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Mixing paints...

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Heya folks,


Here it goes... and its something that I sorta understand and am beginning to be aware of in my own practice. Right now I mix in white and black for shades and highlighting. I realize that to advance i gotta learn to use more colors in my highlighting process. What I am looking for is some clue as to how to determine what I should mix in when highlighting various colors, some are obvious... but when I whip out the good ol Color wheel it laughs at me then kicks me out of the bedroom.



I feel like I am ready for the next evolution but that it takes some more info than I can easily glean from looking at others work, which is how I usually learn.


Am I right looking toward the color wheel for answers?


What about base colors... mixing for them... is there some guidance on when you do.. and why or is it based on feel. I understand that some of the french guys like to mix in a certain amount of color throughout the base colors of the mini to give it cohesion. Is there something to it.. and is it reproducible with a more american technique?


Do any of these questions make sense?



HELP! Cause colors are the biggest things I have trouble with...




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A book that helped mer allot with mixing paint was "Blue and Yellow don't always make green". It doesn't go into color theory as much, but explains real world paint mixing. It does have allot of charts showing different colors mixed together though, and that can be helpful to train your eye to see colors you should use.

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Play with them. Really, that is the best way to figure out what you like and what will work for you.


As far as the straight forward (mostly) question of mixing colors for highlights/shadows...I rarely use black...and almost as rarely use white for mixing to darken/lighten. When you want to lighten a green, mix in a lighter green tone. When you want to darken green, mix in a darker green tone. Granted that rarely holds true, but it is a good starting point. From there, look at what the color is. Very few colors are a pure color (absolute red, blue, yellow, green...). Often you can see the browns or reds or other colors which are added to give them in the bottle. Quite often, you can darken a color by adding the additional color to it (adding a bit more brown to a brownish green paint for example).


If you want to step away from the art and look at the science of color - it is pretty straight forward. If you look at an XYZ color space, you can increase/decrease the luminosity of a specific hue and it will be the highlight/shadow color...no questions asked. I find that choosing my colors off the mini works a bit better than playing with them on the mini (after messing with blending paints on a mini for a while you loose a lot of details). There are some software packages which will allow you to play around with that stuff, and you can find a handful of online tools as well.

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I'm more confident with color after having done the exercises in the Betty Edwards book. It might be the most beneficial of my art book collection to date. You can learn to recreate any color you see in a six shades. (a hexad?)


<a href="http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?...l=betty+edwards" target="_blank">http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?...l=betty+edwards</a>


Making your own color and value wheels seems like a baby step to some but it goes a long way in training your eye-brain so it becomes second nature. You just need some heavy paper that will take unthinned acrylic paint. There are color theory websites, but her books offers handholding through the exercises for about $10. She also addresses composition and emotional reactions to various colors, which might help answer your "when to mix base colors" question.



Edit: this is cool too = http://www.one-ring.co.uk/phpBB2/kb.php?mo...rticle&k=84

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Some quick and dirty advice-when trying to go darker, it generally works to use the opposite on the color wheel. for example, you want to darken your read, use just a tiny bit of green. Also, the off whites Reaper puts out are great, especially if you count Creamy Ivory as one. Use the one closest to the color you need (ie, you're using blue, mix with ghost white). Often, you can take a more pastel version of a color-let's say you're using Dusky grape. Mix with the really light Amethyst. With greens, I like to move towards yellow. That's just my two cents and I hope it helps somewhat. ENJOY.

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If you have enough RMS, using the Triads can definitely help. A really easy solution that doesn't require much training or thought other than deciding the liner and off whites that are closest in color. Most of the paint is going to be between the >>'s. The two outer extremes are getting into really small areas.



Shadow + Liner 50/50


Shadow + Midtone 50/50


Midtone + Highlight 50/50


Highlight + Off White 50/50 (Depending on what color, you might want to tweak the ratio a bit)

Off white

White (if you want)


But really finding out what works well is through a lot of trial an error. Check out the pinned recipe thread and you can see a wide variety examples of how people progress in their color selections. A lot of what will work is also based on what you're trying to do with the mini too. And being a little fearless and trying something that your head says ummm I dunno, but try it out, and see how it works. Don't be afraid to use color when highlighting. It isn't all about the white. In fact, a vast majority of it isn't likely going to be white. Too much white makes pastels, and on many minis, that really isn't going to work :poke:


Always add another layer or two of highlights. You think it's done, but really that extra level or two, even though you're getting into the range of really small dots, can make a big difference.


One thing that was recommended to me a couple years ago is to take note while you paint, and preferably keep the mini, even if it's a disaster. It gives you a record and reference to what you have done before. If money is tight and you can't keep tossing minis to the shelf of painted shame, then dip them, but make sure you snap some pictures.


And if you see something in Show Off that you really like, don't be afraid to ask either in the post, or via a PM how the painter did it, what colors they used. It's a pretty friendly bunch and most folks are willing to share (if they remember how they did it)

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Even if you plan on using lines like MSP it is beneficial to try mixing a series of things youself. What I learned by sitting down with a basic palette of colors and trying things out has stayed with me and been more helpful than any book I've read on the subject. Good books are helpful as well, like "Blue and Yellow Do Not Make Green" by Michael Wilcox that Bilesuck mentioned, but hands on will give you more useful info.

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Even if you plan on using lines like MSP it is beneficial to try mixing a series of things youself. What I learned by sitting down with a basic palette of colors and trying things out has stayed with me and been more helpful than any book I've read on the subject. Good books are helpful as well, like "Blue and Yellow Do Not Make Green" by Michael Wilcox that Bilesuck mentioned, but hands on will give you more useful info.



Oh I mix various colors from the MSP line all the time! Definitely experiment with mixing. It's a good skill to learn and there are new combinations you can figure out.

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Value=how light or dark a color is. Any color of a lighter value can be added to a darker to make a highlight; any color of a darker value can be added to a lighter to make a shadow. From there you are always looking at relationships of primary colors to some extent. For example:


Say you start out with a moderately pure/bright green.


Green is usually (not always) created by a combination of yellow and blue. Adding any other color to green which contains its complement, red, will mute the green and make it less intense. So if you wanted a highlight for the green which keeps your colors bright, you could go in the direction of yellow (a naturally lighter pigment that green contains). The minute you mix in a color which contains white or black, you lose intensity. The minute you mix in any color containing green's complement, red, you lose intensity. So mixing an orangish yellow into your green for highlights would dull down the green--orange contains red. Using a pale purple to highlight your green will mute it, because purple contains red. Browns are usually considered reddish or orangish, and even the most yellow brown has a hint of orange--so these things would mute your green if you added them to it.


Why do you care about muting? Because working intense and muted hues on the same surface is great if the muted hues are shadows, but not so good if the muted hues are highlights. This is because muting a color causes it to become cooler (you know warm vs. cool) and cooler colors recede to the eye of the viewer. So having your shadow recede is fine, but your highlight being too much cooler may end up looking weird. Also, your highlight is meant to catch the eye--and so often you will want to keep your highlights warmer/more vivid as well as lighter. Sure, the fact that white is WHITE is going to attract the eye even as the color is muted...but a combination of red and white is going to pop more than a combination of red and light green or a combination of red and Creamy Ivory (which has brown, and thus will mute the resulting color more). Of course, there are times when you want the color to be more muted, so less "pop" is fine!


This isn't even cracking the surface of the iceberg and I could go on another ten pages, and of course it's all generalism anyhow--in reality, you really can highlight almost any color with any lighter color, and you can shade any color with any darker color, and whether you can make it all work is dependent on your artistic understanding of contrast and how colors work. ::D: But I need to go home now, so I will finish with saying that Joe is absolutely right, above--there's no pressure, have fun, play with it!! :lol:


--Anne ::):

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One of the reasons I prefer mixing artist colors to hobby paints is that I have so little information available about the hobby stuff. With artist colors I can look up the Munsell, Pantone and CIE LAB values for any paint I buy. I find this information very valuable especially for mixing. With hobby paints I try to chart the paints myself so i at least have a better knowledge of the undertones and can better predict color shifts with mixes.

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