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How To Paint Horses

Painting horses is actually easier than it looks. It is mostly a question of method and one can get nice results quite fast. For our tutorial, we will be using a 15 mm miniature from a well known, overpriced manufacturer...Vallejo acrylic paints have been used, the black spray is from the "evil empire". Each step is started when the previous coat is dry.

HT Daquin Horse 1

Base coat black. Apply with a spray in two thin coats instead of one thick messy one. Once dry, go over any missed spots with a brush and a watered down black.


HT Daquin Horse 2

Paint the horse’s skin all over, avoiding the leather parts of the saddle and horse equipment which should be left black. I left the horse's tail and hair black. Colors that I like are 984 Matt Brown and 983 Matt Earth.

HT Daquin Horse 3

Apply a black wash all over the horse. The wash should be darker than it appears in the picture.

HT Daquin Horse 4

Using the initial brown paint over all the muscles of the horse letting some of the darker shade appear in the recesses.

HT Daquin Horse 5
Mix the initial brown with white until you obtain a full tone under the initial color. Shade again all the muscles of the horse but with rather thin lines. You are looking for quite a contrasting color because the varnish that we will apply later will fade much of the contrast. If you are using shades that are too close it won't create a good effect.

Paint with this same color the ears, nostrils and eyebrows of the horse. Mix with white again, go over the tips of the ears and put two thin lines on the top of the bum of the horse (it is supposed to be rather shiny seen from the top).

HT Daquin Horse 6
Apply a rather thick black wash to the legs.
HT Daquin Horse 7
Paint the horse's stockings. I usually paint thin vertical lines with 989 sky gray and then thin vertical lines of 820 off-white. Do not paint more than 3 stockings. (Note: Most horses have an even number of these -Ed.)

Paint a flame (blaze) on the top of the head. Sky gray, then apply white.

HT Daquin Horse 8
The finished horse.

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