Monday, August 12, 2013

WIP Trials & Errors: My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Blank Pony

W.I.P. Trials & Errors: 
My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Blank Pony

So, in my first blog entry, I wrote about my unboxing of my blank My Little Pony that  purchased from Hasbro's website, the Grape Kool-aid hair dying, and that's pretty much it...

Protecting the hair with curlers, masking tape, plastic zipper bags, and staples.
Close-up of the main from the back of the "scalp" after separating it into 2 sections.
 Better close-up.

Now, I gotta remove the head for a while... This is the back of the head again.
The head from the side, after removing it from the body.
Here's the body & the head separated.

However, I've been working on this, (weather permitting) for nearly a month now. I'm up in New England (Greater Boston) so we are prone to the local humidity, which is especially vicious in the summer...

Unfortunately, my first paint I chose, hoping to match with the burgundy hair, went disastrously wrong! 

The paint & the colors REALLY won't show in the photo!
You can find more disastrous ml paint jobs HERE.  
D-: }

If your pony paint job looks bad like this: START OVER! 
Like I did! ;)
 Usually, when you're painting a figure especially a white one, you need to add a darker color if you want to use metalic paints, or if you want to use a light metalic color, you can use a base color similar to your metalic color first...

however, this paint was just awful! after the 8th coat I was REALLY troubled because it still looked like a 1st coat of paint, would show up on the photos because the camera couldn't see the neon colors, and was very low in pigments. It also kept being gloppy, or would rub off.

So, I had no choice but to grab the paint remover (ethyl acetate like nail polish remover) and remove it all!Despite how easily it rubbed off when working with it, the paint removal took almost an hour because it was so thick & gloppy!

Finally, I started a test paint with a different purple paint, that was glossy. Much better result and only required about 3 coats! THAT'S what I'm looking for!


This was my test paint coat #1 with a light purple that was the glossy paint.

 You will need masking fluid for the eyes.

 You must apply the masking fluid to the eyes, which you can remove later to reveal the blank white eyes, so you can add the details, like eyeballs.
 Be careful when using this, it's latex (which I'm technically allergic to... mildly) but, it can DESTROY your paint brushes. So, get "Goo Gone", or a paint thinner, to help you remove it from the brush bristles immediately!

 This was just my 1st coat, so you can still see the white through it. I had to paint 1 side, and let it dry AND SET for a few hours before I could paint the other side.
 If you want to have a somewhat good, or better, project, then you must learn to be patient. 

pay attention to the paint on the brush. If it's gloppy, sloppy, clumpy, or leaves streaks, just take a moment to WASH THE BRUSH OFF, and start over. It WON'T KILL YOU! 

Be sure your paint isn't too tacky, too wet, too dry, but JUST the right consistency!

Also, learn how to use your fingers to squeeze off the excess water. You don't want the water you just used to rinse it off to water-down the paint that you need to work with. 

Rushing will make an ugly project. Be patient. 

But, also, LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. Just like me. I had to START ALL OVER. BUT, it was WORTH IT! See?


Let's face it, the box is so plain & white, and BLANK, that it is JUST SCREAMING to be decorated!

From the get-go, I've been wanting to do a simple paisley design, but also include my logo. 

So, that's exactly what I did!

But, also I wanted to make this a simple process, because... let's face it! Other than the typical My Little pony customized ponies, they're pretty much all the vintage ponies that are usually all beat up, and have the hair redone... I want to STICK with the hair it already has, and this is a specifically brand named product made by Hasbro JUST for being decorated... so, it could be done by the serious professional artist/craftsman/artisan doll-maker/toymaker/customizer, or let's face it: KIDS!

When I first started doing my research, I was noticing that what started by adults years ago (usually by my generation that grew up with the original ponies in the 80s) has naturally caught onto kids...
Well, of course! Duh! It's toys! It's ponies! And, people like doing crafts, regardless of age...

However, I was dumbfounded that so many kids were entirely clueless as to what they were doing... I found countless videos of so-called "tutorials" of children video recording themselves "customizing" a pony, but it turned out that they'd NEVER done it before, had NO TRAINING in art, let alone anything decent in even crafts, or painting... also didn't cite any sources (but they're kids, and most likely don't know what that means, let alone how, nor that that ought to) and would openly admit "I have never done this before", "I don't know what exactly I'm doing", "This is my first try", or "I don;t know why, but I read that I should do this somewhere.". 


My heart really goes out to you kids. I realize you're very innocent, and really don't know much about it, and also don't have any sort of mentor figure. And, I'm sure that some of the stuff published by adults, might at times be a bit above the level you can understand yet... so, don't beat yourself up. 

But, I'm sure deep down inside, you'd rather do something much nicer that you won't regret sometimes, and toss out as junk, when your hormones start to influence your mind later on... 

So, I must emphasize that it might behoove you to start taking a basic painting class, and learn how to really use paintbrushes. Learn about paint consistently, brush strokes, blending, etc. Just this simple basic stuff will make your projects that much better once you have the better fundamentals of how to use paints. I've helped so many kids since I was a kid, and even adults when I was still a kid, so I get it.

But, that is my point. I'm doing this very simple, as an example for especially children, young people, and those new to this (since I know that My Little pony is so popular).


For starters, I'm using my vintage Professional graphic art markers. They can blend, and they can be used to blend colors TOGETHER in gradients or shades, and even in highlights. Now, these are incredibly expensive markers! They are worth EVERY penny, but they won't be a good choice for a child.

But, you can use regular markers, colored pencils, paints, pastels, mixed media, etc.

If you a a kid reading this, I would urge you to take some real design & painting classes, learn blending, layout, negative space, French curves, inking, professional comic book art or pro manga art, or Gongbi Chinese painting. It's all basic fundamentals, but if you are new to this, just experiment with your regular markers, pencils, etc.

 Now, I also am doing a mixed media. That means I'm using multiple tools for coloring. After these markers dry, I will go over with some "highlighting" using either colored pencils, or pastels.

But, like I said, I'm keeping it VERY simple.

A shot of my vintage Pantone TRIA makers. I got mine in 1999 at the art college I went to (Art Institute of Philadelphia).

These were manufactured in England, and they blend fantastically! You can let them dry, and ad more color, or blend them with other colors. They also look different when wet than dry.

 These are called TRIA PANTONE by Latraset
(in case you wanted to know).

These markers last so long, and if you can find someone selling an old vintage set, you will be surprised at how well they keep. You know the phrase:
They don't make them like they used to!"

There are newer ones of them for sale as well.

Either way, they will cost a lot of money.

But, you needn't be a pro to decorate this stuff.

Like I was saying, I wanted a basic paisley design, like mehndi. I figure most kids these days know what mehndi are, and have most likely done those. If you haven't look up both paisley & mehndi in your favorite search engine, like Yahoo or Google, and really research some examples.

Now, I must admit, I'm rather out of practice with sketching lately, so to me my logo isn't my best, obviously... I've done several variations on my logo... but, like I was saying, I wanted it to be simple anyway. So, I did. This is what you would call a silhouette. But, I also did this to show how easy it was to use DESIGN to incorporate the paisley designs with my logo, the pony logo, etc. I also have my signature on it. You can see I used simple lotus blossoms, dots, teardrops, chilly peppers, and colors.

It's not very hard at all. Just simple.

I started to draw my basic shapes or designs on first using a 3H graphite pencil. You can buy those very cheaply in art art supply store. It's a VERY light led.

The 2nd design I made on a blank side of the box incorporates hearts, loutus blossoms, paisley, rain drops motif, and a peppermint candy design.

Very very simple! See?

Anybody can do this.

you just need to be patient, don't rush, and ENJOY YOURSELF in the profess!

Here is my 3rd side of the box DESIGN I made.

You will notice that it's a paisley that looks like a ponytail!

But, I made the shapes & designs of it to resemble that of a rooster tail (tail feathers).

You can see a solar motif with clouds & a rainbow, and more lotus blossoms, raindrops, and dots.

Even tho' I'm using a more professional grade of art tools, doesn't mean that you can't do this with regular stuff.

If you want to decorate your box, it's entirely up to you how to do that. Also, keep in mind that there is a stamped number on the back of the box.

This is all the work I have done on mine so far.

If you would like to follow the progress of this work please see my Google+ profile's gallery here.

I am also on Deviant Art.

I have a fanpage on FaceBook, and you can follow me on Twitter.

And, I will be uploading some videos about this project on my YouTube channel.

If you have any legitimate questions about art, you can write them here on the blog, or address them to me on Deviant Art.

If you're just a troll-brony, obviously you're just gonna do whatever... so, whatever... comment, boast, gripe, criticize, whatever... If you're a jerk, whatever... I don't care... I wrote this to help artists, newbies, and kids...

Friday, August 02, 2013

Other Photos Windstone Editions PYO Kirin & Winged Wolf

Other Photos or my Painted Figures...

Kirin & Winged Wolf 
Paint-Your-Owns (PYOs)

By "Black UniGryphon" (Kandice Kathleen Zimbleman)

My original painted figures blog post is found HERE

Thursday, August 01, 2013

My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Blank Pony

I stumbled across the My Little Pony Decorate Your Own Blank Pony PYO/DIY completely by accident!

If you haven't seen my other PYO stuff such as Windstone Editions you can find the WIPs on my FaceBook Fan Page Photo Album Gallery HERE, or my Official Windstone Editions PYO Approved HERE.

Here is the Blog Post I made about all the figures I Painted.
You can also find me on Deviant Art

So, when I stumbled across them just recently, and earned a few dollars (since I'm totally broke), I got one! I got mine HERE.

Before I got the pony, I searched in vain to find a finished pony, but never found any. I could only find just blank ones, or other ones that came with markers. Well, this isn't that.

I originally assumed this would be the tiny FIM ponies, but when I got it, I was surprised at how much bigger it was than I thought!

I will compare it to the My Little Pony toys from the 2000s.

I will also be putting out an unboxing/review video on my YouTube Channel. (with my daughter "SaverCat")

Now compare the blank pony to the older ponies!

 See??? Very similar! 

This is what she looks like out of the box. Her hair is VERY messy!

So, since it's like I was saying, there's already a number of just blank ponies on the net right now. But, I haven;t found ANY WIS, nor finished DIY/PYO blank Ponies yet.

So, I'll be sharing mine... what I got so far is what I did with the hair...

The texture of the hair is distinctly like a Barbie head of hair to the touch, and entirely different than typical Pony hair.

Also, I used grape Koolaid to dye the hair...  

Ironically, it made the hair burgundy, and NOT purple!

Koolaid dyes the hair very quick because of the citric acid, so you don't need to add vinegar. But, the blue pigments don't take to the hair fibers like the red pigments in the Koolaid do. I had to dip the hair many times, to get a richer color, and sometimes slight purple streaks could be seen...

 However, the pony body & brush won't accept any of the coloring....

 I plan on painting the pony with the kinds of paints I usually use on other figures I painted.

So.... as you can see, she isn't finished yet...

But, if you would like to follow the progress of this pony you can follow my FaceBook fan page

Thanx for reading!

* For more info on Windstone Editions PYO and painting techniques, see the Windstone Editions' Info page. See also their PYO  tutorial download document.