Friday, April 17, 2009

Piebald Horse and Rider

This here's what's called a Piebald horse. Piebald isn't a breed; it's any horse with black and white coloring. White with any other color is called a Skewbald (for instance, white and brown, or white and bay). In the Old West, your Piebalds would  likely be a quarter horse or Indian pony.

When painting horses, I'm careful not to leave the shadows too dark. I used to dry-brush my mid-tones directly over my dark undercoat, leaving all shadows the very darkest value. This approach worked just fine with bays, browns, or blacks, but not so well with white, palomino, or dappled greys. The extremely dark creases looked less like shadows and more like mistakes. 

This piebald has large white patches, to which I applied a grey first coat, being sure to completely paint over the underlying dark undercoat. Next, I painted a lighter shade of grey on all but the deepest recesses, and finished off with bright white on the higest spots.

The black part of the horse was done with a black undercoat and two shades of grey, the final shade being a mere dusting with a dry brush over the tips of the mane and tail. The hooves were done with two shades of a greenish-grey, starting with a fairly dark shade. Horseshoes were painted on because I'm using 40mm figures, and the figure wouldn't look finished without them.

The figure is from the pack KOW48M-031, Outlaw With Pistol. His matching dismounted pose is from KOW48-3, Outlaws (the raggety white edge is because I clipped him out of a photo with two other figures).

I gave him a striped vest. I like to add some kind of pattern to an item of clothing on every figure, even if it's only a bandanna. Many people can do this well on a 28mm figure; I just don't happen to be one of them. 40mm gives me a bit more elbow room. It's also fun to run a fine line around the edges of the fabric as if it were piped or trimmed out "extry fancy." 

His boots are called "Napoleon" boots, and are characterized by the high front peak and high heel, small in size and set back on the shoe fairly far. They were a popular style during and after the Civil War. The boots worn during the 1870's and 80's more closely resembled cavalry boots than what we call "cowboy boots" today.

Until next time,
Forrest Harris
Ol' Knuckleduster

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