Painting Your Breyer Models

All you need is a Breyer model, acrylic paints and your imagination! Is your dream horse a golden palomino or a spotted appaloosa? Is she a strawberry roan or a stunning dapple grey? All these colors are possible with the paints and full color instructions in Breyer painting kits, or you can get paints at any art supply store. Ask for white, black, yellow ochre, burnt umber and burnt sienna and the rainbow of horse colors is possible. Acrylics are water soluable, so clean up is easy too.

What you’ll need:

  • One Breyer model, any size
  • Acrylic paints: White, Black, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna
  • Paint brush
  • Newspaper or paper towels to cover table
  • Cup of water
  • Optional: Cosmetic sponge; Gesso or other Primer; Matte finishing spray such as Krylon

Today we will paint a chestnut horse with white markings.  If you have gesso or a primer, paint that first so that the layers of color will adhere the best.  You can use a paintbrush or a cosmetic sponge to apply the base coat in a thin layer. 

Then prepare Raw Sienna as the base color, and mix in a little Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber to get your favorite shade of chestnut.  Paint your base color – again, either with brush or cosmetic sponge for covering large areas.  It’s ok if it’s a little see-through – it is better to have several thin layers of paint than one thick layer.  After about 5 minutes the first layer should be dry and you can paint a second thin layer of base color.

Next mix a little bit of darker color to your base color and begin shading the darker color as shown in the photo.

Once you are happy with the body color, paint the mane and tail.  A chestnut horse’s mane and tail can be the lighter, darker or the same as the body color, so choose what you like best. 

Next add any white markings on the face and legs.  Use several thin coats of white for the best effect.  Now it is time to paint the hooves!  A chestnut colored leg will have a grey hoof, so mix black and white and a bit of raw sienna to create a warm grey color for the hoof. A leg with a white marking will have a tan colored hoof. Mix raw sienna with white for tan hoof color. Next add black for the eyes and watch your dream horse come to life!

If you have it, you can seal your painted piece with a matte finishing spray such as Krylon or Testors.

Most of all, have fun!

Samples of pretty color to paint:

Here is Red Roan, Buckskin and Grullo (also known as blue dun)

Here is Bay, Dapple Grey and Black

This Light Dapple Grey also has an added mohair mane and tail for even more realism!

Face Markings

Left to Right:  Blaze, Stripe, Stripe and Snip, Star

Appaloosa Markings

A Leopard Appaloosa is white with dark spots

A Blanket Appaloosa has white on the hips, typically with spots like this buckskin

Pinto Markings

An Overo Pinto’s white is jagged and does not cross the back or spine

A Tobiano Pinto has white crossing the back, and the patches of color are usually big and more rounded than an overo

A Sabino Pinto has high white stockings on the legs and often belly spotting