I have mentioned many times, I am sure, that I am not a good painter. I am not as bad a painter as I used to be, but I am not highly skilled. And while I am not an excellent painter, I do love group events and I have a great time participating in NaMoPaiMo. It's fun to cheer everyone on and see what everyone else is doing, but I do get more out of it when I participate. Including odd painting tips that I ever would have come up with on my own. Last year I painted my Hugh model palomino. He had a stage where he was extremely orange and looked terrible. I went to the Facebook group and posted my concerns and was told a layer of lavender pastels would cut down the orange. I didn't, and still don't, have pastels so I have been mixing a bit of lavender paint in with my yellows.The lavender trick is so strange to me, but it works so well. I usually mix up my paint just a few drops at a time, but I am also usually painting micros. My Ballycor, that my friend Marisa gifted me, is SO HUGE in comparison. I didn't want to run out of paint so I mixed up several shades of yellow. I looked up the shading chart that is super helpful to me, which I originally found on Jennifer's blog. printed it out as a guide and got back into my work.
I also added the gray and pink skin around the eyes and muzzle. It now looks like I ruined my horse. The ugly stage is real and it is terrifying.When I started adding highlight and shading to Ballycor I was only using my light and medium colors. Things were going decently well and I was relatively happy with how things were blending together. Though I still needed more layers and I still had plenty of opportunity to mess things up.
From all the reference photos I found of palomino horses there does not seem to be too much difference in color in the different shaded areas. So in some ways I should have an easier time with palomino than other colors. But I am not a good painter, I have time and opportunity to mess this up.
Have I mentioned I don't really know what I am doing? It's still true. I don't have an exact plan of action on how to go about painting my horse. I am working on her sort of like I would do makeup. Things that should be underneath, the gray and pink of skin, are underneath. Then I do sort of a wash of color over it and pray that it all comes out well. I have done worse things, but I am not doing a fantastic job so far. I still have time to work, fiddle and fix.I am working in layers, which I think it what people do when they paint a horse. I started adding in the layers of my darkest color. And it brought my horse back from looking fairly OK to looking really ugly. I put this photo on the NaMoPaiMo group saying it looked like she needed to blend her contour! I decided I had worked enough and I left her in this ugly stage. When I go back in on her I can add more of the dark color and the light color, and blend them together. I really like working wet-on-wet since I find it easier to get things blended well. Which probably means I should be painting in oils. But I currently have no place to put a wet horse to dry. So I work in acrylics. I do also do a bit of dry brushing, which seems to be working decently well. I have no plan. I am just sort of trying things as they occur to me.
So I have no concrete plan on how I want to do things, but I am again this year practicing "no fear" painting. I am not going to ruin this horse. She will go through at least one ugly stage, and likely more than that. If I don't like how something is looking I may continue to take a step back and then come back to it with fresh eyes. I can always go back in and add a bit more, to work on blending out a bit more. If I take my time, and just keep going, sooner or later things will fall into place. Sooner or later I will have a horse that I am ready to call done. And then she will become a performance superstar. Goals.