If you can paint small dots, you can create mottled Appaloosa skin!
Start with a reference photo of an Appaloosa with a similar pattern as the horse that you will be painting.
I see mottling as being a pink skin base and grey dots on top, so I start with a pink skin base.
Remember that pink skin is not a super bright shade of pink. Their skin can sunburn like ours, and bright pink often means it may have a sunburn!
Brushes for mottling spots:
You can use any brush (even slightly larger sizes!) that comes to a fine point, as you are only using the point for this.
The higher the number, the thinner the brush is, and they come in different shapes.
Pictured are a few different sizes and shapes that I used for mottling and details. (You can find similar brushes at most art/craft stores.)
Photo 1: 20/0 round and 20/0 spotter
Photo 2: 18/0 round and 20/0 round
Photo 3: 18/0 round and 18/0 short liner
Base coated pink
(like a naked mole rat!)
Here is the reference photo that I was working from.
You can see that it looks like pink skin with many tiny grey dots on it.
If you find painting mottling to be hard, try to not think of it as mottling, but break it down into simple shapes- painting dots!
Here is what I saw when I looked at my reference photo:
-My reference has a lot of grey dots on the side of its muzzle from the bottom of the upper lip to the nostril.
-The lower lip has less grey dots and shows more pink, but has more dots as it gets closer to its chin.
-There are barely has any dots on the front of his upper lip.
-It has less dots on the inside of his nostrils.
It is great to have a test horse to practice on, which was the horse shown above.
Different sized and shaped dots in a random pattern on my NaMoPaiMo (National Model Painting Month) project horse, who is between Stablemate and Little Bit size.
To keep a fine point on your brush to make tiny spots, get a little bit of paint on your brush and gently pull your brush gently against your pallet or paint cup and gently twist the brush between your fingers in one direction. This will wipe excess paint off of your brush and bring the paint brush tip to a point.
My method of painting is considered underpainting, since the detail is added and then is painted over.
The white hair color was airbrushed over the mottled skin.
You can also paint the mottling over the body color, if that is your preferred method.
The difference is that you have to shade into the body color so that it does not stop abruptly.
Pick the method that works for you!
Here is another view of my test horse.
I practiced mottling on the face, airbrushed the white on, and then I tested out different colors, mediums, etc. on his neck to figure out what worked best for me to do the Appaloosa spotting portion.
Here is what my project horse's face looked like when I did the underpainting of the skin and skin spots.
White was airbrushed over it, leaving particular areas of skin showing.
(You can also hand paint, pastel, etc. the white layer on - whatever works for you!)
My reference photo didn't show much mottling around the eyes, so the dots all overlap in that area to the point where barely any pink skin shows through.
Here are some finished views of my NaMoPaiMo project horse!