For today's 'Tip' I want to bring up a cool trick for sabinos, rabicanos, and roaning in general. Instead of doing these details in straight white acrylics, start off with a pale gray. Heck, maybe even a medium gray if your horse has a fairly dark basecoat. Treat this as layer one. As you progress or want to apply another 'layer' on top of that, do so by creating a slightly paler gray mix. I like to use Quaker Gray Ceramcoat acrylics mixed with Titan Buff by Golden Fluid Acrylics. This just gives me a warm pale gray. Then on the next layer I will move up to a more 'white' mix. By creating your roaned areas in this way you can achieve and soft and realistic look that will look quite a bit better than if you had just done it with straight white acrylics off the bat.
I hear a lot of folks saying 'every time I try to do a sabino or rabicano, my markings look too harsh'. Well, yes. They can look too harsh if you are going onto a darker colored horse with straight white acrylics. The contrast can just be overpowering for the piece. I didn't use straight white on this little gal here except for the centers of the sabino spots and the face and leg markings. All of those little 'hair ticks' are done with a a mixture of Titanium white, Quaker Gray, and Titan Buff to give me an off white color.
And don't worry. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about I am going to show you,. I will be posting step by step photos of the rabicano I am working on. So far I'm 17 hours into just the first layer. Sadly you can barely see it because it's done in a medium gray. But by building the color, the results will be far more realistic. I know some of you are thinking '17 HOURS?!?!?!?!?!' but the first layer is always the hardest and most time consuming because I have to stare at references to be sure my hair pattern and swirls are correct. After that, each layer will become increasingly easier than the last. It should only take about 4 layers of acrylics to get it where I want it. Stay tuned, photos should be forthcoming in the next couple of days when I get the first layer wrapped up.