Thursday, May 17, 2012

Transitional Grey

This guy was a bit of fun!  A Breyer Smarty Jones as a transitional "bay-going-grey" owned by Betty Hook.  This model is a simple repaint with a custom base that I recently completed in the studio.  The owner was nice enough to give me free choice on whatever shade of grey that I wished to do on this guy, and I wanted to try my hand at a dark gened transitional.  I've painted a dilute transitional (grulla) going grey before, but not a bay or a black.  It was a good learning experience.  He has some interesting subtle silver and rosey tones throughout his body.
This is our own real transitional grey on the farm, Suzette.  It's a terrible impromptu pasture picture of our girl, but it does illustrate the transitional greying process quite well.  (If she was brushed and scrubbed, it would probably be a lot better...)  Suzette is an arab x akhal teke cross that I raised from a baby, and a very sweet little gal.  She was born a very dark golden buckskin, but is rapidly progressing in her greying out process.  About the only areas that don't show any signs of greying yet is her knees and hocks - everything else on her body is peppered with little grey hairs.  She's been a very good reference for me for painting rose greys and transitionals. 

(It's interesting to note that when this filly was younger her hind socks had sharp pointy streaks that looked like jagged little spears going up her legs, like a sabino.  But the points are almost completely greyed out now and unrecognizable.  It was a really neat effect, and if I had painted it on a model - people probably would've thought that I was totally crazy.  But sometimes reality can be stranger than our own painting imaginations.)

Something else noteworthy is that most transitional greying horses are not dappled.  A lot of painters in our hobby want to dapple the holy living daylights out of just about every model that they do, but in reality dappling isn't quite as common on horses as we'd like for it to be.  (I'm as guilty of dappling the crap out of my models as the next person... and they DO look soooooo pretty that way!)  But, the truth of it is, it's hard to find a good reference photos of real transitional greying horses with dapples - because it just doesn't happen very often.  When I start getting too "dapple-happy" with my painting, there's a sharp slap back to reality waiting out in the pasture for me.

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