Follow along with these step-by-step instructions for creating this beautiful horse portrait in our guest tutorial from artist Lesha Lauz.
Lesha is a professional tattoo artist and painter in Moscow, Russia. He graduated from the Stroganov Academy of Art and has been using Copics for nearly seven years.
First, I found a suitable horse photo; clear and in nice lighting. Based on the photo I made a pencil sketch (HB Lead) adding the necessary decorative touches (such as pixels, etc.):
After I was finished with the pencil work, I began to paint a picture starting with the darkest places, using the N9 and C7, then blending smoothly into BG09 and BG45:
Then I gradually made a gradient from blue-green to beige, going from BG11 to E51 to E11:
I then used a cool gray to add volume to the head of the horse. I almost always use gray in my works. It is very useful for muting any color that is too bright, or to apply shading. In this step I used C2, C3, C4, C5 and C7:
To give the sandy color I used E35, E51, with E40 for the light areas. I used E35 only in the inner shadow of the ear. In the same step, I used Gray C3 to give contrast and emphasize the muscles:
Next I started to use green in my earlier highlighted areas. I made a smooth transition from G29 to G21 through YG95 "Pale Olive":
Then I used E51 and E11 to finalize the ear and upper neck, and started on the "glitchy" portions using purple and blue hues BV00, BV04, B12 and B41. In this step it is very important to keep the color within the lines:
Now the most important step, the pixels! Again, be very careful to keep the color within the lines; move the marker quickly to avoid blotching. Pay special attention to the corners (junctions between the pixels). I always use Copic Sketch markers for this type of work, as they have a very convenient nib for it. For the pixels I relied on my imagination and sense of color, using the same basic colors I drew in the previous steps. One blue pixel seemed too bright, so I muted it with gray C3. I finished the rest of the decorative details using light shades of gray C0, C1 and C2:
In the final step I used C1 and C0 to add shading and contrast around the edges of the horse's neck. I also used the Colorless Blender to soften some of the colors in the mane and background. I added my signature and the drawing is done!
Here are the markers that I used: