Painting Tips Part 8

VIII: A primer on painting ponies (Part Two)

Back in June I got just a wee tad overenthuastic in posting painting tips to the historical NG. Several people have brought it to my attention that its been six weeks since I posted anything new on this particular subject and as I promised to explain how I went about slapping paint on horsies, it would only be right and fair that I do so

BASIC METHOD: The following describes my basic process for painting a horse. I always completly finish the horse and its saddle furniture before I paint any colors on the rider.

a) Paint the base green.

b) Block-in the horse's primary coat color - this will always be lighter in tone than what you expect the horse to look like when finished.

c) Once the primary coat color has dried throughly, completely stain it with a much darker color (as described in each individual horse section).

d) Once dried, give the coat a wash with a dark color (as detailed). Allow to dry thoroughly.

e) Block-in the hooves - I use a khaki color although some people prefer charcoal black.

f) If the horse type has a dark cannon or muzzle, block-in the base color.

g) Block-in the mane and tail with a base color and allow to dry.

h) Stain the cannon/muzzle (if required) and tail/mane with a color as described in the particular horse section.

i) Paint the cuffs and blazes - I prefer to vary the horse's markings by not marking each horse's forehead or the same legs.

j) Paint the saddle cloth, including edging and bags.

k) Paint the saddle (if visible) and the leather harness.

l) Paint the rider, starting from the boots up - see the text file for more details of my particular method for painting infantrymen for further
instructions.

NOTE ON PAINTS: "CC" indicates Ceramcoat by Delta, "PS" indicates the original Polly-S brand (not the new Polly-scale which I have yet to try) and "RP" indicates Partha Paints by Ral Partha. "Pure" indicates a standard color where no description is necessary.

Painting BLACK horses:

Black horse

Primary coat color : CC Hippo Grey - a medium grey with no blue tone.
Coat stain: CC Charcoal - a very dark grey, almost black.
Coat wash: "Pure" Black.

Cannon / muzzle : As coat.
Mane / tail: "Pure" black. I will often drybrush Hippo Grey as a highlight.
White cuffs / blazes?: Yes, in any combination.

Painting LIGHT CHESTNUT horses:

Chestnut 2 horse

Primary coat color: CC Toffee Brown - a medium tan.
Coat stain: CC Brown Velvet - a very dark, rich brown.
Coat wash: "Pure" Black.

Cannon / Muzzle: As coat.
Mane / tail: Either blocked CC Hippo Grey and stained CC Charcoal OR blocked CC Light Chocolate (a very pale tan) and stained CC Spice Brown (a medium brown with strong reddish tone). I will typically paint half my light chestnuts with "black" manes/tails and the remainder tan.
White cuffs / blazes?: Yes, in any combination.

Painting DARK CHESTNUT horses:

Dark Chestnut horse

Primary coat color: PS Venetian Dull Red - similar to red oxide primer, but darker.
Coat stain: A mix of two colors in equal parts - CC Brown Velvet (see above) and 'pure' black.
Coat wash:' pure' black

Cannon / Muzzle: Blocked CC Brown Velvet and stained 'pure' black.
Mane / tail: Blocked CC Charcoal and stained 'pure' black.
White cuffs / blazes?: No.

Note: I typically have a 3:1 ratio of light chestnut horses to dark chestnut horses in my cavalry units, with light chestnut predominating.

Painting DARK BAY horses:

Dark Bay horse

Primary coat color : CC Spice Brown.
Coat stain: A mix of two colors in equal parts - CC Brown Velvet and "Pure"
Black.
Coat wash: "Pure" Black.

Cannon / Muzzle: Blocked PS Grimy Black and stained "Pure" Black.
Mane / tail: Blocked "Pure" black, drybrush highlighted with CC Hippo Grey.
White cuffs / blazes?: Not typically.

Painting LIGHT BAY horses:

Dark Bay horse

Primary coat color: Ral Partha Khaki.
Coat stain: A mix of two colors in equal parts - CC Toffee Brown and CC Spice Brown.
Coat wash: CC Brown Velvet

Cannon / Muzzle: Blocked CC Spice Brown and stained "Pure" Black.
Mane / tail: Blocked CC Hippo Grey and stained CC Charcoal.
White cuffs / blazes?: Not typically.




Whew! That should cover your basic brown and black horses. Next time I'll deal with paler shades like duns, greys and whites.

  • Gettin' Good: An introduction, explanation and disclaimer.
  • Part 1: How to get good at painting? A professional's opinion.
  • Part 2: How to get good at painting? Dissenting opinions are heard.
  • Part 3: The selection, care and feeding of brushes.
  • Part 4: Questions and answers from the gentle readers.
  • Part 5: A primer on using stains and washes.
  • Part 6: Ragged Rebs (or painting irregular units in a regular way).
  • Part 7: Painting Ponies I. Just what sort of beast is that, anyway?
  • Part 8: Painting Ponies II. Your basic black, brown and chestnut horses.
  • Part 9: Painting Ponies III. Fancies - whites, greys, duns and finishing touches.
  • Part 10: A primer on stripes, checks and tartan plaids.