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"Nice horsey" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

von Schwartz30 Apr 2020 7:44 p.m. PST

Hey, I'm doing a buncha French officers and according to the pints I've seen they seem kinda partial to black horses. I've tried and couple different shades of black, dark charcoal gray, and other shades of gray with washes. They all look kinda Bleeah! I live in horse country but I'd be damned if I can get the effect of that nice shiny black coat I see on many of the better horses down here. Does anyone have a good "SIMPLE" technique to get the effect I'm talking about?

Perris070730 Apr 2020 8:24 p.m. PST

Try highlighting your black with a dark blue.

Slow Oats30 Apr 2020 8:47 p.m. PST

Here's a picture of the kind of horse I think you mean:


There are two things to take note of in this picture: contrast and texture. Notice that the highlights on this horse are still very dull, even at their brightest. However, because of the stark jump in value between them it appears to us as very shiny. Notice also that the light looks kind of "fuzzy" on the horse because of its fur.

For a simple way to achieve this, I'd try using a stippling technique. Paint your horse black, and with some thinned grey paint start lightly tapping with the very tips of your bristles around where you want the highlights. After you've done that, get some slightly lighter grey and do the same for the very highest highlights. You're basically making a bunch of little tiny dots to give the horse texture, which will in turn make the contrast between the grey and black look more natural and shiny. It might be a little slow at first, but once you get the motion down it'll be no problem. Since you won't have to wait for washes to dry it might even save time in the long run.

An important thing to mention is to wick the excess paint off your brush before doing this. Just load up your brush with the thin paint and then tap it onto a paper towel. That way the paint will stay where you put it instead of pooling.

Mind you, I'm no expert, just a smart@$$. But this is what I think will work.

BillyNM30 Apr 2020 10:21 p.m. PST

The other commonly used technique is to put on a an undercoat than when completely dry a good thick coat of black – although I use knock the black back a bit to a very dark charcoal as pure black always looks unnatural to me on figures. Then when it's not yet dry wipe it with a rag (or you fingers – but that gets messy) to take off some of the paint of the higher areas. It'll take a bit of practise but can look very effective with extra marking stockings, etc. touched up later. I often use a very blue tinted grey as an undercoat and the technique can be used for many different horse colours. Practise a bit on some spare horses with this or other techniques like Slow Oats' above, and don't paint your favourite unit / figure first as you'll get better over time and the first units won't look as good… .

A Lot of Gaul01 May 2020 5:25 a.m. PST

I paint my black horses a very dark shade of gray (e.g. Army Painter's Necromancer Cloak), then wash with a black shader.

JMcCarroll01 May 2020 6:40 a.m. PST

Perhaps dry brush with a clear satin on areas that are to be shinny to finish it?

AICUSV01 May 2020 10:19 a.m. PST

I use true black only for the horse's eyes and tack. The general base color is something like German Grey, shadows are usually done it coal black (a blue black). High lighting ia done by generally lightening the Ger-gry a little at a time. Each time I lighten the color I cover a little less area.
I enjoy painting horses, they can be fun to do. Take your time and play with it, enjoy it.Good luck.

BuckeyeBob01 May 2020 11:13 a.m. PST
von Schwartz01 May 2020 6:50 p.m. PST

Thank you all for your input.

BTW, Slow Oats, for me being a smart@$$ is considered to be a compliment. (smile)

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