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Hopefully quick question on painting non-traditional colored fire.  Basically wanting to make sure I am on the right track here.  I am currently painting up the kobold sorceror (the dude on the right) and have the idea of making the fireball in his hand blue (as if he is producing an electrical damage effect).  In part, this is to create some additional color since he already has the torch on the left (which I am aiming for a more traditional orange-red flame effect). 




So the idea I had was to start by painting the whole flame white, then start layering with progressively darker shades of blue.  Starting with a relatively light blue and working up to a darker blue by the tips (where it would be cooler).  Does this sound about right?  As for colors, my blues are somewhat limited still but for the first layer I was thinking either a Heather Blue, or the Arcane Blue by P3.  The latter has a bit more green to it, but it brighter.  Thoughts?


As always, thanks in advance for any help!


Edit to add:  Forgot the picture!  :P

Edited by Gargs
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I think perhaps you meant to attach a picture?


In any case, I think you have the right idea. Painting blue over white is certainly better than the alternative of white over blue! I prefer the look of the Heather blue, but maybe having an intermediate color between the white and the blue, like a purplish or greenish tone would make it look even more magical.

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52 minutes ago, Pragma said:

I think perhaps you meant to attach a picture?


In any case, I think you have the right idea. Painting blue over white is certainly better than the alternative of white over blue! I prefer the look of the Heather blue, but maybe having an intermediate color between the white and the blue, like a purplish or greenish tone would make it look even more magical.


Doh!  Yes I did.  And now I can't get the stupid pic to load.  :(.  At any rate, I appreciate the replies.  I will play around with my blues tomorrow and see how it goes!  Not sure how many shades to go with since I don't have the white-yellow-orange-red-black range to chew through, but that's where the mantra "For Science!" comes in!

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If you do an image search for "blue flame" you'll probably get a lot of hits for digital art.  Search instead for "propane flame" and you will see examples of actual blue flames.  Below is an image for a propane stove part, blue OSL included.



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Assuming you want something believable as a non-traditional flame color using something like our physics, you have to have an atomic emission spectrum the dominates the black-body emission spectrum of the flame. Since atomic spectra tend to have very limited bandwidths that are not temperature dependent, you get less (often much less) of the color shift with temperature that you get with normal flames.


For blue flames, you can try searching for "Copper (II) Chloride Flame Color" (among others). For more information and other colors, the Flame and Colored Fire articles on Wikipedia are a decent place to start.

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I guess I'm of the mindset that magical flames don't have to follow real physics.  I see no reason why they can't be darkest to lightest on the edges.  We are talking fantasy magic, there are no rules in my opinion!

Edited by Harrek
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Thanks again for all the tips and the photos.  Talespinner, that looks amazing! 


Harrek: I agree that it doesn't necessarily have to follow real world physics, but also wanted it to look decent.  :P  Obviously when we are talking about a fantasy magical effect though, there is plenty of room for interpretation! 

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