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Black and White with a touch of red


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#1 vegel

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

Hi guys

I want to achieve the following two looks on a mini, any tips pls...?
is it mainly a very sharp transition from black to white?
With the skin part, I think it's more pale close to white skin tone but not entirely white, like 'Bleach Bone" perhaps?

I know I am not as good and far from that level of skill... but no harm trying aye?

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source http://500px.com/pho...98?from=popular

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#2 Wren

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

One thing to consider is that you can do a monochromatic effect without using straight black-gray-white. If I were trying to replicate the look of the woman in the photo, I would probably experiment with the Dark Elf or Dusky Skin triads with white and black or maybe blue liner at the end points. Pure gray and true black are kind of 'dead' colours visually.

Whether you need a sharp transition from black to white depends on what surface you're painting. This is part of what makes monochromatic painting so challenging. The key of what we're doing is trying to use paint to replicate the way light bounces off of different surfaces. In full colour painting, you have colour to help convey the surface so it can work even if the painting doesn't perfectly replicate the effects of the light. To put it another way, if you paint something like a shoe or a necklace brown, even if you don't paint it very well the fact that it's brown and looks like a shoe or a necklace will go a long way to telling the viewer's eye to interpret the brown as leather for a shoe and gold for a necklace.

When you paint something monochromatically, you're removing the colour cues from the equation, so there is that much more pressure on your skill in painting what different surfaces look like. So a sword, to look shiny, does need to go from black to white, often in sharp transitions. Ditto shiny patent leather like the second figure's belt. Skin is more of a matte surface, maybe with a slight sheen. The skin in both your examples is pretty pale. if you laid out a spectrum from white through gray to black, the skin colours would all be in the upper third with light to mid grays and nowhere near black.

That's another thing to look at doing if you try monochromatic - surfaces have to look distinct from one another on a mini to work. Colour contrast is one tool we use for that. So if you don't have the contrast of colour, you'll need to pay closer attention to the contrast of tone (how light and dark things are). The second mini works because he's got areas of contrast next to one another - the leather is painted as a dark black leather, so it stands apart from the skin. If he had wanted to paint the straps above the boots in the monochrome rather than red, he would have needed to use a middle gray colour and work to make sure it didn't get too black or too white so it stood out as distinct from the skin and the boots. Having the red as an additional colour helped make that a bit easier to do potentially.

Using a relatively clean sculpt will probably also help get the effect you're after. You don't want to try this on a figure that's bedecked with pouches and vials and jewellry and so on. The sculpt is counter to the feel you like, and that's a ton more surfaces you have to try to make look different from one another.

#3 Wren

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

Derek Schubert, one of the Reaper artists, often teaches a class at ReaperCon (and I think sometimes Gen Con or other cons) on painting monochromatically, so that's something to look out for if you get a chance. Also he has several minis you could study for inspiration.

http://www.reapermin...rt/latest/03439
http://www.reapermin...rt/latest/50023
http://www.reapermin...rt/latest/01502
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#4 vegel

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

Thank you very much for your tips!! I think we can just change that into an introduction to monochrome painting!
I appreciate that a lot, I will be posting some WIP when I put this into practice!
I do have one mini that I want to try this out on, but it's a darksword one so I haven't post it here :down: I know I can if I want haha
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#5 Wren

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

Your mention of using a Dark Sword mini (which you are absolutely welcome to post here) reminded me of another nice monochrome example. There is even a video tutorial you can buy for this one if you're interested. (Link to the site selling that is under the picture.)

http://www.darksword..._MaleRanger.htm

#6 dks

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

Speak of the dks, and the dks will appear... :devil:
Rhonda (Wren) has it right.

That photo of the Red Riding Hood figure has high-contrast black-to-white areas (metal, shiny leather, and hair whose shine verges on the metallic), but note that the skin is mostly light values, as Rhonda said, with subtle transitions and dark shadows only in very limited areas.

My versions of the Ghoul Queen (03126) and "Black Pearl" the evil mermaid (03078) also used desaturated skin tones, using Aged Bone as a base color. To get the effect in your first inspiration photo, I think your midtone might be even higher, like Polished Bone. For shadows, I would just add more and more Brown Liner and perhaps a bit of Woodstain Brown (or any cool brown) so the mix doesn't go too gray in the middle values. I often find it difficult to get smooth blends with grays, since the paint changes color when it dries. Anyway, if you can get your grayscale highlights and shadows looking the way you want them, you can glaze a little more warmth or color (maybe a slight pink) if you want. It looks to me like the Red Riding Hood has some blue in the shadows of her skin.

Also, remember that Reaper has the "Power Palette" application. If you can get the image under 300kb, then you can use Power Palette to click around and get approximate Master Series colors.

Where is that Red Riding Hood figure from, anyway?

Derek
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#7 Wren

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:06 PM

Hey Derek! The figure is a Kingdom Death one, though I think it comes with a cloak that the painter left off. (And he added the basket.)

#8 Baphomet69

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

Those stark contrasts are amazing! I've got to try this some day...

If it had been purple instead of red, that would remind me of one of my City of Heroes characters...
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

#9 dks

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:15 PM

@Wren: Ah yes, I thought it looked familiar. "Twilight Knight" by Kingdom Death, extra basket, hold the cloak. Thanks.
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#10 joshuaslater

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:17 AM

Goin' to grandma's dressed like that?? :wacko:
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#11 Qwyksilver

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

Goin' to grandma's dressed like that?? :wacko:


My grandmother would have gotten a kick out of it. A grand daughter like that would probably sneak her out of the nursing home for cigarettes and Gin and Tonics.
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#12 MonkeySloth

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

Speak of the dks, and the dks will appear... :devil:


But she didn't say your name three times.

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#13 Wren

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:20 PM

The dks is so good he requires fewer invocations!
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