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Rainbow Sculptor

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  1. I think I commented on this elsewhere but it deserves the love. This is such a cool take on her! I love the story and the shading/blending, and probably most of all the hair color!
  2. Super cool idea, and I'm sure very difficult to implement. Well done, this is a beautiful piece!
  3. Just for funsies I wanted to post this here. Alice and I have a history, as you can see in this thread, which makes this that much more special to me. I finally revisited Alice and the Wonderland crew after many years away. I wanted to see what my current skillset could do with the initial concepts and how I could expand on the other characters with the design skills I've developed in that time. This is a re-sculpt of the initial Alice, minimal changes to the design, I had my daughter Juniper pose for it this time which just adds more of an attachment to it than I already had. Here's the render I did up for the release and the physical models of the set from our Phrozon Sonic Mini 4K! Here are the other two characters I created to go with Alice for the January release of my Tribes, the White Rabbit and the March Hare. I was also able to put together color guides based on how I poly-painted these while sculpting. I used the Reaper Power Palette to pick out the colors from an image of the poly painted version. I organized them by material. I'd love to hear your thoughts on if you would find guides like this useful and/or what changes you would like to see to make it a tool you would enjoy having. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, coming back to this model. That said, I'm very happy with how the new version came out and I think if I ever come back to this character it will need to be reimagined from a very different perspective. For now I'm really enjoying building out the remainder of the Wonderland crew and I'll be releasing at least one other set of characters for this theme at some point. I was inspired to sketch out a languid posh naga version of the Blue Caterpillar the other day that I'm really looking forward to sculpting!
  4. This month I felt particularly inspired by the Nutcracker characters and decided to do a whole themed set. I learned a lot about the original source material and had fun reimagining some of my favorite Reaper painters as Christmas characters. If you want to play the guessing game, go right ahead, I'll put my inspirations after the images Sugar Plum Fairy- Erin Hartwell Drosselmeyer- Aaron Lovejoy The Nutcracker- James Wappel The Rat King- Ian Markon
  5. This sounds epic! I love a good holiday themed adventure!!!
  6. Thanks! I'm glad you like it. She did get a belly button! I actually really liked adding that little detail because I don't get to include them often haha The full figure is 34mm to the eyes, I didn't scale the bust to the eyes mostly because we went through so many iterations of the plinth part but in total from the bottom of the plinth to the tippy tops of her antennae is 95mm. I was aiming to have it roughly the same scale as the first bust I brought to ReaperCon. I believe our support guy is test printing that piece now so we'll see how it comes out! Until then here's an accurate scale comparison of the two:
  7. I had this idea to create both a full body miniature and a bust utilizing the same sculpt. I haven’t attempted a project like this before but I knew several things that would need to be considered and learned several more along the way. I’m writing this to share the things I learned and hopefully give you some things to consider for your next project. The sculpt I wanted to create was a Christmas version of my company’s mascot character, Lunette. She’s a moth and caretaker of a magical library where she guides curious readers through the various fantasies and adventures behind each cover in her collection. For this version of Lunette the idea was that she snuck into The Night Before Christmas, stole an elf’s clothes, and started tampering with Santa’s naughty list. Here was the initial concept art: I liked a lot about the early sketch but moving to the sculpt phase highlighted a lot of areas that weren’t working. The clothes weren’t feeling stolen, or particularly elf like without color. Instead it was looking more like a cave woman or fairy. Going back to my original idea I brainstormed some ways I could rethink the costuming to better convey the story. I pulled up lots of references for different Christmas elves and made notes about the elements I liked or thought would work well. I ended up with this: I liked how the awkward lengths of the sleeves and pant legs were reading more like these clothes didn’t belong to her and the Santa style belt seemed like a strong Christmas element. I was feeling pretty good about this direction and ran it by a few trusted friends. They thought it was looking more like a pirate than an elf. I could see what they meant and went back to my references to see what else I could use to really convey the Christmas vibe. One of the things I noticed was the triangle edges on a lot of the collars, cuffs, skirts and such. I really liked the long tailed vests and thought adding some lace would bring in that homey/authentic quality. Thinking more about how to push the idea of the clothes being too small for her. This was finally working. The triangle edges for the cuffs and pointed shoes were looking very elf-like, the unbelted shirt allowed me to push the tightness of the buttons and awkward length of the vest further. I split the pants along the seams a bit and we were ready to move on to polishing. A common misconception is that the sculptor can simply chop off the head or top third of the figure, stick it on a box or cylinder, and call it a day. The truth is that a lot of things that need to be exaggerated to look right at 34mm would look terrible at 75mm. The hands are a good example of this. At full figure scale the hands and pen needed to be very oversized and bulky to not only be understood and paintable at scale but also to minimize weak areas like thin wrists and tiny pen nibs. Here’s a closer look at the level of exaggeration needed at the 34mm scale. In the mini version you can see they are very oversized and chunky. My main unit of measurement here is ensuring the pen is at least 1mm thick and then adjusting the hand around that marker. Less than 1mm will create very very thin and breakable areas. When sculpting for casting you cannot break the 1mm rule, honestly it's a good rule of thumb even for printing to ensure durability. Though modern printers are certainly capable of rendering smaller detail, the first time you accidentally knock it off your table you'll be breaking out the super glue. I want the things I make to last and prefer a chunkier style anyway so I do my best to ensure that thinner areas are at least 1mm thick. The button detailing on the vest is also simplified compared to what will be needed in the bust. Though no one will likely ever notice, every wrinkle in this fabric was redone by hand on the bust to accommodate the larger scale and greater level of detail. Bust Mini Now we've finished up the full figure! I started thinking about plinth designs and collecting some reference images. I don’t have a lot of experience creating plinths and it’s a task that still intimidates me a bit. I do love having the space and freedom to really play with shapes and patterns and add to the story of the character through the basing design. Since the theme of my release on MMF this month is going to be The Nutcracker I’ve been looking at quite a few nutcrackers and getting really inspired by some of the more elaborate versions of them. The next step is deciding where to have the figure end. The only hard and fast rule on this topic is to never “cut” a figure at a joint. Instead of cropping the body at the shoulder, consider cropping it along the center of the forearm or between the shoulder and neck instead. You are more likely to convey that this is part of a larger image/scene and less likely to communicate that your character has suffered some terrible trauma. With all that in mind I ended up with this. I knew she needed to keep both her arms in order to retain the story component. Which didn’t leave a lot of areas to cut it. I really loved all the designs on the plinth and how it felt like the imagery supported and expanded on the story of the figure. Adding in Santa and his reindeer to the plinth also inspired me to put Santa’s wax seal on the bottom of the naughty list. I experimented with adding this element to the full figured version but it just wasn’t legible at scale and seemed to be more confusing than helpful. I shrunk the hands and pen like I planned to do, detailed out the lace patterning in the sleeves that were too small to do before, and retouched all over the figure to ensure things looked good at the larger scale. There was a lot about this that I felt was working but it still felt a bit awkward. My husband pointed out that she looked like she was coming out of a birthday cake haha He was right, the silhouette was not benefiting the figure and the awkward placement of the junction between the figure and the plinth was distracting from the overall flow of the piece. I tried angling the top rim to give a more dynamic slice but that didn't fix the issue. After some more brainstorming we decided to crop her a little higher and make the plinth overall more bell shaped. I loved this idea as it had a nostalgic Christmas feel to it and made a much more pleasant overall silhouette. Here are the final pieces. I hope this was a fun look into the making-of process and that you like our Christmas Lunette pieces as much as I loved creating them! Happy Holidays from our family to yours ❤️
  8. It's not a cat face but it is a face. I believe it is Izzy's variation on the Green man as that seemed to be a repeating motif throughout these figures. Here's a closer look at it, hope that helps 🙂
  9. The beading definitely reads as intended, the feet hair and the color scheme are just awesome!
  10. Really beautiful work! I love the lighter color hair, the color choice compliments the dress very well. You did a great job of making the boars look menacing despite my failed attempt to turn down the cute! haha You did such a great job on this set, even down to the beautiful basing details. Excellent work!
  11. This is a really beautiful piece and so many great photo ops! Excellent work
  12. This is SO cool!! This is the kind of stuff I love seeing. Truly unique and creative work ❤️
  13. Limited Color Palettes Limited color palettes are one of my favorite color schemes to use. It’s super easy for beginners to get beautiful pieces with a harmonious aesthetic but even if you’re really experienced as an artist it’s a way to take the stress out of mixing a whole bunch of colors. I figured this would be a fun thing to discuss as we're going in to the holiday season, time for painting minis gets tight, and this is a great way to still work on your painting and minis without wasting a bunch of time stressing about color schemes. How-To: Pick two colors (complementary colors work great but it can be any two colors) plus black and white. That’s it! You’re done with the super stressful color picking portion of mini painting! Wasn’t that easy? How do you make a whole piece out of just two colors? Here’s my formula for getting a great range of hues to use throughout your piece. Note: you will get better results if you pick a warm color and a cool color but I’ll talk about those a bit later. In this example we started with blue and orange. These are complimentary hues, meaning they fall directly opposite each other on the color wheel. The left column has a mix of 70% blue with 30% orange. The top one is mixed with white, the center is a straight 50/50 mix, and the bottom square is our main hue mixed with black. In the center column there’s a 50/50 mix of the blue and orange. The straight mixture is in the center square, that mixture adds white for the top square, and with black for the bottom. In the right column you flip the percentages to favoring the orange. So 70% orange with 30% blue. Tinted on top (adding white), shaded on bottom (adding black), and a straight mix in the center. Now to talk about warm and cool colors. This can be a bit tricky because usually people just assume that if it’s red it’s warm and if it’s blue it’s cool. That’s simply not true! Each hue has it’s own spectrum ranging from warm to cool. The very center of that spectrum represents the True Hue or the most pure version of that hue. The best way to illustrate this is to show you the spectrum of a hue and compare the extremes. Here we're looking at Green. All of the colors within that arc are considered Green but on the cooler side we see a more turquoise or blue-green color whereas on the warm side we're shifting into that kermit-like yellow-green. This shift happens in every hue. It seems to be easier to explain these secondary colors but what about red and blue? They are all warm or all cool right? no. They too have a spectrum. The warmer side of red is more orange, the cooler side shifts towards purple and gives us a magenta. The warm side of blue is in that violet/magenta side, the cool side gets closer to green and gives us turquoise. It's a little easier to see on a color wheel but can be more difficult when you're staring at two paint bottles and trying to figure out which one is warm or cool. As a color leans more to one side of it's spectrum than the other we call that it's bias. Here's another side by side comparison of our primary colors in the warm and cool versions side by side for comparison. Knowing what the bias is for the color we're using allows us to predict better how it will mix with other colors. Mixing the reddish blue with the bluish red creates a vibrant magenta color. They are both biased towards each other and will therefore maintain much of their saturation when mixed. Using that same cool red with a warm red, as in the example on the right, will give us more of a brownish maroon color. As a side note for color mixing: directly mixing the true version of complimentary hues (hues on opposite side of the color wheel from each other) results in gray. The colors neutralize each other and we're left with a mid tone of blah. Though it is difficult to find a genuinely TRUE version of a hue so you'll usually create a chromatic gray or slightly colored gray. That's okay, and can be a really fun thing to play with. Keep it in mind though when picking out those Reds and Greens for Christmas minis! Red and Green are complimentary hues so when they are mixed 50/50 they will give you gray. Now that we have a little bit better understanding of the characteristics of the specific colors we're choosing and a simple and fun way to start playing with those hues, let's not let ourselves get paralyzed by the mountain of choices we have in Reaper paint we all have in our studios!
  14. I think there are colors that are easier to paint, blue/purple/green come to mind in most circumstances. The warmer side of the spectrum tends to give people difficulties. Yellow paint is notoriously thin because there are no substances to create yellow pigment from that are both vividly pigmented AND opaque. Therefore we end up having to do lots of layers, utilize underpainting, and tweak a lot more than other more naturally vibrant paints. Value tends to have a lot to do with it in my experience. Painting lighter values tends to be more challenging then mid or darker values. Red I find pretty easy as it covers well, takes to white/black well, and can be mixed pretty effectively with other colors in a predictable way. I'm sure there's a lot of variation between what type of paint your using, what medium your working in overall, and as you pointed out skill level and preference. That's my two cents on it anyway lol
  15. Black and White are an interesting topic to discuss because it kind of depends on your perspective, I'll explain. We've discussed how our brains process color emotionally, to better understand white and black we need to do a brief review of how our eyes physically process color. Our eyes see color as a result of light. Without light, color doesn't exist. Light waves get absorbed or bounce off of objects and the wavelengths that bounce back into our eyes are processed as visible color. This means that an orange is not inherently orange in color, just that it absorbs all the other wavelengths of light EXCEPT orange which bounces back into our eyes and we process that light as the color orange. So, what does this mean about black and white? Well, white and black don't actually have specific wavelengths of light. What we see as black is actually when an object absorbs all visible wavelengths of light. So black is not exactly a color as much as the absence of color. Oppositely white is what we see what all wavelengths bounce back at us and is therefore the combination of all colors combined. So white and black don't necessarily even exist. What we've been discussing here is called Additive Color Theory and it refers to how color functions in terms of light. This is the basis for computer screens, TVs, and how we see color in the natural world. However, that is dealing with color purely in the context of light and as painters we are interested in white and black as they relate to paint and psychology. We know through experimentation that when you mix all colors of paint together you certainly don't get white. Maybe closer to a black but more likely a muddy brown color. Paint is a deposit of pigment or molecular coloring agents and is part of Subtractive Color Theory. In this context black is certainly a color because it is the result of combining all 3 primary colors. Obviously this isn't a true black, but close enough. Historically we've created black pigment through charcoal, metals, animal bones, the sooty residue from oil lamps, and more recently chemical combinations. According to Subtractive Color Theory then white would be the absence of color. You cannot add together any combination of pigments to create white. So then what's in a tube of white paint? Well, we create white pigment from ground up chalk, bone, or by using chemicals like zinc and titanium. The white of our paper is a result of bleaching the tree bark or pulp used to make the paper. So white could be considered a color in terms of pigment chemistry. In terms of color psychology we know that white and black have pretty significant associations. White often being representative of purity, innocence, spirituality, cleanliness, simplicity, perfection, and openness. Black being perceived as it's opposite. Things like mysteriousness, power, things that are hidden, formal, powerful, serious, elegance, fear or death. So we certainly have an emotional response to these neutrals. You may be thinking "Christie, you haven't answered the question of whether white and black are colors, only left me with more questions" ...yes, unfortunately that's probably true but let's zoom out a little. We have the source of the color in question (either as a pigment/coloring agent or as a wavelength of light), we have the method in which the color is transmitted, and finally how our eyes are perceiving it and brain is processing it. Question: Are Black and White colors? Answer: Black is not a color as it absorbs all wavelengths of light and therefore is the absence of color. BUT a black object may not be entirely black. It is a combination of several pigments that are absorbing most wavelengths of light but not all. In reality an object we call black may actually be reflecting some light. In the science of physics a black object absorbs ALL light. White is always considered a color because it reflects the entire visible spectrum of light back into our eyes. Conclusion: The colors we see are very rarely ever perfectly one thing. It is simply the degree to which we are perceiving the various wavelengths of light into our retinal cones for our brains to respond to. Scientifically speaking, black is not a color and white is. However, psychologically speaking we respond to them emotionally the same as any other hue and as painters we utilize these pigments on their own and to manipulate other pigments. I hope that helps to better understand this slightly more nuanced topic of color theory.
  16. All really great points! I am very much enjoying the dialogue and questions you guys are coming up with, definitely keep it coming. I am working on a write up for the answer for the black/white question and I promise it will be the next thing I address. I wanted to put it out for the equinox as I thought it would be very fitting to discuss the opposites on the day of equilibrium but alas work schedule and sickness got the best of me. I actually struggled quite a bit with the realization that I was not able to see the full spectrum of color. That there were colors out there that I would never be able to see. (Fun Fact: The animal who can see the most colors is the Mantis Shrimp with 16 color receptive cones! Fitting as he is quite colorful himself) Why we developed the way we did and other animals developed differently remains a mystery. Scientists can make educated guesses and we can try to reason out potential theories. I personally believe that the development of our particularly enhanced perception of red and green was likely due to environmental navigation in some way, though the variety of specific theories as to what triggers may have caused it I don't have an opinion about. I think it is important when discussing color to be specific in our vocabulary in order to not only reduce confusion within our own conversations and debates but also to be able to put some of the common misconceptions to rest and educate others. I am grateful to all of you who are here exploring the world of color with me!
  17. Hey guys! I was doing some thinking and although I've sort of discussed this broadly already I wanted to put it in a more succinct, and hopefully more digestible, format before I move on to the other major hues. As humans, we relate to color in 3 ways (maybe?): Personal Association- This is largely conscious association we have made between a particular hue or color combination. It is highly personal to us individually. This could be the color of your favorite sports team. Maybe it's the color of the sweater your grandma knit you and you had to wear for what felt like far too long. For me personally, I hate the color combination of yellow and blue. Color theory-wise it makes perfect sense and it is a relatively common color combo but it makes me think of rubber ducks in childish bathrooms and I struggle to enjoy that color scheme when I encounter it. Cultural or Symbolic Meaning- This is usually a deeply embedded belief about a color within a culture. A color may have gained symbolic significance over many generations, if not hundreds of years, and slipped into folklore. A commonly stated example of this being funeral colors. In America we generally associate black with death and mourning. We expect people to wear black to funerals and we regard black clothing or decoration in general to be of a more serious or somber nature. That is not the case in Eastern Asia however, where the funerary color is white. Culturally, white represents rebirth and purity which is a reflection on their religious beliefs about death primarily based in Buddhism. In South Africa however, Red is a color of mourning which they associate with the bloodshed they suffered during the Apartheid era. This type of color association is shared but often not outwardly analyzed or explained, it's just a social understanding. Psychological Meaning- This type of association is explained as an innate understanding at a subconscious level. It is the emotional impact a color has on us biologically and is completely instinctual. Theoretically, this emotional impact influences our behavior and emotional state without us necessarily being aware of it. This is often where people struggle to differentiate between "color theory" and "color psychology". Color Theory is a study of the use of color practically and more or less mathematically. Color Psychology is a study of the emotional impact of color and our responses to it. Now, perhaps color has no innate emotional impact on us and what we are observing is simply the culmination of the other two ways we process it. Or maybe it does. The truth is we don't really know but this is the area of study I personally find the most fascinating. Mark Rothko, abstract painter during the 50s-70s, explored this idea by creating these massive canvasses entirely filled with either one color or multiple blocks of color. The idea was to immerse the viewer entirely in a field of a particular hue, or hue combination, and allow them the space to observe what emotional impact it had on them. ("Orange, Red, and Yellow" 1961 Mark Rothko) Biologically we know that humans have red and green cone receptors in our eyes that overlap. This limits our ability to see a wider range of color. The honeybee, by contrast, has evenly spaced cones and can see a wider range of hues. We utilize this arrangement in digital camera sensors to achieve the same effect, yet humans do not have this spacing. Because of the overlap in our cones we are able to distinguish a more accurate variation in those hues (red and green particularly) which scientist theorize may have several useful reasons for being that way. Fruits often shift from green to red as they ripen and distinguishing when it was best to eat them would have been helpful. Our faces and bodies get flush with blood flow at crucial times like when we have a fever or are ready to mate. This same thing happens in primates and is utilized at a social level. The lack of red might have also indicated sickness or a lack of nutritional needs. More about that if you're interested HERE So, as you can see, the intuitive impact of color isn't without scientific basis but it does often get bogged down by superficially imposed conjecture which can result in people dismissing it as a legitimate field of study entirely or becoming confused with the excessive amount of conflicting information. I hope this clears a few things up or restates them in a useful way. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the emotional impact of color and the perception vs reality of color psychology as a whole.
  18. That's a great question @Darcstaar! As a general rule I select one main color to be saturated, then the supporting colors will be less saturated depending on where they fall on the color wheel. As an example: if I choose a bright saturated blue for my paladin character than any greens in my palette can still be saturated (though less so than my main color) because it's very close to blue on the color wheel. Any reds/oranges in my palette would be very desaturated (a very grey/dark/or white version of the color) since they fall directly opposite blue on the color wheel. I tend to visualize it as this sort of pie shape over-layed on the color wheel where the center of the arc is my primary color focus. As you can see the most saturated greens we would pick would lean more towards turquoise, the most saturated magentas would lean purple and the red/orange/yellow side is all very desaturated (this is an example of desaturation towards grey but you could also desaturate as a whitish tint or as a dark version of the color) I hope that helps 🙂
  19. Starting at the beginning, with the color Red. The hue with the longest wavelengths, complimentary color to Green. We know that colors effect us on an emotional, mental, and physical level. These changes occur when light enters the eye and affects the hypothalamus portion of the brain and the pituitary gland. We can, to some extent, predict these responses and use that information to cause an emotional response in our viewers. This is learning the words in the language of communicating in color. When combined with the sculptural components we choose, the environment (in the case of dioramas), and the lighting we paint we create a complete message. Before we breakdown each color we need to first understand that each hue is in itself a spectrum. There exists both the Yin and Yang, Warm and Cool, Passive and Active states, both Enhancing and Diminishing qualities. Each variation within the hue will have it's own emotional impact. Cooler versions of red are softer, less aggressive, and push backward in comparison to their warmer counterparts. We also have both positive and negative associations with the hues. These don't directly correlate to using cooler vs warmer necessarily but in order to choose what the right shade of red is to evoke the emotion we're going for, we need to see examine both it's good and bad qualities. Positive Aspects This is a highly motivating color. It stimulates our appetite and get’s us up and going. As the first color in the spectrum, and the highest vibrational frequency (625-740nm), we often associate it with firsts and beginnings. It has a primal energy, often directly correlated to dominance, reproductive success, and testosterone levels in the animal kingdom. We innately understand the strength and power of this hue but it is also the color associated with physical and passionate love, friendliness, and forgiveness. It's considered a primary color, a fundamental signifier of life. If your character has no tinge of red in their skin they will often feel lifeless and dull. The color red has been noted to increase performance in sports and video games though in controlled tests there was no apparent increase in measurable performance and is therefore simply a perception. *Fun Fact: Bulls actually have dichromacy, meaning they can only see blues and yellows. They actually cannot distinguish the red of a bullfighters cape and are instead aggravated by the movement* Negative Aspects At it’s worst this color comes with a destructive and dangerous energy. Violence, rudeness, rage, and an overbearing quality can come from too much of this color. It’s intensity can manifest in a sense of resentment or a desire to revolt. A room full of red will quickly make people agitated and aggressive. It causes an intense emotion, in both positive and negative ways. Catholic Cardinals traditionally wear red, "Seeing Red" is a phrase indicative of someone experiencing blind rage. It was a color associated with the deity of war, Aries, in the Greek Pantheon (later Mars in the Roman pantheon). The pigment itself comes from the hematite tinted clay of red ochre which became one of the first colors utilized in cave paintings. It is a color that causes us to stop and take caution. People with red hair have been historically singled out as dangerous and untrustworthy. Sports teams are often judged more harshly for wearing red and statistically driving red vehicles have a 7% higher crash risk in comparison to other colored cars. That said, it is more due to visibility than anything else and statistically only come in second on probability for getting a ticket. Physical Effects We typically view people wearing red as assertive and extroverted. This color stimulates the production of adrenaline, assists in blood circulation, and in the production of hemoglobin for new red blood cells. It raises blood pressure, promotes heat in the body, stimulates the nervous system and has been found to be effective in treating various forms of numbness and paralysis. Other health conditions that have benefited from this hue include anemia, the common cold, and pneumonia. This is a great color to use for motivation as it reignites our drive to be physically active. KEY WORDS: Energizes, Revitalizes, Generates Passion, Warmth, Alertness, Instigates Action, Danger, Anger, Blood, Dominance
  20. I'm so glad you found it understandable! There's actually a lot of research to support your observation of shifting color affinities. Newborns, young children, teens, adults, and the elderly all have particular palettes that they tend to be drawn to. Gender plays a role as well and marketers try to capitalize on this in their targeted ads. Interestingly, current science states that before 3 months infants can only see in value (Black/White/Grey) EYE FACTS. Further studies show that past 3 months infants are drawn to highly saturated colors and prefer the long wavelengths (Red/Orange/Yellow) whereas adults have a preference for the shorter wavelengths (Blue/Purple/Green). STUDY There's actually a fascinating connection between language and color that I was reading about a while back. Anthropologists were studying cultures who had no words for particular hues and were unable to differentiate them from other hues due to the language barrier. I'll have to dig up that book and take a look again if anyone is interested. Red and ochre hues are typically the first color words to appear in language but blue was altogether left out of some! Thank you for letting me know about the link, that is the wrong one. Every place I can find to put the correct one in my profile was already changed but i'm sure there's a way to edit the footer that shows up. I'll have to figure that out.
  21. The Anatomy of Color We have all seen and heard about color correspondences. Red = Anger/Passion Yellow = Happiness etc. but the truth is that there’s much more to color than just it’s name. The psychological effects of color, and therefore the messages we can communicate with it, are much more heavily influenced by those other components. So let’s take a look at the three components to color: Hue, Value, and Saturation. Hue Put simply, Hues are the categories of color. They are the general name we refer to a color by. Sky blue and Midnight blue are very different colors but they both fall under the Hue Blue. There are many lists of correspondences associated with each Hue which include planets, days of the week, deities, emotions etc. We've already started thinking about this and analyzing what our personal associations with the major hues are. Also noticing that it's not universal is it? Red doesn't always mean the same thing to us. The context we're viewing it in plays a major part in how we interpret it. Value Value refers to how light or dark a color is. It’s typically broken down in a 1-10 scale in art school. The lighter range (called High Key colors) are referred to as Tints whereas the darker (Low Key) colors are called Shades. When painting minis or creating dioramas there should be a full range of values throughout the piece. (unless specifically done otherwise for a purpose). When you want to draw attention to a particular area you can do that by creating high contrast there (very light values next to very dark values). This is an old watercolor painting of mine we're going to use as an example. The image on the left, which has a full range of values (1-10), is far more eye-catching than the image on the right which has only the top 4 or so high key values. By putting the darkest black next to the lightest white in the eye area it creates an attention grabbing contrast and directs the viewer's eye. You can create contrast in any of the three components of color but value is typically what we're referring to when critiquing paint jobs. Saturation/Chroma This term is probably the most misused/misunderstood property of color. It refers to the intensity of the color. This is the range between pure color (most intense/vivid) and grey (no color, only value). This does NOT affect the value only the color. The left image is very saturated, the colors are vivid and recognizable. The version on the right is very desaturated, almost completely colorless, but the values haven’t changed only the intensity of the color. Learning to understand and apply all 3 components of color with accuracy is challenging but very important. Here are some ways you can start training your eye and hand to apply these principles. Create a Value Range- Just like the graphic here, get used to mixing your paint into 10 separate values. You’ll gain more control and a better eye for what a full value range looks and feels like. You can use acrylic, ink, or oil but keep it strictly to values, no color just yet. Saturation Survey- Paint several minis that are either saturated or desaturated. What models did you choose? What effect does the colors intensity have on your perception of the character/creature? Does a desaturated figure look ghostly and creepy or soft and comforting? Do the vivid colors of a saturated palette make it feel young or good? or garish and toxic? Limited Palette- Pick one major hue to work with and experiment with how different values and saturation levels can be used to create contrast. I hope you have a good understanding of the anatomy of color now. Try to incorporate some of the terminology we used when referring to color in your discussions to get used to categorizing them for later use. Maybe you want to use that high key desaturated yellow from the sunrise you saw on a figure to convey new beginnings and fresh starts! The next lesson will be exploring the science behind your favorite color so stay tuned. -CVP
  22. Hey Everyone! I have been studying color since I can remember. I've been through countless art courses both physical and digitally, I have a Fine Art Degree with a minor in Art History, and I read textbooks on Color Psychology in my spare time. I'd like to pass on this treasure trove of information for those who are interested in learning and use this as a way to organize my own thoughts on the topic. For those willing to brave the posts to come, I am eager to share with you all the nuances and intricacies of my very favorite topic ..COLOR! This first post will be about why we, as humans, develop the color preferences we have. Buckle up cuz we're about to get science-y! There are many theories floating around about why we develop attractions to certain colors. The truth is that we don’t definitively know the answer to that question but it probably involves a little bit of all the current theories. Why do we care about this as mini painters? Because we can utilize our understanding of how our brains process and understand color in order to communicate a characters personality, a monsters alignment, or a scene's mood all without saying a word because we're communicating in the language of color! Ecological Valence Theory This theory suggests that we develop our emotional connection to colors through experiences with them over time. Evolutionarily, in order to survive and reproduce, we needed to sustain ourselves with nutritious and edible foods. Finding which foods those were was a matter of trial and error but we developed visual cues for categorizing which colors were good and which were bad. Another example: We give our children gender colored toys as infants (blue for boys/pink for girls) and they begin to develop positive connections/experiences with that color. As they get older, and begin to construct a gender identity, cultural norms also begin to play a role in defining their concept of “male” or “female” which may make those connections even stronger. This explains how we develop positive and negative associations but what about deeper meanings/connections? First let me explain how your brain works… The Network Model Your brain is made up of a network of nodes which each represent one of the following: Emotion (Joy) Sensory Experience (Taste of an Apple) Semantic Meaning (an association with a concept like “Trees”) Those nodes get connected to other similar nodes and the more similar they are the stronger the connection. This process will continue to evolve as we experience life. So, say that we take the node for Green. It has strong connections to Nature, Grass, Trees etc. but then we have a terrible experience changing a very dirty, and very green, diaper. That experience is now associated with our understanding of the color green. Spreading Activation Here’s where it all comes together. When one node gets activated, all of the nodes connected to it also become activated. When those surrounding nodes become activated they temporarily become integrated with your perception of reality. Here’s an example: Woman sees a guy wearing a red shirt. Her past experiences and network of associations with the color red include “passion/romance”. When that node gets activated she will temporarily perceive things associated with the color red to be more sexually attractive and therefore believe the man to be sexier than she might otherwise have thought. How powerful is that?! What’s even better is that thinking about a color creates the exact same neurological effects as actually seeing it!! Practical Application If positive experiences lead to positive color associations then the color which makes you happy could be vastly different than the color which has that same psychological effect on me. Therefore, our personal interpretations of color could be completely different. That means we should take a closer look at those "this color means this" lists. How can those be universally true if we are all developing individual associations with color? The answer is really that they aren't universally true but they provide a really useful starting point for communicating with color because they are based on social and cultural norms (like pink is girly and blue is masculine) and generally speaking we are going to all have those same connections because of marketing and repeated reinforcement of those norms. Kind of like learning your ABCs, if you want to write a dissertation you're going to have to learn how to use words and you need to understand what those words mean in order to communicate effectively. However, not to be too confusing but it must be stated, we should also be aware that social norms change and color associations change with it. In the 1920s pink was seen as simply a variant of red, a highly masculine and energetic color. By the late 19th century, and with the emergence of Dr. Freud's work, we see a shift in that cultural norm. In modern day America, painting your army in pastel pink doesn't exactly communicate an intimidatingly masculine message. So we also need to be paying attention to how color is being used around us and what it is being used to represent. Just like any other language, color is an evolving method of communication and staying up to date on all the new lingo is helpful. So what color should you paint your army? Well, there's no simple answer to that but I will be taking you on a deep dive exploration of each major hue in the spectrum so we can analyze and understand what each are associated with individually and how we can combine those meanings to communicate complex messages to our viewers simply through color. I hope you guys found this installment of our exploration of color useful. Maybe spend some time jotting down what your personal color connections are. What is your favorite color? Do you know why? -CVP
  23. Glad you guys got it figured out, I remember asking Izzy and she said an apostle but then I had to figure out what that was haha
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