Monday, September 26, 2005

Painting Horses

I painted 17 horses over the weekend. Here's how:
  1. Clean up the castings
  2. Prime white. Cheap spray-paint works for me. It MUST be matt to give your nice paints something to grab onto. Nothing is worse than watching your paint "bead" on a surface you are trying to cover.
  3. Basecoat the horse. A nice warm brown. Don't apply the colour too thickly. It looks best with the undercoat "lighting" the colour from beneath.
  4. Apply a thinned wash of sepia ink to the whole miniature.
  5. Allow it to dry for at least a couple of hours.
  6. Mix up some orange with your base-coat colour. Go for a 2:1 ratio - in the oranges' favour. Wet-brush it all over the model working from top to bottom. As with the uniforms, the idea is to make it look as though the figure is being lit from above.
  7. After that's dried, give the whole model a "damp-brush" of almost pure orange. Don't be afraid to leave patches of pure colour.
  8. Apply a second wash of thinned ink. This will pull back your worst excesses with the orange paint.
  9. Allow it to dry for at least a couple of hours. Mow the lawn. Watch some telly. Read the newspaper.
  10. Get out your black and paint the eyes, manes, tails, hooves and any part of the leg you want to do with white "stockings", as well as any area on the horses' forehead that needs a "blaze". Similarly, every time the brush is running a little dry, dip it in your pot of water and paint fine lines wherever you want to define the edges of harness, muscles &c.
  11. Get out your white paint. Paint the "stockings" and "blazes". When your hands are really steady, put a miniscule point of white in each corner of the eyes, leaving most of the area in the original black.

One additional point is that slightly thinned paint that flows evenly is preferable than thickish paint that covers well. I would much rather give an area an extra coat than have my paint blob or cover a detail I was trying to paint. Make your paint about the consistency of milk and you can't go too far wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I paint my 15mm horses in much the same way, except that, liking some variation, I set up a range of 3 or 4 different brown paints and a similar range of `brown' inks. I then paint the horses in ranks of different paints and wash in files of different inks. The variations are subtle, but visible.