How to Paint Details – Hooves, Eyes & Chestnuts | Model Horse Customizing Tutorial
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How to Paint Details – Hooves, Eyes & Chestnuts | Model Horse Customizing Tutorial

August 15, 2019


The final details are my favorite parts of
painting a horse because that’s when models come alive. This video has three short parts, each showing you how to paint eyes, hooves, and chestnuts. I’m demonstrating this tutorial on stablemates so that you see the lesser-discussed techniques for small scales. It’s perfect for you mini fans, but if you’re
painting a larger horse you can absolutely follow along. You’ll just scale everything up. For this tutorial, you will need a good range of paints and here are mine. I will link to all my colors in the video
description. I like to make sure I have a good range of
metallics for my eyes. I’ll also link to some ultra tiny brushes
you’ll need. To make life a little easier, I lay out tiny
drops of all the colors I’ll need on my pallete. Also crucial are good references, which I
keep in a binder. Now that you’ve got all that, let’s get
started! Most all hooves will start with either a fleshy tan base or a gray base, and it’s the details you add on top that determine your final colors. Reference is crucial here since hooves vary greatly. After painting the whole hoof the base color, you’ll switch to dry brushing lighter and darker colors with a brush about the same size as the hoof. Titan buff is great for lightening, and raw
umber is great for darkening. Dry brushing is the act of loading up paint
on your brush without water. It helps create a streaking effect, especially if you unload some of the paint on a paper towel first. Start your drybrush application with vertical streaks. Finish your hooves with a tiny detail brush
and add in stronger vertical lines, as well as your horizontal rings. Work in light and dark rings. Most hooves are either lighter or darker at
the very top, so add more concentrated rings there. If your reference has black striped hooves, now is the time to switch to adding black vertical lines. These stripes look best if you feather them out a bit with a lighter color so the strip is not a hard edge. That burnt umber is a good color to use here. For the most professional results, detail
under the hoof, even if the bottom of the hoof is flat on the ground and not seen. Make note of how the color changes around the frogs and walls of the hooves in your references. Painting eyes is basically painting a series
of circles that get smaller and smaller. Start by painting the whole eye black. Next, paint the corner of the eye with an
off-white, fleshy color. Also use this color if your horse has a white seclara, also known as eye whites. These are common on appaloosas but most horses will display them if looking away at an extreme angle. Some horses are more red here, so you can add a touch of burnt sienna to match your reference. For brown eyes, start with a dark brown color,nmaking sure to leave a tiny bit of the black showing at the edges to line your iris. As you make your way to the center of the
eye, lighten the brown. I often add a little gold to my mixture where the light would touch the eyes. As you are painting these layers, fan out
the paint to add streaking through the iris and extra detail. Your tiniest brushes will help here. Now use some black for the pupil, making sure that it is an oval shape. Unlike human eyes, horses do not have round pupils. My final touch is a tiny bit of interference
blue, which adds a semi-transparent glint of blue in the pupil and makes a nice catchlight. Chestnuts are the easiest to paint, and the easiest to forget. Chestnuts are a detai judges look for, so
if you are showing your model, make a note to add them. Even if your horse doesn’t have sculpted
ones, you can gain some points with just painted-on chestnuts. Depending on the horse, chestnuts are usually a fleshy brown color or tan-ish gray, so check your references. I get the best results with a tanish base
color and dry brushing the final colors on top for a more textured look. To finish your models, add a brush-on gloss to the eyes for a realistic wet look. You can also gloss the hooves, but this is
usually a stylistic preference that also varies by breed. And there you have it! Perfect details that bring a custom model
horse to life. For more videos tutorials, please like, comment and subscribe to my youtube channel, Blue Mountain Stable, and check out my social media accounts for more regular tips and insights into how i customize. Now go make some ponies!

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