Watch the Video for the First 6 Tips
7. Set Aside Time
The fact that we paint in only one month is one of the challenges of NaMoPaiMo. It's a really fun month, but it can also slip past you before you know it.
I’ve found the best way to maximize NaMoPaiMo is to set aside small chunks of time just for painting. This is also great if you have a busy work or personal life schedule outside of the hobby. My biggest solution was to take my model to work with me and knock out the painting tasks that didn’t require an airbrush over lunch break. It was a guaranteed 30 mins of every day to myself in peace, without distractions.
If 30 mins is too long, try 10 or 15mins and try to set that time aside at least a couple times a week, if not daily.
8. Minimize Distractions
Another great reason to set aside small amounts of time is that it makes it easier to minimize distractions. I know it’s easier to tell my husband I’ll be in my studio for 20mins and need time to myself, and I know the animals won’t miss me much, than if I was there for a couple hours.
Identify the things that pull you away from models and try to arrange quiet time away from those distractions, for as long as you can. If it’s notifications from social media, put your phone on “do not disturb.”
9. Connect Locally or Online
My top favorite part of NaMoPaiMo, and why I get excited for it every year, is the connectivity. The group is FANTASTIC at sharing ideas, critique and even just cheering each other on. It's an amazing pep talk and inspiration. Plus, the critiques are valuable even for the more experienced artists (think of it as many, many "second pair of eyes" to check your work.
I highly recommend connecting online for this reason. The Facebook group is the number one thing to check out, but follow #NaMoPaiMo and #NaMoPaiMo2020 on Instagram and other platforms to find hobbyists sharing on those social media sites as well. YouTube is another great place to find artists painting horses, and to share vlogs of your own work.
Finally, while not all of us are closely located to other hobbyists, if you can find prepping and painting parties near you, I highly recommend attending what you can*. There's just something unmatched about getting real-time, one-on-one feedback and then there's the camaraderie of chatting with a fellow group of like-minded, horse-loving artists.
If you are a minor, especially a younger one, please be sure to loop your parents in before reaching out online or meeting, as with any internet safety practices.
10. Remember to Take Breaks
Don’t burn yourself out, especially if you are working on a potentially complex paintwork like a pinto or appaloosa. Take little breaks and return to it feeling refreshed. This can also help you spot problem areas you might struggle with, if you can approach it with fresh eyes.
11. Accept Defeat (It Happens, & It's Totally Ok)
Failure, and even mistakes, are a part of the artistic process. They can actually help you grow as an artist if you accept them as part of the process and learn from them. I’ve learned so much from my own mistakes through the years because they show me exactly why things don’t work.
I see so many artists who get frustrated with defeat, and give up. They stunt their chances for growth, or give up painting entirely. Others are so afraid to make mistakes that they never push themselves, and so they never grow as artists. Embrace mistakes and defeat, and move on to the next project so you can grow.
12. Don't Be Afraid to Start Over
In a similar vein to tip 11, don’t be afraid to back up a few steps and try again. Strip your horse if you have to, and repaint. I’ve often found that my work is better the second time around, so if you’re not happy, back up a step and try again!
13. Embrace the Learning Experience
I had a professor who told my painting class to take everything we painted for the next few years and burn it, because it wasn’t going to be good. His method was very harsh, but there was a point. Our early attempts are usually not great. However, I won’t say burn your first attempts, lol, as I feel that’s destruction of valuable learning tools. It also erases the proof of how you have grown as an artist.
But since most of our early attempts won’t be great, I will instead encourage you to embrace them as learning tools and love them just as much as the later, better work you will create. Remember to push through them, grow as an artist, and keep them to show that proof. Even when they completely fail, you’ll learn so much from them, and that is just as valuable, if not more, than a perfect first attempt.
Remember that with practice you are going to be great. You’ll get there. In the meantime, embrace the learning experience.
Credits and Resources
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS FOR CONTRIBUTING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FOR MY NAMOPAIMO VIDEO SERIES:
- Jennifer Buxton, Braymere Custom Saddlery (and founder of NaMoPaiMo) https://braymere.blogspot.com/
- Cindy Evans-Yates of Knight's Tale Studio https://www.facebook.com/KnightsTaleStudio/
- Toni Rakestraw
- Summer Riley-Simpson
JOIN THE NAMOPAIMO FACEBOOK GROUP!
- Join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/234123470349077/
OTHER NAMOPAIMO 2020 VIDEOS:
- What is NaMoPaiMo? And How to Get Started
- 7 Fun & Easy NaMoPaiMoPrepping Tips
- My NaMoPaiMo Horses and How I Made Them
- NaMoPaiMo 2020 Video Playlist
Part of the customizing with Blue Mountain Stable and Kristen Taylor series; short and easy guides to all things model horses and model horse customizing. Subscribe for more tutorials and follow my social media (links below) for regular tips and behind-the-scenes looks. And if you have an idea for an upcoming video, feel free to drop a comment in any of my videos. Happy customizing!
OTHER VIDEOS YOU MIGHT LIKE
- The Ultimate Guide On How To Paint Model Horse White Markings
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- Sculpting Stablemate Ears Part 2
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MORE FROM BLUE MOUNTAIN STABLE ON WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA:
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- Blog: http://www.bluemountainstable.com/blog
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- YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BlueMountainStable
Follow me on social media for tips, WIPS and behind-the-scenes looks into how I paint and sculpt model horses and Breyer horses. Thanks for watching!
"Forgiveness," by Patrick Patrikios, YouTube Audio Library.
The author of this blog and a model horse customizer, painter, and sculptor.
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