Thursday, June 7, 2012

Glazing & First Layers

Grulla or bay roan? Most definitely grulla.

A small discussion with a fellow hobbiest about painting techniques and the differences in bay roan vs. grulla prompted an urge to discuss "first layers" and glazing techniques on the blog. I felt it might be interesting for viewers to see exactly what goes into painting a model horse in mixed media and I started documenting the painting process of a few horses.

Without a doubt, the initial steps or "first layers" aren't much to talk about or look at. In fact, they are pretty awful in some cases; as in this Arabian mare who will eventually be a dappled black chestnut. Basically, layers are placed on going from light to dark then dropped back from dark to light using oil washes or "glazes". Although it doesnt look like much, the first layers on a horse could hold up to 10 layers of pigment.

Arabian mare with her first oil layer. Yes, that is ORANGE. "Cadmium Red Light" to be precise. It will make sense in the end.

Before the cadmium color though, the first layers are completed with pigments. They are applied in dry form and then sprayed with adhesives.

Will be dark (almost black) chestnut with dapples.

Will be bay roan.

Will be dappled grey.

Group shot. Say "cheese!"

After layers of pigment are adhered and then fixed with fixative following layers are applied in oils using glazes. Glazing is a technique where thin "films" of color, which have been diluted using turpentine or varnish medium are lain over a surface so that the under lying colors can illuminate through.

Elsie and Beatrix resins with their first layers on.

This Elsie is to be transformed into a grulla (most likely a wild overo grulla-and she will be for sale soon once completed) and at first glance to the the untrained eye she may look similar to "bay roan" , but in fact when placed next to a Beatrix that is being painted a bay roan she does look very different. These initial colors are colors that will help support and deepen future layers of colors that will be slowly glazed in oils. The head in particular is very dark but purposefully so since I want this "walnut/violet" color to glow silently from the background of glazed layers of her lighter hair color. To achieve this "glow", which the real grulla horses seem to have on their body, in particular where their darker points meet their lighter areas, the head must be painted dark first.

Fast forward many layers and you can see how very thin the glazing color (which is the same color that was placed on the body) looks on the head and on the upper portions of the legs. As "wrong" as this looks at this stage, this IS how it is suppose to look.

Both resins after a few layers of oil glaze.

If this talk of color and glazing interests you and you want to learn more about color in general I highly recommend "The Enjoyment And Use Of Color" by Walter Sargent.

Hoof on Beatrix.

More hoof shots.

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