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[SPLIT] Discussion of dark paints

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I use dark blue on shadows instead of black. I also like to use it for blue black hair.

i stopped using pure black paint a while ago and switched to colors like nightmare black and nightshade purple. Using a dark purple or blue can give a color more richness then just using black which can make it look flat. 

I even use it in skin shadows. 

The pic is a old Celtos mini I did a hour ish paint job on to try a different skin color, there's no black, it's nightmare blue instead.

IMG_3792.JPG

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Nightshade purple is one of my favorites. It is a nice almost black on its own and it mixes so wonderfully with other colors to use as shadows.

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3 hours ago, Pochi said:

Nightshade purple is one of my favorites. It is a nice almost black on its own and it mixes so wonderfully with other colors to use as shadows.

 

i love nightshade purple for black dragons especially, it gives them more depth of color than just 'black'

 

Some nightshade purple, some imperial purple, and you have a pretty black dragon

 

all the blcks on this one are done with Nightshade Purple (with nightmare black as the deepest shadows for the white)

 

DSC03648.thumb.JPG.a2205c8b913308138640b5980b06637a.JPG

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Yeah, I don't mix in Pure Black to make shadows either. I have a lot of paint colors, so usually I just make my own triads with the colors I have. I still go through a lot of Pure Black though, for metallic undercoats, painting the sides of my bases black (they start that way, but always end up with some paint on them before I'm done), and occasionally, black cultist robes or similar things.

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I like pure black for the shadow color for polished black leather, but the midtone is typically Walnut Brown (I think; it's the really dark brown, anyway) and the specular highlight is somewhere in the light beige to linen white range.

 

For undercoating metals, I've mostly settled on liners -- Blue for white metal and brown for yellow metal.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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On the whole I don't use straight pure black, but when I do I often like to add a nice wash of an intense dark blue like Phthalo (and I am willing to bet Hamiltons to hotcakes* all the deep blues mentioned in this thread are based on the Phthalo Blue pigment).

 

I did that on this (not yet finished) black wolf:

DSC_0670-RAFM-black-blue-wolf-eyes.jpg.5c1cb1d353ef5a59ce042c97336ffe18.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

*("Dollars to doughnuts" seems to be no longer the dramatically imbalanced bet it once was.)

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Yes, nightmare black is similar to phthalo. It's super pigmented and even really thinned it's a fantastic blue. 

It reminds me of the color you would highlight wonder women or supermans hair.

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Now that I have a good black basecoat for my Rainbow dragon entry, I'm actually using ^these theories to paint all but the deepest shadows with a blend of pure black and imperial purple. Black isn't necessarily as dark as people think, take a good look at someone wearing all black at night with little or no lighting and they are pretty easy to spot it doesn't blend in with the darkness. Dark dark green, on the other hand, appears black and blends in with the darkness. Dark blue, like dark navy blue, will work and is great for miniatures but if you want to blend in with darkness it isn't as good as dark green but is better than black. 

And all of this is contingent on not using that newfangled blackhole like black paint, which because of its nature isn't good for miniatures. Unless Reaper wants to hide all the details for creating perfect shadow outlines then its perfect.

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Meanwhile, weird lighting can make actual black seem not-black if the black has any sort of minimal reflectivity. There was a black hat in the shop, normal matte fabric, and most people thought it was a super dark green due to weirdly yellow-greenish lights. It is now not under a spotlight. 

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1 hour ago, nakos said:

Now that I have a good black basecoat for my Rainbow dragon entry, I'm actually using ^these theories to paint all but the deepest shadows with a blend of pure black and imperial purple. Black isn't necessarily as dark as people think, take a good look at someone wearing all black at night with little or no lighting and they are pretty easy to spot it doesn't blend in with the darkness. Dark dark green, on the other hand, appears black and blends in with the darkness. Dark blue, like dark navy blue, will work and is great for miniatures but if you want to blend in with darkness it isn't as good as dark green but is better than black. 

And all of this is contingent on not using that newfangled blackhole like black paint, which because of its nature isn't good for miniatures. Unless Reaper wants to hide all the details for creating perfect shadow outlines then its perfect.

 

IME, black is too dark for invisibility at night. There's a reason your camera's exposure algorithms are designed to average out to around 20% gray -- that's the average reflectivity of most of the places people are. Beige, or gray, or olive drab, or nearly any colors with a similar tone work much better as night camouflage under most circumstances. (If you're hiding in a snowfield, go a bit lighter. ^_^)

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

IME, black is too dark for invisibility at night. There's a reason your camera's exposure algorithms are designed to average out to around 20% gray -- that's the average reflectivity of most of the places people are. Beige, or gray, or olive drab, or nearly any colors with a similar tone work much better as night camouflage under most circumstances. (If you're hiding in a snowfield, go a bit lighter. ^_^)

I'll have to take a quibble, pedantic stance. :p My experience training for night operations before every soldier got night vision devices says beige and grey isn't as effective as you would think against someone trained for what to look for. Olive drab is doable though. It might be due to my cones and rods that made beige and grey stand out at night though.

 

What's funny though is that the right green shade does make someone look like a floating head with an incorporeal body in the older night vision goggles. You knew the body was there but looked odd. As for black, looking at black at night just made the spot 'wrong' sometimes too dark sometimes too light. Like a bad blend job that you can't quite put your finger on.

Edited by nakos
Stupid emoji coding.
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That's interesting that dark blue or green paint is darker than Reaper's Pure Black, despite the fact that black is the darkest color. I too have noticed that the Pure Black paint isn't as black I would expect from something called "Pure Black."

 

I've been wondering about why Reaper can make blues and greens that are darker than their black. Does anyone know? I've heard that black paints are extremely glossy, so I was wondering if the presence of extra matte additive is what makes it less dark? I have noticed that semi-gloss blacks tend to look significantly darker than matte blacks.

 

In trying to find an answer, I did find this image, which just seems to support what people are saying that, for whatever reason, black paint isn't very black.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

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11 minutes ago, nakos said:

I'll have to take a quibble, pedantic stance. :p My experience training for night operations before every soldier got night vision devices says beige and grey isn't as effective as you would think against someone trained for what to look for. Olive drab is doable though. It might be due to my cones and rods that made beige and grey stand out at night though.

 

What's funny though is that the right green shade does make someone look like a floating head with an incorporeal body in the older night vision goggles. You knew the body was there but looked odd. As for black, looking at black at night just made the spot 'wrong' sometimes too dark sometimes too light. Like a bad blend job that you can't quite put your finger on.


IME, it really does depend on the basic tone of the surroundings and how much ambient light there is. There's a reason ghillie suits are typically made with muddy gray yarn and then garnished with local foliage. The texture makes it much harder to see, the gray works pretty well any time, and the local foliage makes the person basically disappear. And up in the mountains on a night without a moon, there's so little ambient that your cones are basically useless, so it's all about tone. In that lighting, when a saturated red reads black, texture and tone are all that matters. That said dried grass is a much lighter tone than green grass and leaves, so you need to watch out. In green foliage, beige probably is too light, as are many grays. But in dried grass, OD, especially if not heavily textured, stands out strongly as well.

 

I remember a LARP game night encounter where I watched the "ninja" dressed in black sneak across an open field to attempt an ambush on our camp. Really easy to see the black against the Colorado dried grasses of late summer. On another occasion, I was wearing brownish grey fake fur (including a hood and half-gloves) and hung out within about 20 feet of an "enemy" on a moderately bare ridge for close to 30 minutes and was never noticed even in bright sunshine. (While he was supposedly on watch, boredom had pretty obviously gotten the best of his observation skills.)

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:


IME, it really does depend on the basic tone of the surroundings and how much ambient light there is. There's a reason ghillie suits are typically made with muddy gray yarn and then garnished with local foliage. The texture makes it much harder to see, the gray works pretty well any time, and the local foliage makes the person basically disappear. And up in the mountains on a night without a moon, there's so little ambient that your cones are basically useless, so it's all about tone. In that lighting, when a saturated red reads black, texture and tone are all that matters. That said dried grass is a much lighter tone than green grass and leaves, so you need to watch out. In green foliage, beige probably is too light, as are many grays. But in dried grass, OD, especially if not heavily textured, stands out strongly as well.

 

I remember a LARP game night encounter where I watched the "ninja" dressed in black sneak across an open field to attempt an ambush on our camp. Really easy to see the black against the Colorado dried grasses of late summer. On another occasion, I was wearing brownish grey fake fur (including a hood and half-gloves) and hung out within about 20 feet of an "enemy" on a moderately bare ridge for close to 30 minutes and was never noticed even in bright sunshine. (While he was supposedly on watch, boredom had pretty obviously gotten the best of his observation skills.)

 

See, now we're getting into specific conditions. But let's not derail this convo further.

 

As for why greens and blues, and purple for that matter, appear darker is a matter of physics and biology. Our eyes and brains are wired to take more notice of certain colors, red and black for example. In nature, those colors on animals tended to mean danger and/or death and so we developed cones and rods to better detect those colors. Our eyes also developed to detect movement and an absence of movement where there should be movement. That's an oversimplified explanation but that's the gist of it.

And for the physics side, it comes down to wavelengths. Green, Blue, and Violet have the shortest visible light wavelengths. Why they appear darker I'm not sure or don't remember and can't find it. But 'black light' is actually near ultraviolet manipulated to appear and black reflects none of the visible wavelengths. Now back to how our eyes developed and specifically why we can detect non-movement where there should be. So because almost everything else reflects some part of the visible spectrum, our eyes and brain developed to expect that. And when we see black it stands out as no wavelength where there should be a wavelength.

 

I'm sure Pingo could better explain some of that but I'm pretty sure I have the gist of it right. Have you noticed that a great deal of logos and advertising use red and/or black? It's because it literally is eye-catching. Color theory is a huge thing in businesses.

 

Oh and as for why Vanta black is that way is because the scientists have removed as much impurities that would reflect wavelengths as so far possible, hence its darkness. But our eyes are still drawn to it.

Edited by nakos
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