Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Tip

Continuing from last week, we're moving on to vertical grain. Take note that what I'm drawing is a little emphasized so you can see it better - it's best to keep details like this subtle! To recap the video:
  • Start with the simple hoof from last week as a basecoat. Using the same color palette, start painting very fine vertical lines. At this stage, I usually go around the whole hoof in one color before moving on to the next since immediate blending isn't required.
  • Make sure the lines are straight from top to bottom, not angled. The lines should all be about the same width, though they can randomly cram together a bit, making some fatter looking lines.
  • Try to avoid the periople as much as possible, but you will be painting back over it so extreme care is not necessary.
  • Once the vertical lines are in, go back over the hoof the other way, re-shading the growth rings to set the vertical grain into the hoof.
  • Repeat the vertical and horizontal lines as much as necessary until the desired look is achieved.
Stay tuned for more hoof details next week!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Tip

Here it is, the long awaited hoof painting tutorial! The hoof painting tips will go on for a few weeks, so get ready for lots of information! I'm not terribly good at drawing, but the videos are done in Photoshop so that you can see exactly what I'm doing without things getting in the way. The video is self-explanatory, but here is a recap, including some extra information on paint mixes:
  • Begin with a completely painted and shaded leg (in this vid I am doing a shell hoof on a white leg), and fill in the base hoof color in several thin layers. I typically start off with a basecoat of raw sienna and white, but depending on your horse you may wish to add more brown or yellow tones.
  • Next, shade in the lighter periople at the coronary band. Depending on the horse I will use either a white mix (gesso, titanium white, and pearlescent white) or a dirty white (unbleached titanium, soft white, a smidgen of burnt umber and irridescent gold, and the white mix to lighten as needed).
  • Continue shading light lines that run parallel to each other down the hoof to begin the highlights of the growth rings.
  • Add in shadows for the growth rings. Depending on how dark the hoof is, I like to use raw sienna or burnt umber to start and add in previous colors as necessary.
  • Go back over everything with the original basecoat color and shade the lighter color on top to help blend and set in the growth rings.
  • Continue going back and forth with all of the colors until the hoof rings are well blended and subtle.
  • I like to do one section of hoof at a time instead of trying to do the whole thing at once. This makes it easier to blend, and it is not difficult to line up each section of the hoof.
  • Keep going to perfect this look, or use it as a basecoat for the next step which we will cover next week, vertical grain!

Friday, April 10, 2009

See You Later!

I'm hopping on a plane in a few hours for a much needed vacation! There won't be a Friday Tip today, but I will work extra hard on an awesome one for next week. See you next Friday!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Tip

Ok, we're back with a real tip today... ;-) I keep my paints in little plastic drawers to keep them organized and easy to grab and inventory. My particular set has four of these drawers (you can click on the picture to enlarge) with plastic dividers inside. I find I can keep two tubes of paint in each compartment. This is great for two reasons: 1)I always have a spare - I never run out of paint, and 2) When I'm getting ready to stop by Dan Smith, I can just pull out my drawers and easily note which colors I'm low on. Keeping two tubes is also nice just in case the store is out of paint. This seems to happen frequently with metallic gold in particular for me... So even if I need to move on to my spare tube, I always have enough until the next shopping trip.

I also labeled the sections which helped me to find my way around quickly when I started using this system. That tape is probably 15 years old now! After a while you'll find you just know where to go, but the tape still comes in handy for rarely used colors. These kinds of organizers can usually be found at the hardware store or the storage section of any large craft or general store.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Friday (Wednesday) Tip!

It's a busy busy week here, so I thought I'd get the Friday Tip done before it starts to get really hectic. It's pretty well known that grapes have some significant health benefits, but did you know they can actually help with your artwork too? According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, grape skin contains perconphil which aids in one's ability to focus. I like to keep a little bowl of grapes (frozen is my preference, but they don't have to be) on my table and munch on them while I paint. Plus they make a great snack!

And one more thing - April Fools! But no seriously, grapes are great. And there really will be an actual Friday Tip! No foolsies.