Learn how to paint a white prancing horse with these easy watercolor steps. Set off the horse with a dark, colorful background.
The background is a mixture of colors that contrast with the horse. Paint the background colors and let them run and mingle together.
Watercolor likes to do its own thing. Yes, you can control it, but it is always fun to let the colors go and do their own thing.
You don't know exactly what the finished product will look like. That's the joy and mystery of painting watercolor!
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It's best to do your drawing on a separate page and then transfer it to your painting surface. Erasures may damage the watercolor support.
Let the masking fluid dry thoroughly before starting on the background, approximately an hour.
Don't try to copy the colors in this painting. This is the fun part of how to paint a horse.
Since this horse will be light colored, a dark background makes a nice contrast. Use darker colors where you want more contrast. The colors are darker around the horse's head and back.
Tube watercolors work well for this technique. They can be mixed with less water, so you get intense colors.
Sometimes the colors are painted on. Other times the colors are splattered on. An occasional spritz of water will help soften and blend the colors.
A separate brush for each color works well. Then you don't have to keep washing the brush. The colors stay clean and it speeds up the painting process.
After the colors are on and starting to dry, spend some time softening hard edges or back-runs. If desired, you may use some salt for added texture.
Let the background dry. For a background like this, overnight is good. A hair dryer will speed up the process, but it can move the paint around.
You may also pour the background, especially on larger formats.
Rub the masking fluid off with a rubber cement pick-up tool or a dry finger. The paint must be completely dry or you will get a mess.
Use a clean, damp stiff brush to remove any spatters from the horse and redefine the drawing. This one advantage of Aquabord, you can remove paint.
Start softening the edge of the tail. When we paint a horse, we don't want high contrast between the tail and its background. Contrast in that area would draw attention away from the front of the horse.
We will paint the horse a little more carefully than the background.
Mix more water to your colors to make them lighter. Use less water to darken your colors.
When most painters paint a horse, they will start painting the head first. This time the belly came first. Then move on to the legs.
The light is coming from the top left, so you will have darker shadows under the belly and on the top of the far legs.
Use the same color mixture with less water to paint the dark hooves.
If you are not totally familiar with horses, keep referring to your reference photograph.
On the lighter areas like the legs, wet the surface slightly before applying the paint.
Other areas like the rear haunch, apply the paint to the dry surface. Then use a clean, damp brush to feather the color out.
Use a variety of lighter and darker colors. Mix the colors lighter and darker with more or less water.
The paint is applied to a dry surface, so the strokes remain to simulate the hairs of the tail.
The blue in the photo is the masking fluid.
Paint the mane with techniques similar to the tail.
Use a variety of colors and stroke in the direction of the hairs. The mane will be darker at the base where it attaches to the neck.
When the paint is dry, remove the masking fluid.
There a various ways to paint a horse. And there a different ways to paint watercolor.
You may either glaze the color on with several layers of paint. When you are glazing, it necessary to let each layer dry before you apply the next layer.
More about glazing watercolor.
My preferred method is faster. Apply a stroke of paint to the dry surface. Then use a clean, damp brush to feather out the stroke.
You may paint a horse with a bolder look. In that case, leave the strokes without feathering. It's your choice.
Check out your painting and adjust anything you see. You may soften or redefine areas that catch your attention.
It was easy learning how to paint a horse. Things to remember.
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