Once happy with the level of paintwork on the lower portions of the horse, I started working on the groundwork. My idea for this figure was the trampled dirt of the tournament ground, churned earth with a bit of wetness. If you've ever looked at horses after running a race (US Triple Crown) you would get a good idea of the effects I was trying to achieve. My groundwork had been simple "worked" epoxy putty with a mid/dark brown acrylic base coat. Over this I applied a thick wash of Burnt Umber.
Once dry I applied progressively lighter coats of Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White to the surface, sort of a not so dry "dry brush" technique. As I lightened the mix I pulled it across my palette paper giving me a range of oils from light to dark that I was able to use to dirty up the horse. If you look at references you will see that mud/dirt on any object is drier at the top and wetter on the bottom. Therefore lighter in tone at the top and darker on the bottom. I used a soft blending brush to stipple thick oil paint in spots on the horse and tabbard. This not only gives me the color of dirt but if the paint is thick enough, some realistic texture. Sometimes I will let the paint sit overnight or during the day on the palette so that it gets thicker, before applying.
While the horse was drying I began work on the rider's heraldic crest. My progression can be seen below. The colors and process are pretty much self-explanatory.
Next post, Figure Completed!