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jatbugg
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Ok. I thought I was doing an ok job on the mini I am painting, then my husband comes along and tells me that it looks like black and red stripes, and that the highlights aren't bright enough. I told him I don't want it to end up looking orange or pink, since it's supposed to be red.

My question: How do you paint red? I need step by step. From basecoating and shadows to the brightest highlight.

Thanks!

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A lot depends on the shade of red I am going for.

 

For a dark red, I basecoat with RMS Red Brick or Dark Red or a similar color. Shade using black, highlight using Bright Red.

 

For a bright red, I basecoat with a red red, I really like the red in the Pro Paint line, that's what I have been using lately. Shade down to a red brick, dark red or similar. Highlight up to Fire Orange. The key here is to make the highest highlights (of Fire Orange) a very small point. Most of your highlights should be done with 4:1 red:orange, 3:1, 2:1 or 50/50 red to Fire Orange (or other typical orange color) and only the smallest point with pure Fire Orange a little thinned so it's partially transparent. If it gets too orange, I put a glaze of the basecoat color over the highlights to tone it down a little.

 

For a more muted red, I have a similar process than the bright red, but I mix in flesh tones for the highlight instead of orange.

 

You also can highlight red by mixing white, you just have to control where you put your highlights and how much area you highlight so it doesn't look pink. It's not my preferred method though.

 

Hope this helps!

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I know there's a number of threads in here about painting this difficult color and you haven't said if you searched but didn't find anything suitable. It's one of those questions that surfaces rather frequently.

 

This is a step by step tutorial that might get you moving along the lines you want. They don't use RMS but you can see how it's done.

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I did do a search, and nothing popped up that I could follow easily. The link you gave me was a big help. I'd seen that before but didn't know how or where to search for it.

and thank you, Katie for the advice. Hopefully the mini I'm painting actually turns out decent, since she's one I'm planning to sell.

Thanks again!

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I also suggest that you consider the material:

 

For a matte surface, like red cloth, there should be less contrast: highlights up to Phoenix Red or so (i.e. not much higher than a basic "red"), shadows down to Clotted Red or so.

 

For glossier materials, such as red-enamelled armor or devilish red skin, I take the highlights higher (Rosy Skin, Fair Highlight, Linen White, or even Pure White), but in very small areas, to simulate the reflection of light. The shadows are darker, too (down to Mahogany Brown, Red Liner, or Brown Liner).

 

As if you didn't already have enough to think about! The point is, not all reds are alike. I've seen red armor painted with highlights that weren't high enough, so it looked dull. And I've seen red cloth taken up to pink or orange or white, which usually doesn't look right, either -- except when every part of the figure has exaggerated highlights.

 

Good luck,

Derek

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