How to Paint a Horse | Step by Step Tutorial | Watercolour Painting

in art •  16 days ago

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Hi Steemians! Today I am going to share how I made my first horse painting. I love animals and horse is one of my favourites apart from elephants. I chose to paint a brown horse with a green background. I selected these colours so that the horse will look contrasting from the background since they are almost the opposite colours on the colour wheel.

Tools and Materials

  • A good quality artblock that can absorb water
  • Buncho water colours
  • Paint brushes
  • 2 containers of water (one to mix paint and one to clean brush)
  • A 2B pencil
  • Tissue to absorb excess paint/water

Step by Step Tutorial

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First of all, I just drew a basic sketch of the horse using my pencil. I added a few details to mark the darks and lights so that they will work as guides when I start painting.

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Then, I painted the background using yellow, golden brown, light green and sap green using a medium round brush. I mixed the greens with some brown accordingly to create the colours that I wanted. This is because the greens that I had were on the cooler side of the colour wheel and I preferred them to look a tad bit warmer for my painting.

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Then, once it was dry, I painted another layer of colours on it. This time I used a brush with slightly frayed bristles to get the texture you see on the picture above. I just picked up some paint and tapped the brush gently on my paper and the frayed bristles did the rest of the magic.

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This is how my frayed bristled brush looks like.


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Then, I painted the lights and darks without any details on my horse. This is just a guide so that I don't go wrong in my shadows and highlights later on when I start adding more details.

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I added more colours and well, this is when I realized that I made a mistake. I made the body too large and the head too small. It ended up looking like a body building horse, or rather a donkey-squirrel hybrid creature. After spending a good ten minutes laughing, I started thinking how to repair the painting.

How I made adjustments to my painting


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I picked some water using a clean brush and then painted it over the parts I wanted to change. This is to reactivate the paint on the paper. If you are ever going to try this, then keep in mind that this will only work for water colour paint.

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Then, I used some tissue paper to absorb the excess paint and let it dry. I did it a few times and I was careful not to overdo it without enough intervals for the paper to dry so that I don't end up damaging my paper.

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I did a similar thing for the mouth and face area of my horse but in prior to that, I used my pencil to draw a larger mouth and face so that it will be easier for me to paint later on. Though I absorbed most of the paint using a tissue, I pushed some of them to the edges of my drawing.

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I painted the hair again once the area was dry and this time I kept them short and not too long like I did earlier.

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I painted the mouth and face area. I made them bigger to match its big body. I also did a few other touch ups like adding more details and adjusting the colours so that the highlights don't look too harsh and look a little softer. Contrast will make artworks look good but too much of it will make a painting look fake.

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This is the final painting. I did make some minor touch ups and some of them are the green areas as I erased a part of them while preparing my artwork to correct my mistakes. So this is how we can correct or make adjustments on our paintings without repainting the whole artwork when we make mistakes or miscalculate the proportion of certain parts of our artwork. That is one of the perks of using watercolours. I hope that you enjoyed reading my step by step description on how I painted my horse and how corrected my mistakes. Have a great day/evening ahead ☺

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