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Color Theories - Discussion
MoonglowMinis posted a topic in Tips & Advice: PaintingHi everyone. I've been thinking a lot about color while painting recently. It's been a major motivation for some of my more recent projects. I wanted to talk about some of the things I've been doing and hoped that some of you would share your thoughts about color choice as well. First of all, my paint collection is fairly modest. Probably around 50. But I'm a firm believer that you don't need a ton of different paints. I add paints periodically to fill gaps - especially colors that I find myself struggling to mix well (purple continues to be a struggle and I need some better options). I love the Reaper Triads - they're a great way to expand a collection and get colors that behave well together. Also a great way to teach newer painters the philosophy behind layering. For awhile I was running with the philosophy that I wanted to avoid mixing more than two colors at once. Especially because it's harder to duplicate. I was using the triads a lot as a guide while painting. However, I have recently pushed away from using triads. I have been playing around with more limited palettes. Not exactly the 3 color challenge, but just really considering whether or not I need to grab a new bottle, or if I can mix what I want using something I already have. With this philosophy, the triads clash. So I definitely find myself grabbing the midtones most often. I've been thinking of this as "mindfully limited palette." Sometimes I grab the colors I know I want ahead of time, other times I'll grab a new color as I go. Typically this involves a black and a white and then 5 or less unique colors. Often a red, blue, yellow, and brown. Though not necessarily the purest versions of those colors. I might choose a greener blue. Or a brownish red. There's two ways I've been playing with this. One is by leaning into a more monochromatic palette. I have found it really fun and challenging to try to imagine the setting a mini is in and reflecting that environment in the color choices of the mini. It's also a fun challenge to make many different shades and tones using similar colors. This is what I had in mind while painting this Ice Witch, and Swamp Skeleton. The other way I have been playing with these limited palettes is to try for a more unified tone, but not necessarily monochrome. There's a painting theory behind a "mother color" where you mix a bit of one color into every other color on your palette. While I haven't gone that far, I have found that reusing colors, even in different mixes, helps unify the piece. Just like balancing colors across the mini. I don't have as many good photos of this, as my best examples are the most recent minis I've been working on - really pushing color variety while using limited paints. This Kobold is sort of like that, though he definitely is a bit more monochromatic. I'll have to come back and add my more colorful examples. What kind of color theory and challenges have you been playing with to motivate and push your painting? Please feel free to share photo examples. This has been a major source of excitement and motivation in my painting recently and I feel it's really improving my results. I would love to see what everyone else is doing!
Paints we would like to see
JJNiles posted a topic in Tips & Advice: PaintingHi all, quick question what are some paints you would like to see from reaper? I would like to see a line of effect paints, such as a few different rust effects, something for a running oil or grease, and a very flat black for soot build up.
If Forumites were paint colors...
Ludo posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancySo Doc had mentioned (I think in "Minis we'd like to see") about how he'd like to have a purple paint for his hat. It made me think if I had a paint, what color would it be? Feel free to list your choice or other Forumites. I'll try to keep this post updated with the suggestions. Oh and Anne feel free to run with these Buglips Stanky Sock (White/Yellow) Ludo Bowler black Ludo Fur Brown Friendly Rock (grey) MissMelons MissMelons's Melons (Green) You were expecting a different color? Mischievous Purple NomadZeke Sith Saber (Red) OneBoot Ninja Kitty (pinkish purple) ReaperBryan Byranzilla (Green) The Hat â€‹SamuraiJack Bushido Black Ronin Red Katana Silver ShadowRaven Raven Shadow (Dark Blue) Ub3r_n3rd Barbarian Rage (Red flesh wash) Ub3r Blu3
Pingo tackles 77110: Deathsleet
Pingo posted a topic in Works in Progress: PaintingSo. I tried painting some minis without WIPs and found myself having a hard time keeping track of what and how much I had done. So I'm back, although these may be sporadic and really slow to update. We'll see. Anyhow, after painting a lot of tiny figures for the January Bones Beauty Pageant, I decided to move in the opposite direction and tackle some of the big figures from Bones I to clear out room for Bones II. So I am painting dragons. Five of them, if you count the Frost Wyrm. Each one gets its own thread, though, since I don't know how I'm going to progress through them. First up is Deathsleet, which I am thinking of painting in iridescent colors over a black underpainting. I was inspired by this beautiful version of Reaper's gryphon. First, I primed the figure with Reaper's Brown Liner, which as has been discovered, makes a fantastic first layer on Bones figures (I am keeping the wings separate for ease of painting). Then I painted the figure black. The other dragons I'm painting concurrently are Ebonwrath, the Fire Dragon, the Shadow Dragon, and the Frost Wyrm. Stay tuned.
A Two-Tone Svetlana, Frost Giant Princess
Pingo posted a topic in Show Off: Painting77107- Svetlana, Frost Giant Princess I painted her entirely with two colors, plus white. I found a long time ago that one could get a broad range of colors, from brilliant blues and firey oranges to soft greys and a deep violet near-black simply by mixing different proportions of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna with white. So she's not quite a monochrome, more of a duochrome. It was a fun exercise. The pictures are mostly taken from a low point of view to give a human's-eye look up at the giant. There is a companion to this figure, 77106- Boerogg Blackrime, Frost Giant Jarl
A Two-Tone Boerogg Blackrime, Frost Giant Jarl
Pingo posted a topic in Show Off: Painting77106- Boerogg Blackrime, Frost Giant Jarl I painted him entirely with two colors, plus white. I found a long time ago that one could get a broad range of colors, from brilliant blues and firey oranges to soft greys and a deep violet near-black simply by mixing different proportions of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna with white. So he's not quite a monochrome, more of a duochrome. It was a fun exercise. The pictures are mostly taken from a low point of view to give a human's-eye look up at the giant. I painted the frost giant princess similarly. I'll be posting her soon. Edit: She's here.
Color blindness: Is it okay to ask?
Pingo posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancyDid you ever find yourself looking at someone's work and wanting to ask them if they were partly color blind? This is a serious question, part of my interest in color perception. Would it be rude to ask? Would it come across as snide? As an artist I tend to hate the assumption that there are physical causes behind purely aesthetic choices (such as the wretchedly ignorant "El Greco had astigmatism" hypothesis to explain his elongated forms). It dismisses artistic creativity and undermines the idea that artists choose to do what they do. And yet ... There are times when I am looking at someone's work and there is a consistent washing-out of certain ranges of the spectrum. Their work seems to be all blues and browns, say, or has bright blues and greens but hardly any reds and even flesh tones are grayish. And then I am curious and would like to ask. Apparently a startlingly high percentage of male humans have some level of color blindness, so it is not the most unlikely possibility. But would it be considered rude?
Rainbow (Assorted Minis)
CatBat posted a topic in Show Off: PaintingOkay! So I thought that ordering 7 Bones would hold me off for awhile since I've just gotten started, right? Oh, but I was wrong. So very wrong. I started painting on Tuesday. They were all done Wednesday night. Now, I have still got a looooong way to go. No doubt about it. I'm going to try a different method of priming for my next batch, but I really enjoyed working with the color on these guys. Critiques are welcome and appreciated! As well as a Snake Demon (caution. Nudity.)
I Got an Art Feature for Awesomecon Indianapolis!
CatBat posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancySo, I don't know if promo is allowed, so message me and I'll remove this if it's not, but I'm just SO. EXCITED! I got featured on the website of the next con I'll be doing the Art Show at! (Awesomecon Indianapolis.) Check it out!
How well do you see color?
OneBoot posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancyA friend of mine posted a link to a very interesting test for color identification that tests your ability to detect very minor changes in hue. It's not a competition, just something cool to try out. Note: make sure to look away every couple of minutes to rest your eyes, otherwise everything just kinda starts smudging together. :) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-well-do-you-see-color-173018 I scored an 8, which really surprised me; I thought I would score a lot worse than that! My errors were in the blue-green and blue-purple blended areas. Huzzah! --OneBoot :D
Color theory is a good foundation for painting, but it doesn't deal with some of the surprising and fun things paint can do. Color theory is a limited approximation that works with light, but not really with paint, because in paint there are no colors, there is only chemistry. And that's a good thing. Pigments are chemical substances chosen for their optical properties, but they are more than just their optical properties. And you can do a lot with them. Any two colors can be blended in a myriad of ways: physically mixed, layered one over the other, layered the other over the one, blended optically with tiny brushstrokes -- and each method can produce an entirely different effect and apparent color, just from two original paints. As many of you are aware, in my day job I'm a fine artist and when painting minis I tend to mix my own colors rather than rely on premixed miniatures paints. In a few threads people have asked me about various color mixes, so I figured I'd pull some of them together in this thread to make them (hopefully) easier to find. *** In my current WIP thread, "Pingo Builds a Boat", I said Well, naturally I got some questions. Phthalo green (copper phthalocyanine) is a really intense, pure, blueish green. It's related to phthalo blue, which is also intense and pure and close to a printer's cyan. They are related, but phthalo green is clearly and obviously green when you look at it, and phthalo blue is blue. When I mixed my purple, I didn't just mix phthalo green with any old red (certainly not the flame orange reds they give to unwary kindergarteners). I mixed it with quinacridone magenta, a deep hot pink-red which is close to a printer's magenta. A more muted green, or a yellower one, or a more orangey red would have produced something a lot more brown and mucky. Mixed colors are always more subdued than the colors you start with. But both phthalo green and quinacridone magenta are very pure, intense colors. Even a mix of them is still pretty bright. This is one of the palettes I have been using to paint the boat in the other thread: The phthalo green is in the lower left corner. It's very dark full strength but thinned down even a little becomes an intense emerald green. There's a tiny blob of quinacridone at the top between the two different reddish browns. You can see how the color mix between them snaked out through blue to violet (mixed-in white makes the color easier to see, although I did it for painting reasons originally). Yes, that's right. Not only can you mix green and red to make purple, you can mix a blue from green and red. Isn't color mixing fun? To show things a little more clearly, I've laid out some paint on waxed paper over white paper towels. First, this is phthalo blue (which we're not using at all, but I'm including it to show how it is different from phthalo green) at the top. Below it is phthalo green, and to the right is quinacridone magenta. In each case I've used water to thin the paint out to the right so you can see how transparent layers of it look, and I've mixed a little blob of white paint with each color at its top left so you can see how it looks mixed. (Note that the white-mixed colors are already less intense than even the pale thinned paint) To get an idea of the vividness of the colors, here's that palette amongst my painting set-up. And here is a good big blend from phthalo green at the left to quinacridone magenta at the right, with a few spots picked out for mixing with white to show color undertones. Note that all of the mixes are considerably darker than the original colors, even the one with only a touch of red added to the green, but that they don't really get close to the black color theory says they should become. However, note that that is a pretty nice blue right in the middle. The violet I used on the boat was more from the right third region, where the mix is dominated by the quinacridone and the sample blended with white shows clearly a lavender purple. Finally, here are a couple of minis (still works-in-progress) painted with this green-and-red mixed purple. Illithids are described as having "greenish-mauve" flesh, and by tipping the mix a little this way and that they can have skin that is both violet and green harmoniously. Oh, and the trousers on the one on the right are painted with the mixed blue from above.
Browns and Colour Theory
smokingwreckage posted a topic in Tips & Advice: PaintingI lost the thread, someone asked about browns on the colour wheel. They are very dull (desaturated, I think) oranges and yellows. And now you know.