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Painting: Painting with Oils
Discuss Oil painting techniques.
Hosted by Craig Whitaker
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United States
Member Since: December 27, 2016
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Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 02:36 AM UTC
I am trying to paint a buckskin horse but I am not sure what paint mixtures I should use. I also do not know how to get the black values on the head and feet without it looking like mud or not blending nicely.

Thanks in advance!
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Washington, United States
Member Since: March 15, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 08:26 AM UTC
A "Buckskin" is really a light tan color with darker or lighter values around the recesses. Probably the best way to do that is to do a dark undercoat in ether dark gray or burnt sienna (which is a dark reddish brown charcoal color). I'd paint the whole figure in this darker shade and then use a "dry brushing" technique with gradually lighter shades of tan mixed with white paint. If you are using an airbrush, successive light coats of tan highlighted on the parts that receive the most light will work. You might try some of the figure painting guides on line for the proper techniques.
VR, Russ
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 08:42 AM UTC
You could also paint with succeeding layers of acrylic glazes mixed on a wet palette. Acrylic paint is usually see-through so if you lay a dark tone first you can build up lighter tones on top of it slowly building up a blend of the two tones. Also using a wet palette you can feather the two colors with a moist brush.

Since horses are larger than most faces it's easier to feather and blend adjacent color than on human flesh tones. How you lay pigment can also set up the pattern and texture of the horse's hair. You see if you lay on the paint in the direction of hair growth, brush marks become your friend.

Look at lots of pictures of real horses. The switch from color to color is often quite marked with little blending at all. Buckskin horses especially the tan and black tones are very distinct and blend very little if at all. If doing a 54mm or smaller horse the color shift could be indicated with a few stray swipes of a dry brush. Try doing a 1/6 scale horse sometime.