Thursday, June 27, 2013

How I do a Bay using Pigments and Pastels Part 1

I haven't done a tutorial in a while and figured since I have been doing a lot of bays lately I might as well show you how I do one.

Supplies -

  • Prepped Model
  • Various shades of pastels/pigments - You don't have to use the exact colors I listed - it all depends on what shade you're going for.
    • burnt sienna
    • light and dark yellow ocher
    • various shades of brown
    • black
    • titanium white
  • Cut down brushes/ Q-tips/ What ever you use to apply your pastels/pigments
  • Matte and Semi Gloss acrylic sealer such as Krylon 

Now I start out finding a reference picture. You can look in magazines, breed books, the internet - basically anything that has pictures of horses will work. I used Google to find this dude -

photo from the Jockey Club
Next step is to pick your model. You can switch this step and the first it's just that earlier this year I went on a prepping frenzy and now have several models waiting for clothing. The model I chose was the Breyer Classic Cutting Horse.

The next step is to sock or buff your horse. This is just rubbing your horse with a clean white sock to knock anything down that would cause grain. Grain is just little dots of darker color that pop up and take forever to work out, so you want to avoid it at all cost. It is cause by any tiny divots in the primer/sealer or by going to dark to fast. Rubbing with a sock is the same as sanding with a high grit sand paper, but your not risking sanding off primer.

Going off of your reference picture, it is time to choose your lightest color. I usually go with a mix of light yellow ocher and dark yellow ocher pigments. I use pigments because of their richer colors, the fact that it comes pre-ground, and they have no binders so it takes less layers than regular pastels that come in sticks. I get my pigments from here. After the yellow ocher is sealed in I laid down a light layer of natural sienna to get this color.

If I was making him more of a blood bay I would lay down a few layer of red before I move on to the next step - I would use burnt sienna, natural red ect. Since I'm making him more brownish toned I went straight in with Brown 610. This is a very strong color and can go very dark very fast so if you are you using this color be careful. In between some layers, I use semi-gloss spray because it seems to make the color more vibrant. This is a personal preference and if you don't wish to do it, you don't have to. 
First Layer
4-5 layer in and ready for the next step
The next step is to darken the top line according to your reference picture. If your reference horse is flat (little to no top line darkening) don't be afraid to exaggerate within reason to make it more pleasing to the eye. I used a shade of dark brown that was close to the color of dark chocolate to shade may top line.

The darkening is very subtle but it does add to the horse
To do the shading in the muscle grooves I used a small angle brush. The pigment mixture I used was a dark brown, a tiny scoop of black (black pigment is very strong), and a very tiny scoop of a lighter brown.

In the next installment I will be going over how I do black points, shade the parts that will be grey, and finish it off with how I detail my bays.

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