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So, my new project is mostly in my head at present, but I'll try to describe what I'm envisioning. I am making a terrain piece that is going to represent the Great Breach portal in Malifaux. For those who dunno, it's essentially a portal from our world into the other side, which is a very odd sci fi, gothic, horror, steampunky kind of dangerous world. At first to represent this, I thought I'd make an actual picture as if you'd see it through the portal. But, one that's not very terrain-y so to speak, plus I really think it's beyond my skills.


So what I'd like to do is, on one side of the portal (Earth) I'm going to have everything look normal and bright. On the other side, I'd like it to look otherworldly, with mainly a dark colour over everything, and a lot of decay etc. This is going to be a 12"x12" board I will split, probably on a diagonal, so the Breach sits in the rough center, on the dividing line of the board/terrain piece.


I have a car model I'm working on, that will be half way between the Earth side and the other side. So one half will look shiny and newish while the other... very much not.


What I'm trying to figure out, of course, is how to do the dark side, otherworld side. I was thinking monochrome - not necessarily black, but maybe a very dark blue.

Since I've never done anything like this before I was hoping I could pick the brains of all you more experienced painters ^_^ How would you start to paint a dark world, how would you highlight or shadow it? Obviously I want it to actually be something you can see... but look like it's in darkess.


Any help is appreciated!

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How 'evil' or 'eerie' do you want to make it?


I think I'd go for black with a hint of red highlight for the more 'nasty' and blue if aiming for a more 'desolate' feel.

If you use transparent plastics that you paint with thin paint, you could add LEDs underneath for a bit of eerie lighting... 

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Cool ideas about the LEDs and something I've been hankering to try, have to see if I can figure it out.


And I was definitely thinking more desolate and eerie rather than straight up evil. So yeah, more of a blue I suspect.


I did find this post finally after a good bit of googling: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/51263-ode-to-blue-a-step-by-step-tutorial/


it sounds very helpful, once I start trying it out I think a lot more of it will make sense.

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oooh!  Monochrome is my favorite!


Ok- so you can pick ANY colors you want to convey the effect you're looking for with the understanding that in order to make something look dark, you'll need very narrow highlights and most of the color needs to live in the darkest shade.




Brom who paints sometimes for blizzard did a great series on the diablo characters, many of whom are seen in very dark or high contrast settings.  What I like in the above is the light blue framing the black in the body.  That's probably the effects you're looking for- a light rim around the black portal.  It's ok to have a flat color centrally if you want- like the idea of a black hole rimmed with stuff.  Having tendrils of your light colors fuzzing the edges might look good as well.




Kindof like this?  Any color choice can go well with black.  Hmmmn...




this might help.  I wanted the underside of mr dragon to be dark, so I used nightmare black, frontier blue and then a bit of brilliant blue and snow shadow.  But see how the highlights are narrow to make most of it look dark? It's ok to highlight- it just has to be very carefully done.


Hope this helps.  I can throw some more examples out if you want or if there's a color scheme you're thinking of let me know.  I can try to play with it.

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Sweet! thanks! that's exactly the kind of start I need.


I think what I'll do is, once I get the stuff down, I'll post my pic to start and see how it works, and maybe you all can comment =D


This is really a stretch for me, which is good, no pain no gain lol but yeah, it's daunting. Anyway, will be fun! Update soon I hope.

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