Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Tip

Welcome back! This week we are covering the second major stage in dappling. This process also takes quite a while, but not nearly as long as the first dappling layer. Instead of doing quarters, I usually do one half of the horse one day, and the other side in another session. Let's get on to the video recap:
  • Start with the medium grey shade and a small brush with a decent point. Do not use a brand new brush, since scrubbing the excess paint out of the bristles will quickly ruin it.
  • Where the dappling becomes very faint in the white areas, begin adding in some "frame dappling". This is basically sketching lines in between dapples. Do not just draw circles; use short strokes in the direction of hair flow. Do this in a way that looks random, not evenly everywhere.
  • Fill in some of the existing lighter grey dapple networking to emphasize certain areas. Again, do not fill in everything; just select areas to make the pattern less uniform.
  • It may be easier to start with filling in some of the grey areas first to get a feel for how the frame dapples should be painted before moving on to the whiter areas.
  • Moving on to the chest, begin painting the hair whorls in with medium grey. The hairs will look a little too dark and big probably, but that is ok. Going back over them with white will make them appear smaller and the whole area will blend in better. Go back over the chest in as many sessions as necessary to get the desired amount of hair patterning.
  • Work some more on shading the face, using roaning techniques with stiff brushes in some places (like the cheeks and nasal bones) and using softer blending techniques in other areas (like around the eye and muzzle). Start putting in some basic details here like light and dark shading around the eye and be more precise than in the basecoat stages.
  • Using black and another small brush, pick out the darkest areas of networking around the dapples. In larger expanses of black, a small stiff brush can be used to brush over the entire area. It is ok to go over some dapples lightly, but try to keep the black as contained as possible.
  • Next, using white paint and yet another small brush with a decent tip, go back over the coat and work on the dapples. Many will not be opaque enough from the first session so they need to be filled in. Pick some out to be very white, and leave some to fade into the coat.
  • When the dapples are all picked out, get another stiff roaning brush with a bit of white and blend in the dapples in the whiter areas. Add more roaning and grainyness to the darker areas (you can go back over this with the darker colors if it is overdone) and generally make the coat more cohesive.

The important thing to keep in mind with this whole process is that randomness in color intensity lends credibility to the paint job. Do as much as you can in this session, and go back to touch up and pick more things out as needed later. None of the steps in this video need to be done in exactly this order, except for the white dappling and roaning last. Skip around and fiddle with whatever catches your eye. I'm not exactly sure where I'll be with this horse by the time the next Friday Tip rolls around, but we'll probably be covering other details in the head and legs. See you then!


Jacqueline said...

That has helped a lot! Thanks!

Mel Miller said...

Glad to help Jacqueline!