Old West

Painting American Indians – Part 4


With generous interruptions from real life, it took me a week to finish painting the horses. I used a lot of blending and washes to reduce as much as possible any harsh lines where the colors changed on the horse. It was nearly impossible to take still photos to show blending.

I used the recipes from painting the splotches on the pintos in part 3 to paint entire horses. I used the red brown for painting strawberry roans, various shades of the mid-brown to paint brown horses, and I used the black recipe to paint a single black horse.

For the grey horses I once again turned to Amanda Kear’s (Stronty Girl) workbench article on The Miniatures Page: Painting Dapple Grey Horses. Her recipe calls for a mid-tone or neutral grey and Payne’s Grey. I love Payne’s Grey and used it a lot when I painted watercolors. Unfortunately, the only tube of Payne’s Grey I have is watercolor paint and not acrylic paint. But never fear, Payne’s Grey is an easy color to mix. You use equal amounts of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna with an optional drop of red. You end up with this wonderful slate blueish dark grey that is somewhere between charcoal grey and black. Some times you can use Payne’s Grey in place of black. Especially if you want a less intense black.

Anyway, here are the completed horses:


When I was little, my first box of crayons only had eight colors. It didn’t take long to discover that there are more than eight colors in the world. So why do we only use one color for black? Picture a woman in black heels, a sexy little black dress, black fish net stockings, black hair, black gloves, dark glasses, and a black beret. Oh, and she’s African American. How can you paint that miniature with only one bottle of black paint? Most of the time you will want to add another color to your black or find a substitute color for black such as Payne’s Grey or Walnut Brown.

As I painted the horses, I also painted the hair and feathers on the Indians. For the hair, I used Reaper’s Walnut Brown. It is a dark brown that is almost black. In fact, of all of the pictures on this page, only one miniature has hair that was painted a straight black. It is the one Old Glory miniature I selected for this project to bring the number of Indians in the war band up to 30. Here are a couple of comparison pictures of a figure with black hair and a figure with walnut brown hair:

Figure on left by Old Glory. Figure on right by Conquest Miniatures

Next time, I paint the buckskin, leather, trade cloth, & weapons. Feel free to comment on techniques you’ve used in painting horses. As with everything in this hobby, there is more than one way to do it.

2 thoughts on “Painting American Indians – Part 4”

  1. These Indians are coming along nicely. I’ve recently “discovered” bottle caps as painting bases from you folks that paint war game figures. Jar lids are pretty good for 54mm.

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