Tuesday, January 25, 2022


In a little less that a week, a whole bunch of people are going to start painting model horses. Some will apply their pigments, pastels and oil paints directly onto the primer, but others are going to short cut the process with an acrylic basecoat. In today's first Tutorial Tuesday post of this year's NaMoPaiMo, Kristen Cermele discusses how to create a proper foundation for your finishwork. Thanks, Kristen!


by Kristen Cermele

What's a base coat? For oils or pastels, I often put down an acrylic base coat. I've seen people make the mistake of making this coat thin and streaky, or taking the "coat" literally and using one coat of paint.

This medallion is a decorator, so the light blue base coat is because he will be blue, although some people use blue as a base for black! I wanted to show you how saturated my base is. It is not one hundred percent perfectly uniform. That's okay, but it is not allowing any of the red primer color to come through. It is brushstroke free, but if you have big strokes and lines, no worries! You can let it dry entirely and lightly sand them down. This took about four actual layers of paint, which was a Golden high flow acrylic blue and Golden fluid white mix. These are very pigmented paints, you may need many more layers with a less pigmented paint.

So while we call it a "basecoat," it's really multiple layers. When I'm done coating this - I need to do his mane now! - I'll be able to start building my blue, white, yellow, and gold colors on top. That will still take some time, but it'll take much less time because of that nice, solid acrylic basecoat!

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