Ok here's the step by step on the TWH mare in dappled grey. (So far)
As with my other Dappled Grey tutorial which is in my website, this one starts out basically the same. The base color is white, and I've spray sealed the white in a matt sealer. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Spray it before you pastel. Pick something to hold on to the model by, (in this case it's the hind legs) It wont matter because you paint those last. So to begin, after the spray sealer has dried, I've pasteled a dark black and grey color all over the horse like so.
Here I've continued and covered more area. You tend to leave the least amount around the inner hind legs and behind the shoulders. The images had the flash so they look really light when they really are a little darker. But you get the main idea of it.
Now, below I've covered the model in the dark grey and black color. DO NOT SPRAY SEAL IT! This is important. You do not spray til later. In this shot below, I've taken a dampened Q-Tip and started dabbing at the pastel color on the neck and I've also wiped away the grey from the face around the eyes and the top of the nose and face. Just leaving the darker color in the creases. Like antiquing. I've picked up the dapples literally. You take the dampened Q-Tip and start dabbing the color up.
Next, I've continued to dab at the color in little spots all over the coat. Take some of the cotton off the head of the Q-Tip and make it smaller where you need to. Make sure it's fully saturated when you dab because it will almost make what looks like a puddle in the pastel. Then you either use the same end or swap it for the other end (making sure that end is slightly dampened too) you roll the head of the Q-Tip over the little puddle of color picking up the darker rim when the color almost makes what resembles a water mark or water droplet stain. You don't want a ring around your dapple. So just dab and then roll. Sweeping motions. You quickly get a rhythm. Dab little spots and bigger spots. just dab the wet Q-Tip. It will almost leave each spot looking like a water spatter, which is what you want because dapples splatter out at the edge, but yet they're soft at the same time. So it's just an overall effect is what you're trying to achieve. It'll damn near do it on it's own. The dappling will just appear. It takes little to no effort. The whole thing starts to just come into focus. It's very forgiving. You can't screw this up no matter how you try, because if you lift off too much, then just wait til it's dry and reapply more pastel, then lift the dapples again. It's simple. Just don't spray it yet. You need to be able to move the pastel and you can't do it if it's sprayed on. Defeats the purpose.
Go into the muscles darker. And also note that there is no wrong way to do a dappled grey horse, they come in a variety of patterns, shades, and amounts of darkness. They also dapple in different areas lighter and darker. Some horses dapple in a star like pattern all over in tight uniform starburst dapples. They can be light or dark or medium. Then you have dappled greys that have a darker rump. This is common. So darken the rump and you don't have to use that many dapples on the butt. Once you're satisfied with the dapples, and the entire horse is dappled, and you've checked him over to see if there's anything you didn't miss. THEN and only then can you spray seal him. Now, as soon as you do that, you'll notice the spray faded him some. It looks more washed out. That's normal. So remember when you do your initial pastelling that you may want to go darker and scrub the pastel in harder for a darker color to start off with. Ok, now that it's sprayed you're going to go back and add more pastel in the musculature, as well as you're gonna shade the nose dark, the inside of the ears, the stallion parts, or mare udders (whichever gender you're working with) This time the pastel will again literally do it on it's own. The effect is magical. It just puts depth in the coat and makes the horse really POP. The dapples are soft and shadowy. Yet they have the odd patchy shape that makes them all different and random. Shade down the front legs as black as you can get them. Leave the area where socks will be a lighter color. Also, go ahead and take some black acrylic and just roughly paint the eyeball solid black. This will help you to better picture the face with the darker color. It helps you see the expression.
Now that you've got it darker, spray it again. And repeat with the darker pastel again. Keep going over areas that are supposed to be darker. The shoulders, the rump, the legs. Darken the muzzle and around the nostrils. Spray again.
Now for the mane and tail. You can either do them in a solid black, a salt n pepper coloration, or white, or darker grey, or black with a yellowish golden color at the ends. Almost reminds me of urine stained fur. It's just a golden stain type color yellow. Sometimes dappled greys even have solid white manes and tails. It all depends on what you want. So for this one I'm going salt n pepper. Dark but still streaked. The first thing you do is paint the mane and tail in a base coat of solid white. Paint it like you would if it was finished in that color. Streak the hairs down over the body neatly as if you're leaving it only white. Then let it dry and spray it.
Now, apply black pastel all over the mane and tail. Take another dampened Q-Tip and start streaking along the grain of the hair and lift up the pastel only leaving it in the crevices and antiqued. Let dry and spray. Then you take a very wet brush with some black acrylic and loosely go over the whole tail antiquing it darker. Coat it completely in thin black. It wont matter because you're gonna take another Q-Tip only a slightly less damp one and rub the excess paint off again only you're leaving more there than you did with the pastel. Remember to look at the flow of the hair and look to see which pieces are deeper and where the hair has grooves. Do the deeper hair in the creases of the mane in a darker color because it's down in there, it will be darker if it's deeper in the hair. There's no wrong way to do it.
Now, I went ahead and painted the ribbons in royal metallic blue. I also did the tail the same way I did the mane only a little darker. I left most of the white showing through at the very ends of the tail. I also shaded the hind legs with black pastel, then after spraying again, used a black wash in acrylic to antique it even further. I also added a pink snip to the nose and a bit of pink on the bottom lip. I shaded the socks, then added more white to brighten the already faded socks. I also shaded pink flesh inside the ears and nostrils. I then wet washed black over it and wipe the excess away with a Q-Tip. I did the chestnuts a darker shaded color on the front legs and a ashy color on the hind leg where it was visible. That's basically it. You can see the steps better in the images. I also did the hooves in a streaked natural and also a black color for the hind legs.
I also completed the little Andalusian Stablemate Stallion. He'll be on MH$P for offers later maybe tonight.