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© c. Caldwell 2015
Credit I can't find the gentleman to get permission to use his photo. But I'm looking

a copyrighted picture by C. Caldwell 2015

a copy righted picture of sea creatures by C. Caldwell and I am trying to bring his images to life!!!


I can't find the gentleman to get permission to use his photo. But I'm looking


© c. Caldwell 2015

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So maybe it was not copyrighted like I thought but am glad I found the owner of the picture and it was  a lady mom instead of a man....who raw.

  Also all the credit I give for the colors looking so good goes to the air brush...a pinch of color with lots of water

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Gene if a person handles the light colors first then I add a little darker to what's left of the first squirt, I don't have to clean out the little bottle so often. Plus who to say this or that color was not right for the ocean is large enough to have many shades of the same critter...

  The only place I used darker colors was the two areas of the coral. these colors are shades of the 24 different little bottles I bought at Michael's some time ago..

   I don't think there is any way to color this maple in very light shades unless one uses an air brush. A few drops of color with lots of water.. Was it Dan or who ask me about is it hard to clean the equipment as I go. Certainly not like the one quart cup and for sure the 2 quart rig I use to use all the time when refinishing furniture... It took lots of lacquer thinner back then but buying it 55 gal at a time it was 90 cents a gallon compared to about 15.00 bucks for one gallon at Walmart now.

  When through shooting water base paint I do run a little bottle of lacquer thinner through the air brush then leave a full bottle of thinner in the jar plus don't forget to put a tooth pick in the little air hole in top of the jar or the bottle will be empty in a few days. And a person just don't want any thing drying inside of those things...20 to 50 lbs of air pressure depending on what I am shooting and how little I want coming out the end. It does take a very steady hand for good results so practice practice

practice. Oh and did I mention any little scratches will show up big time. Sand paper, I never use a DA or random orbit sander only the regular shake rattle and roll sander...150 and 180 grit is all the largest numbers I ever use...I read where these guys goes 1000 on up to 4 or 5000, not necessary. In my opinion only but a waste of money.  

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Jess, you sure did Ms Caldwell's picture justice:TwoThumbsUp:

As long as you are sharing your painting techniques, how did you do the striped shells like that conch shell at the bottom?  Do you tape it off, or ?

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Cal, the only one I used any tape on was the three tone thing with a long sharp pointed right straight above the conch shell you ask about..I put the tape over the yellow for I was changing the color I had already but on the large portion and wanted a different color. I don't practice enough with the air brush and especially when using the cheap Michaels or HL water base paints is cheap enough to do much more practice also  you can crank in the spray fan and draw a line. But the smaller lines will show flaws easier..

Using a set of french curves I traced curved lines on to some clear plastic about 1/16" thick so I could bend it over the rounded things and get better lines that didn't show my shaky puddin and then only spray on every other lines so it would look two toned where the natural wood was one of the colors.. Blow up the picture and you can tell I two toned a few more but still learning for having the air brush in one hand and the piece to be sprayed in the other hand adds to the un even coverage.

  Sanding the pieces, the 1x42" disk-belt sander does about 75% of all the shaping of the pieces...I use two machines, one with a 60 grit and the other with an 80 grit belt. Belts can be changed very quickly if I only used one sander. I do use an oscillating drum sander quite a bit but not as often as the 1/42's. My finish sanding is done with a regular electric sander upside down  on top of the table saw sittin on a thick rubber pad. One hand to hole the sander and the other hand to hold the pieces....180 or 150 grit only.

Its easier to sand wood that is cupped out so most of what is in this picture is made that way. Sanding cupped in pieces takes maybe 10 times longer to smooth, thats the reason you don't see so many of them.

  Only the two groups of coral was brush painted and I did want them wilder in color.

Cal the silver gray cupped in critter next to the one you referenced I probably spent ten times longer to end up as smooth...

   Some of the smaller pieces I used a bit that is 1/8" round and made lots of the grooves and was smooth enough I didn't have to do any hand sanding....Its the longer small grooves that a persons hand has to be reshifted to continue that groove is where the quality of a good straight line goes haywire...This is the reason those 2 biggest shells has only drawn lines with the pencil and there I did use a piece of curved plastic for them.

 Go back to where I show the first picture with all the pieces finished but with no color added and a few pieces I changed the shapes completely before I added the colors. The big thing down in the bottom left was completely flat on the bottom side.

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