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TUTORIAL - How to colour horses digitally by thunderbulletz TUTORIAL - How to colour horses digitally by thunderbulletz

Here it finally is; a new tutorial from me of how to colour horses digitally! :dance: The old one I uploaded to my gallery in 2010 got deleted in my massive clean up because well, it was old and my style of painting has improved and changed quite a lot since those times. However I'm not really sure if it's completely correct to call this piece a proper tutorial because I think it's more like a walkthrough and I'm kinda sucky at teaching other people so yeah. I'm also terribly sorry for the possible typos and overall bad English, but I do hope you'll like the walkthrough anyway and maybe even find it a bit helpful too!

Any questions, feel free to ask, but before that make sure that you've read the walkthrough carefully because you may find your answer there! :)

See the finished painting here!

Info & Credits
- Horse referenced from [link] by *venomxbaby
- Background texture [link] by ~Sirius-sdz
- Artwork Aura Heiskanen / thunderbullet(z) 2012
Add a Comment:
myhandstypewords Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
if i hadn't seen this tutorial, I would have thought the picture was a photo that you cut out and put on a idfferent background.
Like really, its super good.
SpottedDucks Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow!!!! Amazing! 
Luna-Digital Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It looks like a picture! Thanks for sharing this tutorial, it's very helpfull :)
horselover90123 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
thank you so much for this tutorial!! im doing this way for my horses and its turning out really good so far! :) this had helped alot! 
Flyncior Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, your tutorial is really helpful! :D
Thank you for sharing it! :heart:
FoxxyHeart Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
May I ask what size the custom brush is?
Mr0Crocky Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
I must say that finding your tutorial has been for me the equivalent of some kind of illumination or miracle. And i'm not exagerating.
I've been (and still am) trying to master realistic techniques concerning animals and  nature, and although at least I think I'm beginning to get some decent results concerning canines, horses (and other ungulates with the same kind of fur) had been for me a long-lost battle. I just wasn't able to make realistic shadows or fur, and the fact that I'm not very familiar with horse anatomy made it worse. But this - this has been like a blessing, some kind of gift, of enlightment. Thanks to you I've finally understood how to paint fur in equines. And I just don't know how to thank you for that.
I'm a little..."scared" about using tons of different colours, but I'm going to give it a try.
Again, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, specially with a clumsy like me who was even more lost in that matter than a blind man in the middle of the darkness. :happycry:
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is an incredibly helpful tutorial! Will you ever do a tutorial for your sketch and lineart stages?
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
Thanks a lot! Well, there aren't any magic tricks used in my sketching process because I always draw my sketches using the gridding technique which basically means diving both your reference and drawing file into squares and drawing what you see square by square. The result is very detailed sketch with correct proportions but if you wish to draw your sketches free-hand without using grids, then I'm afraid I don't have any great tips other than practice and patience! :)
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
How do you set up a grid? That's my main trouble.
IllusionaryDragoness Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought this was a photo-manip. Wow... One day, maybe one day I'll be able to do this. Until then, I'll keep practicing!
geometric-harmartia Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ermm, is there a link anywhere so that I can find your awesome custom brush?
WesternSpurs Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Artist
you're my hero.
ammidog Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG, if it ever possible?
LostEleganceAdopts Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
LO-19-ST Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is unbeleivable - your paintings look like photograps!
Still, this is a perfect tutorial, just what i've been looking for <3
Wafflepaws Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
And there goes motivation.

You're insane. Insane.
AwesomePossum26 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is insane!! Your paintings look like photographs!!
PaintedUp Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I should try this. ;P
Ickenz Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! Even though this seems way to hard for me it helped a lot. Well done! :D
HorseGalMK Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This tutorial was really well done - it makes complete and utter sense! Fantastic job!
NEFUR-STUDIOS Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I just finished painting a horse, and then saw this and was like... Well shit. -Throws work away- xD
Carla-loves Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This tutorial is very helpfull! I'll use it while making a new digital art. I already have the sketch! :) May I ask you how you get the different colors tot THE painting?
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Thanks very much! I pick some colours from the reference photo, paint the basic colours with them along with using some of my own colours too, and then just create new hues based on the previously used colours. So I just keep adding more and more hues as I go along until the painting is finished. :D
Carla-loves Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay, thank you very much! :D
CheezayBallz Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You art is amazing and this tutorial is very helpful. I hope I can improve my horse art with that technique :D
The-Pheonix-Dress Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
OMG!!! You are so talented! This will really help me for my school digital art assignment!
Akrat Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Спасибо большое Вам! Очень красивая и трудная работа! Пожалуй, мне есть к чему стремиться. :)
Thank you very much! Very beautiful and hard work! I think I have something to strive for. :)
horsemad4life Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012
Ommmggeeeee it looks like a photo:dummy:
Archie2804 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
It's not loading for me
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
Hmm, maybe dA is messing up with you because it loads just fine for me? Sometimes I can't view some pieces here, but when I try later, they usually load again.
Le-laa Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
i really love this one!!!
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I created this: [link] by using your tutorial. It looks more like a water colored horse instead of an actual one. Tips? I also find it difficult to begin outlining the shapes during my sketch stages. Maybe you could post a tutorial of that when you have time. Just a friendly suggestion. :D
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
I think you did really nice job! But one tip I could give is that try to polish the edges of the horse with an eraser (or a brush) more next time because now they look kinda pixel-ish. :)

Hmm, do you mean that it's difficult for you to draw the outlines over the sketch? If that's so, I'm not sure how to explain it better than just pick a really small brush, zoom VERY close and carefully draw the lineart with either short or long strokes, depending on how you like it the best! I also have a few videos on YouTube showing how I do my sketches and lineart so maybe you'd like to take a look at them too. [link]
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I would if my computer would use the direct link. It hates them. What is it called on YouTube?
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
They're called "Drawing a sketch and a lineart for a horse - Part 1, 2, 3 & 4". Also my nickname on YouTube is T04NWT5 if you can't find the videos by their titles! :)
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I saw them all. Now I can skip to the drawing board and do nothing but draw all day long!
Sipper-Paws Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012
Lovely tutorial :3
ZaxForever Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yay! Now I can be realistic with my body as well as my mane and tail. I'm very glad you posted this, now I'm gonna try it out.
hennap Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love to see your WIP thank you for this:aww::heart:
ExquisiteGraceDesign Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for posting this, it was quite helpful!!

Oh and could you tell me how you put the linked thumnail back to the finished painting? If you could that would be awesome!!
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
No problem, thanks for you too! Hmm, I just pasted the thumbnail code to the artist's comments, but I don't know if only premium members can use thumbnails? :hmm:
ExquisiteGraceDesign Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I tried that so probably, thanks!!
laffinia Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
gahhh this is crazy!
LaughingHeron Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing, I've been wanting to try a more realistic horse picture for a while I will most likely use some of your advice and tricks when I finally give it a try.
Claiy Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012   Digital Artist
Sooo, how do you know which color to use? I mean, i'd never get the idea to use this colors to get this coat.. do you use a reference for that?

btw, I love the way you draw!!!
thunderbulletz Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012
Yep, all my paintings are heavily referenced from photos and I often pick colours from my refs and then modify them more or less and also add my own hues here and there. Later when adding smaller details I don't really need my reference for the colours anymore because I can find the right hues from the previous layers! :) And thanks a lot!
Hathien603 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012
Really great tutorial and a gorgeous end product! Thanks for showing us your process :)
imke14 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you make it look so damn easy xD
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012
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Submitted on
June 10, 2012
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