way I want him to look so maybe I should practice a bit more with sculpting faces before I actually start on something that needs to resemble ‘someone’?

I’ll post pictures soon…

Up to now I have been experimenting with making eyes myself, but thought to look into glass eyes. I found some ‘seconds’ on eBay and thought to bid on them. Really happy that I won the auction until I received them.

One is blue and one is grey! The description was “5mm grey glass eyes ‘seconds’ “. Of course you would expect to get 2 grey eyes, right? I can understand the whole meaning behind the ‘seconds’ eyes, that they might not be completely round or that the pupil/iris isn’t completely centered but 2 different colors??

Of course I contacted the seller and the explanation was as follows:

“The reason for your eyes not matching is that you purchased “Seconds”, which is Second Quality Eyes. Here is the information from the eyes listing, kindly read the last line.

“To provide you with a beautiful pair of eyes, we painstakingly hand-match and check each pair – for size, color and symmetry.

They come as pairs on two ends of a single wire. We cut the wire in two, shuffle them and then take a magnifying glass and re-match them pair after pair, making sure the color and the size is the same, that the pupils are centered and that the irises are round.

To our knowledge, we are the only ones who go through this trouble and still keep the prices competitive.

Less than perfect eyes pairs are sold as seconds. They make whimsical fun eyes for critters, trolls, goblins and witches.”

I read and re-read the description of the First Quality and the Second Quality eyes but could not find anywhere that you could expect 2 different colors, so here is my reply:

I completely understand the idea behind the “seconds” eyes. I’ve bought them before and I know they can be less round or the iris isn’t completely centered and that is okay. Also read what is in the listing “The only trouble with them is that they are hand-crafted (they cannot be stamped out like acrylic or plastic eyes), thus minute differences in size of the pupil, iris and coloring are more common then we would like.”

I can also understand if there is a difference in the color, one could be darker grey than the other but what I have now is 2 completely different colors. I have 1 blue eye and 1 grey eye and the difference in color is huge. Aren’t ‘seconds’ supposed to be about) the same color too? I wish I could attach a picture so you could see what I mean….

Kinds regards,”

The reply to this one got me completely baffled:

 “Yes, 1st quality eyes are matched for everything, 2nd quality eyes are absolutely random*. That is why they are called Silly eyes for Goblins and Witches and such and sold at half the price. If you don’t have any plans to make goblins, trolls and witches, they are, of course, of no use to you – no problem, i will be glad to take them back and give you a refund,…..”

(*I made this bold to make it jump out more)

Can be completely random??? Why list them then as “5mm GREY eyes seconds”??? There is nowhere in any description of any eyes sold there that these eyes can even be of random color. As I mentioned in my reply to the seller, I’ve bought them before because who doesn’t like winning an auction and get glass eyes for around $2? But they’ve always been the same color.

Of course this made me look online for glass eyes and I found that this seller isn’t even cheap. I can get a pair of 3 and 4mm first quality glass eyes for less than the “Buy it now” price for their ‘second’ quality eyes.

Here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about…

Darn, I should stop biting my nails LOL

I’m not sure if I want to send them back eventhough it is nice to know I can. Not every seller on eBay is easy about these things… I could use them for my “Mad-eye Moody” I want to make too and when you look at them, they look more like misplaced 1st quality eyes. They are too pretty to be ‘seconds’…

What is your opinion about ‘second’ quality eyes in this case?

Hope you’ll have a great day!

Thor on the back burner, show, gourds, and Chester

I should have posted last week, but I have been busy getting ready for a local Arts & Crafts show that we had last Saturday. Thor has been put on the back burner because I still had some gourd birds I needed to finish and had to put some flower arrangements together. Why I don’t know since this was the worst show I’ve ever been to. All day long we had people walking into our booth, telling us how great everything looks but we didn’t sell one single thing… Last year wasn’t that great either and with this year’s experience it shows that this is just not the venue for our art.

Here are some of the (small) birds I took with me. I have to take more pictures, also of the flowers.

Gourd birds

Gourd birds

The day was long, got up at 5am to pack everything onto the truck, extremely hot and we packed up before the show was over because there was a thunderstorm coming. It did give me time to work more on Chester, a Springer Spaniel I am drawing for a good friend of mine in the UK. I promised to draw Chester for her after he passed away last year but I’ve been too busy with other things. I reckon that big black cap was putting me off too! But, I am getting there now, started to give the basic black to the cap, still have to start on the gown and of course it needs a LOT of details still. Thought to show you though…

Chester

Goats are about finished

I have about finished Thor’s 2 goats, Tanngrisni and Tanngnost. Only have to paint the horns, or give them a wash with brown acrylic paint, and paint the eyes. I will do that part once they’re hanging in front of the chariot to pinpoint the direction they look at.

Some time ago I saved a part of a jacket that was being thrown out, always thought I could use it for ‘something’. This is what I have used for the hair on the goats.

Goat hair

Goat hair

What I like about this is that it has a variation of the neutral colors and it has some black in there.

First I made some flocking for the parts that doesn’t have the long hair, like the head and the legs.

For the longer hair, I’ve cut it off like you would do with Tibetan Lamb wool for a wig and then I glued the longer hair on the body in overlapping sections, starting on the back. It still needs to be ‘styled’ though. I’d like to hang them suspended in the air in front of the chariot and make the hair flowing back to give the illusion of movement.

Goats2

Goats

Goats top

On the picture showing the top of the goats you can see the parting on the back, where I have glued the hair against the direction of the flow and folded it over to hide the glue line. The piece of wood is there to hold them upright since their feet aren’t all touching the ground.

As for Thor himself, he needs his hands to be attached and his feet still need to be sculpted but I first need to make the chariot to see how they will stand on there.

Something entirely different: Kender (our Chocolate Labrador) is growing so fast and keeps on growing! She is almost 10 months now and she doesn’t look anything like the little puppy we brought home

Smokey and Kender 8-10-2011

Smokey checking out Kender, who is 6 weeks in this picture.

Kender

Kender sleeping on the couch, 6 weeks old

Kender

Kender almost 10 months old, all laid out and sleeping on the couch. She sees the green pillow as a toy, hence the corner being chewed off. Where did that small, square headed, blue-eyed dog go?

Had to share this one! Have a great day!