So with the armor started, my next step was the horse. I began with a some colored basecoats on the red and brown bits back when this was started. This was a change of pace for me as there is so much to paint and so little armor plate. I could have more easily masked the plate and that is the direction I will go in future. I painted the exposed horse parts using tones of Burnt Umber mixed with Burnt Sienna with Mars Brown highlights blended wet on wet. This was all repeated a few weeks later with transparent coats of the same colors to add a bit of depth that I find important for horses. The base red began with Cadmium Red Medium and blended highlights of W&N Permanent Red (A tone between light Cad Red's orangey color and Medium Cad Red's deeper hue). More work was done later on the red (see my next post).
The basic shapes of the heraldry were painted on freehand using a mix of Golden Ochre and Yellow Ochre.
Dioxazine Purple was blended wet-on-wet in areas that should be shadowed in the design. Purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel and is a perfect shadow tone for yellow and golden tones.
I then went in with the first mix and, adding a touch more Yellow Ochre to the intial color, highlighted a few areas. This was subtle, as once dry, further tonal highlights would be added.
In the following photo you can see the overall appearance of the horse at that stage. If you compare the photos you will see the effect of the second layer of paints on the horse as well as the beginnings of "socks" on the fetlocks. The photos are a bit over-exposed so the red is lacking in some of the shadowy tones apparent in real life. I'm still playing with the camera - one never stops learning.
Once completely dry I began adding highlights and a few details to the "birds". Using a mixture of Yellow Ochre and Cad. Yellow Medium I was able to begin highlighting the wings, torso and trailing feathers.
Adding Titanium White to the mix allowed further work on the feathers.
At this point I recall seeing Golden Eagles in my sleep. Remember I was painting the same design (multiplied by four) on the rider. You can see that along with the birdies I had been working on the saddle, belting and blue underside of the horse tabard. All of that detail and once I start painting the dirt there will be some of that brown covering the beautiful colors!!!
After contemplating the horse for awhile I found areas that needed more work. That is pretty much always the case. The saddle needed some variation in tone. The front piece is cloth covered on the face and so I left it the same color as the tabard. The inner face is pretty much in shadow once the knight is attached so a deep tone of Mars Black and Cad. Red Deep was applied and further shadowed with Mars Black once dry. The back support was red leather covered in my opinion so a thin glaze of Cad. Red Deep was applied to darken the tone and utilize the shadows previously applied. Once dry, the edge bead was painted with gold printer's inks mixed with Burnt Umber. This will later be highlighted with straight gold ink.
Tomorrow's post will focus on the rider. Stay tuned.