How to Color a Realistic Bay Horse

          Welcome, and Thank You for coming to check out my tutorial. For this tutorial you will need Paint Shop Pro (preferably version 7), one already made Line Art, and a Tablet is recommended but not required. This site is image intensive, as there are a number of screen captures provided for you. Each screen capture has been resized to a smaller format. However, if you desire to see larger detail, please click on the image for a full sized version. I will also try my best to make this tutorial simple and understandable. So lets go over some of the basics of Paint Shop Pro 7.
-JNFerrigno


Step 1: Base Color
Color: #8A5835
Brush: Any Solid Brush

You need three layers:
...1st layer is the background color
...2nd layer is base color (shown above)
...3rd layer is the transparent line art

This line art can be fround in the free line art section

Step 2: Base Shading
Color: #73472A
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 20, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Set your brush options to pressure sensitivity, make sure opacity isn’t more then 75%. If you are not using a tablet, this option will not matter. Create a new layer, under the line art, and apply the color on top of the base. Make sure to allow the base to show through on the horses soft parts like the underbelly.

Step 3: Counter Shading 1
Color: #65361A
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Opening up a new layer, take your brown and work from the points of the horse inwards. Don’t worry so much about the lower legs, because they will be black any way. As you get further into the horses body, use a stippling (dots) method to mimic dapples and counter shading. You’ll see these dapples on the horses fore arms, and hip points.

Step 4: Counter Shading 2
Color: #65361A
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Still using the same color, and you can use the same layer or a new one, carefully make little circles over the horses barrel, shoulder, and hip. Some will be loose, some may be tighter. This is the beginning of your dapples.

Step 5: Counter Shading 3 (and blending)
Color: #65361A
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 25, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

I like to create a new layer for this part. Still using the same color as the last two septs. Instead of stipples or circles, use strokes starting from the top line (back) down, giving the appearance the dapples are coming from the stomach up. Afterwards, take your softening brush, make sure opacity is set to 100% and the pressure sensitivity is off.

Step 6: Counter Shading 4 (and blending)
Color: #542F1D
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Afterwards, take your softening brush, make sure opacity is set to 100% and the pressure sensitivity is off. Use the soften option, not the blending option, do not over soften.

Step 7: Counter Shading 5
Color: #43281F
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 25, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer, always make sure these layers are under the line art, but on top of the last layer created. Select a darker brown, and apply the stippling effect again over the shoulders and hips. Begin working on the shadows on the horse, under the mane, between the legs, and on the face.

Step 8: Counter Shading 6 & Hair 1
Color: #2E2422
Brush :Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer and select a darker brown. Color the points of the horse only, you can go past the knees in this horse, however once you reach the knees start stippling lightly over the forearms and hips. Also take this moment to apply the first layer of color for the hair.

Step 9: Point Shading 1
Color: #141010
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Creating a new layer, select a darker color (never select black) and work on layering those horses shadows. Darken the points as well. Always use stippling to blend in the points of a horses legs.

Step 10: Point Shading 2 & Hair 2
Color: #050404
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer, select your darkest point color (not black), and stroke the color into the mane and tail along with the lower legs. Also horses that have this much counter shading, usually have a dorsal stripe (but that doesn’t mean they are dun).

Step 11: Highlights 1
Color: #2D2944
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Congratulations you are over half way done! Create a new layer. Lets take a nice blue color, and just apply a little of it on the legs and in the hair to give some shine and depth.

Step 12: Highlights 1 (Blending)
Color: #2D2944
Brush: Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Soften what you did in step 11

Step 13: Counter Shading 7
Color: #3E221C
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer. Repeat steps 3-5 with a darker brown.

Step 14: Counter Shading 7 (blending)
Color: #3E221C
Brush: Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Soften what you did in step 13.

Step 15: Counter Shading 8
Color: #2E2220
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer. Repeat steps 3-5 with a darker brown.

NOTE: every time you are repeating these steps, lessen the area you are covering. This way, you will see dapples in all the colors that you have layered on.

Step 16: Counter Shading 8 (blending)
Color: #2E2220
Brush: Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Soften what you did in step 15

Step 17: Counter Shading 9 (and blending)
Color: #0A0706
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%. Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Create a new layer, and darken your shadows, making sure to get between the legs and under the mane.

Step 18: Ribbon
Color: Any color you want
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 10, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%.

Create a new layer, and color the ribon any color you want.

Step 19: Highlights 2 (and blending)
Color: #443433
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%. Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Create a new layer, and select your first base highlighting color. Apply it with strokes, NOT stippling OR circles. Use the blend tool, and then soften tool afterwards. If the layer is to bright, lower the opacity.

Step 20: Highlights 3 (and blending)
Color: #B5A79A
Brush: Round Brush smaller then 15, with pressure sensitivity on for Opacity and Width. Set opacity between 60-70%. Blending Brush, smaller then 15, pressure sensitivity turned off, opacity at 100%

Repeat the same process from Step 19, with a lighter color.

FINISHED!!