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Color theory - green, purple, and...


Madog Barfog
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I'm painting a "darkman" (half-Drow), and using Dark Elf Skin, a nice purple. He has a cloak, pants, and a chain shirt. I thought light green on the cloak and dark green on the pants, with brown boots, but now I think that's not enough distinction, plus the light green cloak already looks odd. Maybe I should go medium or dark green for the cloak, but then what about the pants?

 

I suck at color theory.

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I've been doing a Darkspawn army for a while now, and red, black and gold work nicely with the dark elf triad. The complement of purple is a yellow-orange, which could be a light brown. That might be too stark of a contrast though. You could try blue and violet, which are the split complements of that triad. Remember too to use dark and light to achieve contrast. The mail shirt could give some nice pop.

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I have plenty of red/black/gold figures, and I don't have the triad, just Dark Elf Skin.

 

I darkened the green of his cloak - it helped, and I made the inside lighter (a muted yellow-green) so it wouldn't blend in with his pants. I played around with an online color wheel and came up with a dusky purple/tan/green combo. The green is an odd color - very muted, but not dark at all - almost a light gray-green. Blue liner gives his chainmail a blue tinge, and I'll probably stain it with a faint green or purple depending on whether I want contrast or blending to pull it together.

 

Ah, here is the URL of the scheme: http://www.wellstyled.com/tools/colorschem...;0.9;0.5;0.75;0

 

I suggest copy and paste instead of typing it :)

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it depends how would you like to build the harmony on the model. generally there are 2 most common approaches - harmony by oposition, or harmony by analogy.

first uses colours from the other side of the color wheel. so with purple you`d use yellow as well. the problem with this approach is that it`s relatively easy to get too cartoonish overall look (total trash). to get round this problem many painters use less saturated colours or one of the colors is dominant and the second one is used only on couple, well chosen details. for example - you can paint a models clothing with purple tones, while yellow wold be used on jewelery, buckles and so on.

harmony by analogy uses colors that are really close on the colour wheel. so for purple that would be blue and red-purple (magenta).

judging by your post it looks like you want to get more contrast, so using some yellow might be good idea.

BTW - hope i haven`t messed my explanation a bit as I`m not so keen about those "artistic" terms in english.

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His pants are a dark green, so they don't stand out so well from the cloak. However, if I made them brown, the may have not stood out from his boots, which would have been worse.

 

Aside from the chain shirt, which I always make silver (although gold would have worked better in terms of color scheme), is metal pieces will be gold. I do my gold by painting yellow, highlighting, then washing with metallics and finally washing with an appropriate dark color - smoke, in this case.

 

His quiver is dark brown with gold highlights and purple trim, his arrows have pink & purple fletches, and his bow, which is a promininet feature, will be a light tan.

 

Long sword & dagger scabbards are violet with lighter highlights, hilts are very dark brown, and pommels, guards, and scabbard tips are gold.

 

No blues or reds, so I suppose most of the colors are by contrast, but they seem to work together now.

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