Painting Horses is too hard. I quit.

I suppose I should probably start with the reason for the title of my post.

So, as I posted last time – I ended up starting actually painting one of the Warhammer 40k horses I was given and I was busy blocking in base colours.
I had tutorials a-plenty and proceeded onwards.

It. Was. Awful.

 photo 6_zps20aae9e1.jpg

This is with just the Devlin Mud wash to start. Not too bad so far…

….until I attempted to highlight ANYTHING.

 photo 5_zps2aef4186.jpg
What have you done to me!? I look like I have patches of leprosy!!

EDIT: I’ve just noticed that this photo doesn’t really show up the horrendous highlighting. Trust me, it looks WAY WORSE in person.
EDIT 2: Here is a better picture of the highlighting. I turned my flash right up to try to get ever individual stroke to reflect so it shows how I was actually painting it.

 photo 10_zps3c0dba25.jpg

Uuugh. I tried a million different things to try to correct this obvious, patchy, chalky looking highlight but I was totally lost.
I have realised than before I started painting miniatures I always thought the ones with heaps of little bits all over them would be REALLY hard, and the mostly smooth ones (like this) would be simple. At least if there were ‘bits’ I could highlight an edge – instead of what I’ve done here which is randomly dragging lighter coloured paints across a once pretty pony.

Might have to take it around to Painting Sage and see what he thinks about how to fix it. *sigh*

Well, I also got a start on one of the 3 remaining Infinity miniatures, the hacker.

 photo 9_zps07115ccc.jpg
L is for LOSER! Also legos, lemons and ‘let’s be friends’.

I have absolutely been dreading the highlighting of the black on these minis. And as much as I don’t really have the hang of it, highlighting with this blue colour is much nicer than I imagined highlighting black would be.

He looks really blotchy unfortunately but I’m hoping as the white get’s shaded and I start finishing him up I can clean that up a little. Hmm.

Well! I think time for sleep. Gah – sleep is so overrated.

Goodnight friends!
~ Ellie.

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18 thoughts on “Painting Horses is too hard. I quit.

  1. Hmm, the horsie doesn’t look too bad. I would just really thin out your layers and use plenty to try and get a nice blend between the shading and the highlights. Painting horses is hard, and I say that as a brettonian player with like, a metric fuck-tonne of horses to paint.

    The other dude looks badass, and L is definitely for Legos.

    • Hahaha, thanks so much. Editing the post now to show a better shot of what I mean about the shading.

      Aaaaah!! I must do something wrong, because I’m convinced I have my paint so thin I almost have water, and it still comes out this way šŸ˜¦ . Well, back on the horse I suppose! Or…well…back on a better future shaded horse anways. hahaha. šŸ™‚

      • Hmm, Perhaps change your final highlight colour to something slightly darken then? Might be more subtle.

        I’ll put a picture up at some point showing how many horses I have to paint so you can feel my pain..lol

      • Hehe. Well at least painting that many horses will make you a masterful pro and you can then mail me aaaaalllllll your wisdom. Now – just to get that whole USB download knowledge into my brain thing happening before you finish.

        Yea, I’m thinking I’m going to have to re-base the colours and try with a different ‘blend’ of colour. Maybe lighten the brown with a tan or yellow or something?

        Time to google more tutorials! šŸ˜€

  2. Horse needs more muscle definition. The problem as I see it is the large blocks without any change in lighting. Try some horse reference pictures and you’ll see they’re all little packs of muscle groups, forming the large regions.

    Also, don’t be afraid of going nuts with the contrasts and highlight. Dark DARK shadows and highlights worked up to near white. It’ll make your pony POP.

  3. I recommend wet-blending to get realistic tones on flesh and animal hides. I know it isn’t the best quality (rush painted) but the centaurs on my blog show how a realistic wet blend can end up looking.
    My wet-blend technique is to actually do light dry brushing and smudging of borders while each previous layer is wet. I also lighten/darken the colours using the same palette and original tones. A soft brush and clean pinkie are both very useful tools in getting the effect right. Start from the centre of the raised areas and blend outwards leaving irregular layers between then different areas.

    • Oh thankyou. I did have a little bit of a go at wet blending when I was painting my 3 headed cerberus – but I hadn’t thought of implementing something similar on the horse! This might be what I’m missing!! Thankyou šŸ˜€

  4. The actual painter looks at the mini up close and with a flash, much like your second shot. Your opponent only sees the models at longer than arms length -more like the first photo- in the middle of other horses charging down on her battle line. The horse looks fine – paint more horses and hide this one at the back.

    • ^ This Dave guy knows how it’s done. šŸ™‚

      Hahaha, this WOULD be a solid plan….if I had more than 3 horses. EEEP! And thankyou. I’m going to work on him some more and see what I can do to fix it…..hopefully hopefully!!

  5. I liked the horse before it was highlighted to be honest.
    I find my painting gets lazier these days so I tend to highlight once or twice then apply wash after to pull it back in.
    I totally agree though that large flat areas are the hardest thing to paint well.

  6. Pingback: Never tell a Brettonian general how hard painting ‘a’ horse is | Honour and Duty

  7. Pingback: Ride! Ride to ruin and the world’s ending! | Munitorium Depot

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