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Looking for tutorial on using Black paint...

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I'm still fairly new to painting miniatures...

But, I would like to paint an assassin/rouge/ninja type miniature wearing all black but I don't want it to look like I just dipped it in black paint. I want to learn how to paint where the black fades to a white light spot. I've tried to copy what I've seen of finished miniatures but it looks terrible. Does anyone know of a step by step tutorial that can help me with this?

Edited by Ajere
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great tutorials. Black is crazy to paint, but it looks so good when it's done. Pingo gave a tip in one of her comments on pthalo blue, that a thin layer glaze/wash of that over blacks helps them look 'more black' as well, which I have been working on.

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The main thing to remember about painting black is that unless you actually leave 50-60% of the black parts as 'black' it wont look black but will look grey or dusty or whatever tint you use for highlighting.

I tend to base coat black, then go over the non shade parts with a mix of black and turquoise in a ration of 3 to 1.

Then highlight with a mix of black and turquoise in ratio 3 to 2 in a very thin mix, adding successive layers to enhance the highlight where needed. Finally for sharp edges I'll edge the area with a 1 to 1 black and turquoise mix.

For different effects you can swap the turquoise for other colours but I tend to avoid white since it just ends up looking grey.

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Here's a few tutorials from the big tutorial sticky thread on CMON about on painting black:



THANKS!! These are exactly what I've been looking for...


And I got to say, you guys blew my mind with the idea of using blue or turquoise! Using grey was such the obvious answer that I didn't consider anything else. I'm assuming that you would use blue because it's a cooler (color tone, not level of awesomeness) color, so purple would work for the same reason?

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Try to leave even more black than what sliksham said, upwards of 75% of the item should be black. Black is both the mid-tone and shadow of the item. If the mid-tone normally occupies 50% of the item and the shadow 25%, you need a lot of black for the item to look black. That is one of the main issues with something black looking like it's really gray, blue or whatever you highlighted with.


(Bonus knowledge - similar but the reverse with white! White is the highlight and mid-tone, at least 70% of the item needs to look white or people will think it's whatever colour you shaded with. As with black, you'll likely enjoy the results more if you use a light tan, pale blue, dusky skin colour or something else that's not gray.)


The other big problem with black is that it's hard to get smooth blends with it. As you struggle to remove the transition line marks between layers, you often inadvertently widen the highlight area and get yourself into the there's not enough black problem. I handle that by going up from black to my top highlight colour, and then going back down through all my same layering mixes tightening up the highlights to a smaller area.


Reaper colours I like to highlight black (and also to shade white) - the Grey Blues triad (great for shiny black patent leather type look), Dusky Skin triad, Dark Elf Skin triad. Regular Caucasian skin colours are nice to highlight a soft black, when you want a not so shiny black leather or hair.

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Grr white. Will update the pirate queen WIP over the weekend and complain about white some more.


Tried shading down with dusky skin, then went back and fixed it back up...Either my paint consistency was off or something, dunno. I've yet to paint anything white and walk away happy.

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One of my friends just released a video about painting black on a miniature.



Looked only half of the video, but I want to try what he did. At first I thought: stuff, again an airbrusher-video. But later he used a normal brush. Cool! :-)

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