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Mostly unrelated questions about (a) washing and (b) highlighting.


Marvin
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Yo, folks. Questions:

 

1. When using a wash, how does one decide what color to use? I'm working with the Reaper triad, and I also picked up three Citadel shades the other day.

 

Reaper's black I think I get. It gives a lining sort of effect and black shadows, in my early experimenting.

 

The brown seemed to do pretty much obvious stuff with the mini I've tried it on--dirtied it up, gave it some shadows not quite so dark as the black but entirely noticeable. Would it be an avenue to explore for weathering/aging/whatevering wood and/or leather?

 

The flesh wash--should I be trying to hit faces and hands with it? Save it for more scantily-clad minis? Something altogether else?

 

I've also got some Athonian Camoshade, Agrax Earthshade, and Drakenhof Nightshade. So basically a green, a  brown, and a blue wash. Unless I'm totally misreading.

 

The Athonian I haven't used. What situations should I be looking at for a greenish wash?

 

The Agrax seems pretty comparable to Reaper's brown. Is it? I haven't used it yet. I picked it up because everyone seems to swear by it--seems like I've seen it talked about with everything from skeletons to wood to leather. Thoughts and/or advice?

 

I tried out the Drakenhof on a wizard's pale bluish robes with the hopes of both shadowing and blue-ing up the color as well. It seemed to work on both counts (though I wasn't entirely thrilled with the mini, but nevermind that). Was that a reasonable idea? What other considerations/situations should I keep in mind with this one?

 

Or am I totally off the reservation with all this?

 

2. I'm painting a piece right now, and I mixed up a nice chocolate brown for a robe. I'm getting ready to highlight and got to thinking--should I vary up my colors with highlighting? I've been aiming for very-light versions of the base color. What would happen if I tried highlighting with something else? Is that a thing? Like, go with a yellow on a brown or some such? Or a red or orange or something? I feel like this question particularly makes less sense than it did when I was thinking about it earlier.

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Okay, so: browns, especially clearer browns, can be used to shade bone, skin, hair, sometimes metal if you're going subtle, and sometimes reds or even oranges. Brown of some sort is also good for shading gold if you want it to look rich, warm gold instead, of cold and brassy. Sometimes browns can shade grey, if the black is making it look too sooty and dirty. A brown wash can also be used to shade yellow :)

 

A dark green wash can be used to shade green or blue, but less obviously, you can use it to dull down reds. Basically, sometimes you can use the colour that is opposite on the colour wheel to shift the basecoat as well as shade it. Using a red wash on green (or a green wash on red) moves the shadows towards brown, so if your orcs look WAY too much like watermelon, or lime-flavoured sweets, washing them with a red can tone them down. Technically this is called "de-saturating".

 

Brown wash is TOTALLY suitable for weathering wood and leather, or even shading skin. Also skin wash can shade/weather wood, leather, etc. I haven't seen the wash in question but usually skin tone is a bit more orange than most browns, so it might also be good for rust and water-stains.

 

Blue wash can be used to shade steel, with or without later washes in other colours. Remember you can wash more than once to get the shading you want. Also, remember you can thin the washes, especially the Reaper ones: the Reaper washes are designed to be as dark as you probably ever want, allowing you some wiggle-room to water them down for different effects.

 

Overall I would say: brown wash for anything but green or blue, green or blue wash for either green or blue, black wash usually only for metals, depending on your own taste.

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Oh, question two, the answer is absolutely yes. It might take a while to get the hang of it, or you might have a natural gift, but highlighting to a different colour is not just a thing, it's the thing. (As in, very cool and terribly fashionable, rather than mandatory)

 

Browns are kind-of related to yellows and oranges (technically I think all browns are just really dull yellows or oranges) so thinking about yellow and orange and even red when you're working with brown is definitely a good thing. It might not pay off this time but it will come in handy in the future!

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Color is a lot of fun. Smokingwreckage knows the fashions better than I, but I have long highlighted colors with different colors.

 

Green tends to look better highlighted with a more golden color anyway, since lightening green tends to naturally give it a bluish cast.

 

The use of different colors than straight white to lighten colors helps make illusions of lighting and reflection as well.

 

EDIT: Oh, and so far as I can tell, we call anything a "brown" which is a non-saturated color in the range from yellowish-green through yellow, orange, and red. Interestingly enough, this is the range of "not-blue" seen as the *other* color by most bichromatic mammals.

Edited by Pingo
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What follows are based on my limited experiences. Take with salt, as many grains as you please. Green and red washes work well for gold/bronze/brass, depending on the look you are going for. Blues, blacks, and browns work well on silver/steel. 

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This is all really great stuff. Thanks, y'all. I'm playing around with highlights and the washes. This'll help improve the efforts. I hope. I'm trying to remind myself it's okay to ruin stuff. I've got Simple Green in the bathroom. It can be fixed. We have the technology. Etc.

 

I did try dry-brushing some orange onto that brown robe--I think it worked. Gave it a very different look, at any rate. On it gees.

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Oh, question two, the answer is absolutely yes. It might take a while to get the hang of it, or you might have a natural gift, but highlighting to a different colour is not just a thing, it's the thing. (As in, very cool and terribly fashionable, rather than mandatory)

 

Browns are kind-of related to yellows and oranges (technically I think all browns are just really dull yellows or oranges) so thinking about yellow and orange and even red when you're working with brown is definitely a good thing. It might not pay off this time but it will come in handy in the future!

 

Browns are... oh wait, of course PIngo beat me to it!  :;):

 

On the other topic, trying interesting controlled washes is THE thing. By some mini painters it is called a "nuance", and involved incorporating the hint of a color by a very diluted wash. For example, a little reddish skin tone by the cheeks and nose... the reflected color of surrounding clothing into the skin shadows; etc.

 

Color is a lot of fun. Smokingwreckage knows the fashions better than I, but I have long highlighted colors with different colors.

 

Green tends to look better highlighted with a more golden color anyway, since lightening green tends to naturally give it a bluish cast.

 

The use of different colors than straight white to lighten colors helps make illusions of lighting and reflection as well.

 

EDIT: Oh, and so far as I can tell, we call anything a "brown" which is a non-saturated color in the range from yellowish-green through yellow, orange, and red. Interestingly enough, this is the range of "not-blue" seen as the *other* color by most bichromatic mammals.

 

Spot on, as always.

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