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Domur, High Mage - Competition Mini


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Color advice incoming! ;)

Wow that is a bright intense purple!  My followup to that would be: what do you want the focus of this mini to be?  Do you want the viewer to focus on the bright blue flame?  If so, you'll need to tone the cloak down.  Also, if you are trying for any OSL effect, it won't work on that cloak, because the light will not show up well- it won't be enough contrast because the colors are too similar- they live in the same family.  The first thing I noticed when I looked at the mini was the cloak, not the flames if that helps.


So, let's plan around the blue.  I like that blue- nice and bright!  It is a fairly saturated blue.  It would make sense to use some desaturated colors to add contrast.  Blue's complementary is orange, which can be another way of saying "brown" depending on what shades you use.  So good choice with the chestnut color.  But, blue also plays well with yellows and ochers. Especially nice soft yellow like buckskin pale.  I love that color.


Little mini lesson and lots of pictures/sciency goodness below.  Feel free to ignore!!

I know you're trying to limit your color palette, so the question becomes how to balance adjacent areas on the miniature while using the fewest number of colors possible.  That's where the sneaky tricks of texture and value come in.  One way to vary contrast is to paint things the same color but change the balance of highlight and shadow.  Best stop trying to use my words and give pictures:


Ok, I use this because there's not really much color involved, so clearly I can't get contrast by putting blue and orange next to each other.  But, I can make a sharp transition between light and shadow with little midtone to make something look like metal, or a softer blend to make it look like cloth. I can also be careful to put a dark "color" next to a lighter "color." Look at the corset thingy- I've lined it in light, it is dark itself and the armor on the chest above it is lighter.  So you can use your chestnut, but use a shaded version of it next to a highlighter version of it and you'll still have contrast, while not using a new bottle of paint.


I'd better use my words again with some pictures.  There are a bunch of fun things that go into color theory.  Basic terms I use are things like value, saturation/chroma and hue...



Think of value like black to white- changing a color from its darkest to lightest version.  Chroma or saturation means going from neutral gray to bright color.




So, these are sneaky tricks to get contrast without "color" and the key to monochrome painting most of the time.  Observe the color trap below:





No contrast!!!  Curses foiled again!  So color alone doesn't always give us what we need to make our brains happy.


When I pick colors, I try to think about balance of all these factors in the back of my mind.  Now, down to the actual helpful part, not the sciency background!



Linen white would be a good white to use as well, but it doesn't show up nicely in the post like the creamy ivory.  The yellow I picked here is not a bright jump in your face sort of yellow.  It's soft and desaturated.  If you look at the first three colors above, you'll notice they look a lot like blue, yellow and red- our 3 primaries. (drat... going all color-theory science again.  Calm down Corporea...)  Ahem, they balance nicely.  So, for the mini above, you could paint his shirt yellow, his over-robe thingy the same blue as the flames, the pants white or cream and the cape yellow.  The shape of the over robe will tie the blue into the whole mini.  You'll have different colors next to each other so you'll get some easy contrast there.


Does that help?  Was that what you needed or something completely different? (let me know- stuck at work right now but I'll try to update again tonight or tomorrow)

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This was the picture I used as a reference for fire. It helped a lot: 




Bright white at the bottom, yellow above that, orange above that, then red at the very tip top of the flame. I know you were limited in colors but this might give a good example of how to work with it. 


Here is my Domur that I finished recently using the above fire reference: 




I painted him to look like a Final Fantasy XI Black mage. I wasn't too excited about this figure, but really liked how he turned out. I am a painting noob too.

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I did a very quick job of roughing in colors as suggested by Corporea. I definitely like the flow of colors better. Not sure on the color to use for the gloves, and not sure white is right for the pants, but I like this better overall. Please ignore the sloppiness. I will clean it up. I just wanted to see the colors on the mini.


Any suggestions?




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Liking the look of this a lot!  I'm not entirely sure on the gloves color.  I always default to brown/leather which is a bit lazy on my part but I think that might cause them to get lost with the staff and such.  Maybe use the same yellow you have going on with the hat and cloak?  Would kind of tie them in together while also providing a nice complement to the flames. 

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I'm thinking with the pants you can shade them with the blue or you could potentially switch the shirt and pants colors if the white is throwing you off.  Using the chestnut to shade the yellow might work well.  You're trying to limit colors right?  You can put some of your blue in the deep shadows of the cloak.  I generally use purple and ochers to shade yellow.




This one was sun yellow with chestnut gold and carnival purple highlighted with linen and pure white.  For the buckskin I think mixing the ultramarine with the chestnut brown will work.  Yellow being one of those temperamental colors, just be cautious with how much shadow you use.  See how most of this cloak lives in the yellow range?  With very narrow shadows and highlights?  That's the best way to tackle it.  Also, varying how high the highlight goes and how low the shadow goes makes it look more realistic.  On the bottom right see how the highlight doesn't go up to white?  and the dark purple is only in the deepest recesses?  


Maybe gloves the color of his hair?

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  • Moderator

@gerb - I moved the posts you made of your figure into their own thread: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73792-01601-domur-high-mage/


That way everyone can give you advice personally tailored to you and the questions you have! ^_^



--OneBoot :D

Edited by OneBoot
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I spent some time today cleaning up the base coats, but nothing was shaded or highlighted so I didn't take pics. I hope to get some work in on it tomorrow, but it might have to wait until early in the week due to game day and some work I have to get done before a meeting Monday.

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I was hoping to get more work in tonight, but work was later than planned. I did get the hair and beard done or near done. If I can finish the cloak and hat one night, the staff and fire another, and the pants/boots/bracers/touch ups/sealer another night I will be in at the wire. Mini due on 3/31. I can do this!


Anyway, here is where it is now (sorry for the pics being out of focus).




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I got some time in, but I am up early for work...so calling it for the night.


I spent time dialing down the cloak/hat. I also began the cloak highlights and the pants.






Edited by Talae
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