Internship Part 2

So, as promised I wanted to explain the second part of my internship. While developing my portfolio I also needed a source of income. I know many of my colleagues have Etsy shops where they sell cool handmade stuff, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I should make.   I looked into creating hand-painted light-switch plates, but realized that there was only about 10 dollars in profit to be made from each light-switch plate. I have a love of horses and used to have dozens of plastic horse toys when I was a kid, so last year while surfing the internet I stumbled upon a hobby that was right up my alley; model horses. These aren’t your 4 year old’s toys, many of these models are worth thousands of dollars and are considered pieces of art. Giant conventions are held where people compete their models in a variety if categories, such as workmanship (how well painted and accurate they are) and performance (put them in a set up such as show jumping and try to be as accurate to life as possible). I had wonderful luck to be contacted last spring by a local sculptor in the hobby, Lisa Sharpe, who helped me learn how to prepare the model horses, made of resin, for painting. So, as part of my internship I started painting these models for sale.

Above: This is the first model I completed and put up for sale. He’s only about 4 inches tall and fits in your palm.

As you can see this hobby is all about creativity and involves many different artistic skills. I learned how to airbrush so that I could base-coat my models smoothly with acrylics. I learned about preparing resin surfaces to take paint. I learned a lot about different methods of applying oils so that they are smooth and lint-free, as well as what sealants to use. I learned how to photograph the models as accurately as possible (although I definitely need to improve).  And finally, I used my knowledge of graphic design for the type, and hand painted the background with watercolours.

Being primarily a digital artist, I find this hobby also helps to fulfill my desire to create a physical thing. There is something so satisfying about having a physical object that you have created, that’s not just displayed on a monitor.


First off I’d like to say thank you for your interest in my work. For anyone that doesn’t personally know me,  I’m an illustration student at Sheridan College. In our third year, we are required to do a 420 hour co-op. After going through dozens of co-ops that I had absolutely no interest in (and weren’t paid to boot!) I decided to propose a business plan and do a freelance internship. So currently I am just over a month into my internship so I thought that I might share some thumbnails of things I am working on.

Just a silly little doodle I did, I might develop it further for practice.

This is an image I’m intending on submitting to Threadless. As you can see I’m in the process of digitally inking it. Also, gas masks are harder to draw than I expected.

So I recently watched a tutorial by Brad “Cryptcrawler” Rigney and it inspired me to try some of his techniques.  I’ve only just started on it, but if I’ve learned anything from him, it’s that I need to invest at least a hundred hours into it before I decide its garbage (a problem I suffer from constantly!).

Over the past month I have also been working on a side business I have but that is best left for another post.