Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Tip

For today's tip, I'm going to cover one more way you can do mapping. You can click on the picture for a large version to really see the details. I like using this technique on ermine spots for a few reasons:
  1. The shading on the legs can be finished (it's hard to shade pink in around a spot!)
  2. It's easier to blend the mapping into the pink thin skinned spots this way around
  3. The ermine spots can be added later as desired in easily fixable acrylic
Step 1: Mix up a suitable color for the spots. This is crazy easy on a horse with black points, but even other colors are simple to match reasonably well. The color does not need to be precise because it is separated by so much white and a little difference won't be noticeable. Using thin coats to prevent brush strokes or lumps paint on spots until they are fairly opaque. Step 2: When the spots are completely dry, lightly paint white back over the whole spot. This is one of those instances where I did use a special effects brush (I used the rake here), but you don't need to. Anything frayed will give very good results. Brush in the direction of hair flow and let the brush make streaks across the dark spots. Use as many coats as you need to get the lightness you want. Going over ermine spots in this way makes it very easy to blend the new white paint into the already shaded pink areas.

Step 3: When the mapping is dry, paint the dark spots back in, avoiding the border for an instant mapped effect.

Step 4: Optional - Since there is a hard edge between the mapping and the spot, I like to blend the two by using a small round and stroking some of the dark color back up into the mapping.

Step 5 (not shown): Optional - I felt my mapping got too dark after step 4, so I went back over the mapping in little strokes with a small round as shown last week.

And that's it! You can use this technique on the body as well if you find it works better for you. So try both techniques, and decide which you prefer - or use both like me!

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