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Highlander

Brown

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I am starting a halfling.  Small, without much detail.  I want the cloak to be a dark brown -- to provide background for the body and face.  I plan to use a tan for the shirt -- maybe an off-yellow or a way-off white.

 

But what color for the pants?  As you might guess, I'm going for drabish and earthy.  I've noticed that my color wheels don't show brown -- so am a bit perplexed about that.

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This is one of the reasons I don’t rely a lot on color wheels. They have uses, but also limitations.

 

If you look at browns, they contain (in a sort of miniature) an entire spectrum all on their own, from red-browns through orange-browns, earth yellows, and khakis to cold almost blackish blue-browns and violet browns, with darker and paler versions of all of them. If everything else is brown a grey mixed from pure black and white will look blue, but a subconsciously drab blue.

 

Have a look at the undertones of the browns you are already using.  One you say is sort of yellow. What’s the color under the dark brown for the cape?

 

If the shirt is an off white brown you mught be able to use a deep grayish-blue-brown on the trousers.  This is just an off the top of the head thought because if I can’t think what else colors to make garments I tend to go with white shirts and blue trousers. Or try a red-brown if it is not too vivid.

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Let me go ponder what you have said...while looking at my paints.  I'm getting over a cold, so probably not until tomorrow.  But thank you for the reply.

 

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Put a drop of each of your browns on the wet palette and experiment! 

 

Also, since brown can be made from different complimentary colors, try those as well. Add to the wet palette a drop of colors just there to mix into the color you choose to paint the miniature. Frex, while I wouldn't paint orange directly onto a miniature, you can mix in orange into brown as a highlighter color. 

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Brown is an "all color" - in that it tends to go with everything.  So the simple solution here is to find a brown you like and then add something else to it.  For earthy you'll want yellows, greens, reds (trees) or assorted greys (rocks).  Then you can think of it as drab, vibrant drab, or really drab - this is to sort out ratios.  So "drab" might be 50/50 brown and green (like olive drab), but if you wanted a more vibrant drab (so it's dull but has more colour) you might want 3 parts green to one part brown - so that would be good for a leafy look instead of a soil look.  And if you wanted it to be really earthy you can reverse this ratio and make 3 brown to one green.  This method will also mostly work with other colours, too. 

 

So you can see that what I'm doing there is measuring in halves and quarters to make new colours.  Mixing can get more complicated than this, but halves and quarters are a good place to start playing around with stuff (it also has the advantage of keeping your mix formulae simple and easy to remember). 

 

Note that while maybe not necessarily "earthy" in the way you're presently looking for, brown can also mix with purple, blue and other colours.  This may be useful if you want to keep to an overall drab look, but still want a small item like a feather or potion bottle to have a spot of colour.    Drab = blending in; lots of colour = showing off, so it may be useful to think of drab schemes as hardscrabble poverty and colorful ones as ostentatious wealth.  You don't generally see farmers in bright turquoise or purple.   

 

If you keep purpose in mind it will help you map out themes.  So in all the above examples, halflings and sylvan elves would have a subdued and drab look that conveys their connection to the land.  But high elves might thematically skew to bright colours, including purple and turquoise, even in adventuring kit.  (few things are as creepy scary as a gaudily-clad elf who can still sneak up on you) 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, dsmiles said:

I came expecting an "Ode to Brown" by now. I'm a little disappointed in the forumites.

 

What? ... Like? :

 

Quote

O friends! No more these bright tones!

Let us paint more somber tones,

Unsaturated! ...

 

Brownish!

Brownish!

Brownish, taupe, and beige and khaki

Earth tones of Elysium,

Fire-inspired but more like ashes

In thy heavenly drabness paint!

 

The magic power of thy mixing

Tempers all with gentle tones!

All sweet colors treat as brothers

With thy brush of weasel fur! ...

 

That sort of “Ode to Brown?”

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As far as brown and the arts, there was a folk song of yore.  I think the lyrics went:

 

Brown, brown, it's brown they say,

On the far side of the hill,

Brown, brown, I'm going away

To where the ground is browner still.

 

Ah, well I told my mama on the day I was born

Don't you cry when you think I'm forlorn

You know there ain't no woman gonna settle me down

Lest she's head to foot in shades of brown.

 

Singing
 

Brown, brown, it's brown they say,

On the far side of the hill,

Brown, brown, I'm going away

To where the ground is browner still.

 

Or something like that.

Edited by Highlander

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I'm going to stop being silly and basically echo what Pingo and Buglips said.  When I'm painting a character with a lot of fiddly leather bits I use different browns to help everything stand out as a separate item.  Sometimes I'll glaze it all with the same brown to tie everything together.  

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1 hour ago, LittleBluberry said:

I'm going to stop being silly and basically echo what Pingo and Buglips said.  When I'm painting a character with a lot of fiddly leather bits I use different browns to help everything stand out as a separate item.  Sometimes I'll glaze it all with the same brown to tie everything together.  

 

Or laziness takes over and it all gets a slopping wash of Earthshade. 

 

But yes, I do the same. Different fiddly bits get different browns. Often they get the same shading, depending on laziness and ability. 

 

And you can never have too many browns. You can mix up your own, or buy premixed, or both. I go with "have lots of browns and be ready to modify". 

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2 minutes ago, Cyradis said:

 

Or laziness takes over and it all gets a slopping wash of Earthshade. 

 

But yes, I do the same. Different fiddly bits get different browns. Often they get the same shading, depending on laziness and ability. 

 

And you can never have too many browns. You can mix up your own, or buy premixed, or both. I go with "have lots of browns and be ready to modify". 

 

QFT

 

I mix all of my own colors and I employ a basic palette of only about a dozen single-pigment paints and full four of them are browns.

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