How To Draw Horse Manes On Photoshop
 By T W I   •   25th Oct 2011   •   10,867 views   •   9 comments
Horse Photoshop

By popular request, I finally ended up creating a mane tutorial. Iím still not completely satisfied with the quality of the manes (and tails) I draw, so in the future I might end up creating another updated version as I continue to improve my method.

Software: Photoshop Elements | Skill level: Advanced

This tutorial will be focused on how to draw a chestnut-colored mane. My technique differs from color to color, so if you're following along, I reccomend you chose a mane color roughly the same as what I'm using.

Make sure that the horse is completely cut out, including the mane and tail removed. If there are pieces of the mane or tail overlapping the horse in places you cannot erase, youíll need to decide whether you can simply draw over those area or will need to clone them out.

Make a new layer.
Select a hard brush, size six pixels and at 80% opacity. Draw the basic outline of the mane, using your desired color. Keep in mind that the color you chose will be the base color for the whole mane.

Donít draw a solid chunk of mane, but leave it in little strands. This will determine the shape of it. Draw natural, free flowing strands. Think how the horse's environment would influence the way the mane moves. Is the horse in water? Then the mane would be floating up in a haphazard fashion. Or maybe the horse is grazing. Then it would be softly falling forward, towards the horse's face.

Horse Photoshop

Once youíre finish, make another layer right below the strands layer. Change your brush to a soft brush and make it bigger, to around 20 pixels. Paint a blob of color beneath the strands, making a base for the mane. Thereís no need to detail it, just make conform to the shape of the strands you painted. One thing to avoid however, is getting the edges of your base to close too the edges of the strands, as this will give the mane a blocky look- exactly what we're trying to avoid.

Horse Photoshop

Make a third layer overtop of the other two. This layer will contain your basic highlights. Select a color a bit lighter than the original base color, as highlights are always lighter. Use a large fuzzy brush on a low opacity setting, around 35%, to block in some big, fat highlights. These are your guidelines for the areas that will be the most highlighted throughout the mane.

There is no set standard of where the highlights should be located. It all depends on the scene's lighting, as well as the way the mane is shaped. Figuring out where to place highlights just takes practice.

Repeat the process, this time using a color darker than the base color. There shouldn't be as many shadowed areas in the mane as highlights.

Horse Photoshop

Make of forth layer over top of the other three. Change the opacity to 75% and your brush back to a hard brush, the size at two pixels. If desired, you can adjust the size of your brush a little, however do not use size 1. Size 1 always gives individual strands an unattractive, pixilated look.

Chose a new color, this time a bit lighter than the base highlights color. Start brushing in little strands, all throughout the mane. You can put highlights on the shadow areas too, just not in nearly as high of concentration as the blocked in highlight areas.

Be sure to draw lots of highlights, though at varying concentrations thoroughout. Do not leave any space without them.

Repeat the process, using shadow strands. I like my shadows to be almost completely black, on a low opacity. Donít add as many shadows as highlights, just brush them in there to give the mane a variation in color.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Horse Photoshop
Horse News More In This Category:  Graphics      Horse News More From This Author:  T W I
thank you thank you thank you thank you.... XD I am so happy you put this up!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... you need to MSG me part two so I don't screw up my winter digi... XD
  Oct 25, 2011  •  8,789 views
Dunns DragonFly Stable  
WOW!!!! Your really good:)
  Oct 26, 2011  •  8,792 views
All That Jazz  
You make the most amazing graphics ever. XD
  Oct 26, 2011  •  8,791 views
Stay Untamed  
These are amazing! Thanks for writing about it!!
  Oct 26, 2011  •  8,829 views
Your graphics are amazing
  Oct 28, 2011  •  8,787 views
Etched in Stone  
This was extremely helpful, TWI! I tried it today and it worked very well. Kind of haha. A few more tries and I should reach success.
  Oct 31, 2011  •  8,864 views
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
Very nice ! and easy to understand, thanks !
  Nov 3, 2011  •  8,814 views
Wow! I have a friend who does photoshop and i'll show her this )
  Nov 7, 2011  •  8,907 views
Did you draw the horse in the sample manip? its really good!!!
  Nov 18, 2011  •  8,827 views
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