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Loup_Garou_Gras

Recommendations for "True Colors"

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Hi all, 

Was hoping to get some recommendations for which Reaper paints would best represent the basic colors around the edge of a painting wheel.  I am trying to understand how to mix paints/colors better and I would like to purchase the colors truest to their hue.  I have held my color wheel up against the colors on the website but it has done my  brain in trying to decide which ones are the best choice lol. I will gladly take recommendations in both the MSP line and the Bones line if you have them! To be more specific, I am asking for recommendations for primary and secondary colors, but not some of the other colors that are on the outside of the wheel.

Edited by Loup_Garou_Gras
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For Reaper paints, your best choices are going to be the Clear Brights. There are a few colors that used to be in that range that didn't sell well and have been discontinued, but the remainder are quite good and mostly single-pigment colors. They have relatively low opacity, but that can be fixed with just a bit of white, gray, or black if you need to.

 

There isn't a pure orange in that range (it's one of the discontinued colors), but orange is easy to mix from red or magenta and yellow. And the real pure green is the discontinued Clear Viridian, but Clear Green is quite nice.

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1 hour ago, Loup_Garou_Gras said:

...but not some of the other colors that are on the outside of the wheel.

Edited 1 hour ago by Loup_Garou_Gras

Now I am curious what wheel you are trying to build....I have seen so many different designs. 

 

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@Doug SundsethThank you for the reply!

 

@TGP , poorly worded question, what I should have said is that I was not wanting the intermediary (?) colors. If that is the correct term for the Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Violet etc. type colors. The reason for this is that I have a hard time seeing elements of color within a color.  For instance, some of the shifted neutrals, I struggle to see the blue/red/green etc. aspect unless it is pointed out to me.  I hope that by mixing colors myself that I will be able to better visualize the subtleties.

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Be aware that some of the colors (let's say the majority) simply cannot be obtained by simply mix the primary in the color weel.

Having just permanent colors isn't just enough, you also need, Yellow ocre, Ultramarine blue,  Burnt sienna, and so on.
Plus black and white.
Also mixing Magenta (quinacridone) and Cian result in a pretty different color than mixing Alzarin red and Ultramarine blue

Edited by Cicciopiu
grammar -.-
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It is worth learning to mix colors. Not easy. But worth doing. 

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8 minutes ago, TGP said:

It is worth learning to mix colors. Not easy. But worth doing.


Absolutely :)

Loup_Garou_Gras, don't be discouraged, maybe just have a look at the color theory ;)

Edited by Cicciopiu
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4 minutes ago, Loup_Garou_Gras said:

So , more complicated than I thought.  I may be better off buying the colors that appeal to me or I need.

 

Ehhh, yes and no. I think what @Cicciopiu is saying is that there are some colors that cannot be built off on the primaries. There are also hyper-bright colors that cannot be mixed. These neon colors are pretty unique.

 

Long story short, it sounds like you are wanting to experiment with a limited palette. Wren did an article about this, and essentially you need a pair of Warm/Cool of the primaries, plus White/Black. Also a brown (such as Burnt Umber) I would highly encourage watching Draw, Mix, Paint on YouTube on the foundations of color mixing and color matching. Specifically Color Mixing Rules to Remember and How to Match Any Color with Oil Paint. The same rules apply to Acrylic as they do to oils.

 

Individual colors are very useful for time purposes, colors that cannot be mixed (ultra neon vibrant colors) and for visually seeing the color you want immediately, rather than by building it up by experience. It also uses less paint in building up particular colors.

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As always, you guys are a great source of information! Thank you for all of your responses. I will most definitely check out the videos you recommended.

 

@Al Capwn, I watched the videos you recommended, they are phenomenal! It really breaks down the color mixing process into a very easy process. Thanks again for the recommendation.

Edited by Loup_Garou_Gras
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This Reaper Toolbox hasn't been posted as a separate video. It starts around minute 18 of the linked video. In it Anne discusses which of the paints are a good mixing set and roughly comparable to single pigment artist paints. As mentioned, you will also want black and white with acrylic paints. You might also get a pre-mixed neutral mid-value grey to save time. (I'd probably suggest Rainy Grey.)

 

Depending on your colour wheel or colour theory source, it will likely mention tints, tones, and shades. A tint is a colour mixed with white, a tone is a colour mixed with gray, and a shade is a colour mixed with black. Mixing a colour with gray is a very reliable way to desaturate it if it's too bright and in your face. The other method is to mix it with the colour that sits opposite it on the colour wheel.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlRb23LZYw8&t=1076s

 

So in an ideal world, you can mix every colour from a good primary red, blue, and yellow. We don't live in the ideal world, so there aren't perfect pigments to make the perfect red, etc. (Though there are some that are pretty close for yellow) The compromise a lot of people make is using what is called a split primary palette. In that system you have two versions of each primary - one that is warmer, and one that is cooler. Warmer means the colour has more red or yellow in it, and cooler means that it has more blue in it.

How does this work with primaries? If blue is cool, how do you have a warm blue and a cool blue? The trick with colour, and the thing that I think drives people batty because you can't just memorize all the 'rules' to figure it out, is that it's ALWAYS relative. Is a colour dark or light? You might look at a colour isolated on your palette or in a paint bottle and think it's pretty light, but then you paint it on a white primered mini and it looks very dark. Or you paint it on a black primered mini and it looks even paler than you thought. Your perception of how light or dark that colour is is affected by the colours around it.

 

It's the same thing with the colour temperature of a paint. If you have a blue paint and some other colours, the blue will be the coolest. But if you have four blues... you can judge those as to which is the warmest and which is the coolest. Warmer ones will be a little closer to purple (and hence have a bit of red). or a little closer to green (and have a bit of yellow)

 

So in a split primary system you have a red that is a little more orange, and a red that is a little more blue. A blue that is a little more purple, and one that is a little more green. A yellow that is a little more orange, and one that is a little more green. The reason for this is mixing the secondary colours. If you mix a cooler red with yellow, you won't get a nice true orange. On the other hand, you might not always want a vivid saturated green/orange/purple, so it can be handy to mix the 'wrong' colours to get khaki green and orange brown and so on.

Another option is more of a cyan, magenta, yellow colour wheel, though you won't necessarily be able to mix every single colour with those.

It sounds like you're looking at this as more of an exercise than to necessarily limit your palette. And I think that's great! I was very intimidated by colour theory when I first started to paint, and since most miniature paints are mixes of various pigments, I assumed that you couldn't really do colour theory exercises with them and I didn't even try, and it took me a long time to learn this stuff. Yeah, you won't always get exactly the same results as with pure pigment paints (which there are hundreds of, btw, and dozens in common use, so it's not like everyone using 'artist' paint agrees that THIS is the exact right cool red to use for the palette or anything). But you will get good mileage out of the exercise, and learn more than by not doing it at all. You could even try with whatever paints you have on hand that might make a decent split primary palette.

 

I painted this figure with an ad-hoc split primary palette (plus purple, a skin tone and one or two others) that was just me picking warmer and cooler versions of Reaper paints. It was started at a convention so I didn't have access to the clears another other options.

https://birdwithabrush.com/2018/09/14/a-critique-filled-promenade/

 

Even with good paints, a lot of people will add at least some of the secondary colours to their palette. Purple is hard to mix, and very handy. There aren't very many true single pigment green paints, but so many things are green that having a few mixed paint options ready to go is helpful. 

A few other things that might help you see the colours in colours. Make swatches, and take a photo of the swatches. Guess what the colour within the more neutral colour is. Then put your photo in an editing program that allows you to bump up the saturation (you can do this on an iPhone with the thingy that looks like a dial in the edit program). It will pull out the colours so you can see them better. There's another technique you can use that is demonstrated in this video. I recommend watching the whole thing, but the tip for figuring out the underlying colour in a neutral colour is around minute 7. (Basically the tip is hold some red or blue or whatever up next to the colour and see which it best matches.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0UgzQ2mpKQ


If you're interested in reading more about paint and pigment and other related stuff, I wrote an article here:

https://birdwithabrush.com/2019/02/24/so-many-paints/

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@Wren That is correct, I feel that at the age of *almost* 50 I should be able to visualize color better than I am able.  That being said, down the road I would love to be able to utilize a limited pallet to paint interesting figures. So there are  two purposes to my color education!

 

The video with Anne was very helpful. I have been using the some of the clear colors but the lack coverage was concerning.  But I understand why and now how to correct it! I have also taken her recommendations for other colors including the browns on board.  I will be placing an order soon lol.  Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions and advice, as always a wealth of information on these forums.

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@Wren I'd be very curious to k now if you have a 'preferred' travel palette? or are specific colors something you choose on the fly?   like, I'm thinking of trying to not carry a ton of bottles with me, but maybe a black, white, the clears, a good yellow ochre (Haven't found one in Reaper but I've overlooked tons of things in their paints before.) but I like Army  Painter's desert yellow), maybe a utility brown, etc. 

Edited by Cygnwulf

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27 minutes ago, Cygnwulf said:

@Wren I'd be very curious to k now if you have a 'preferred' travel palette? or are specific colors something you choose on the fly?   like, I'm thinking of trying to not carry a ton of bottles with me, but maybe a black, white, the clears, a good yellow ochre (Haven't found one in Reaper but I've overlooked tons of things in their paints before.) but I like Army  Painter's desert yellow), maybe a utility brown, etc. 

 

For Yellow Ochre, try Palomino Gold.

 

You might also want to carry Harvest Brown, which is in the Burnt Sienna vicinity. (Burnt Sienna can be a variety of actual colors, depending on pigment manufacturer.)

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There are also the Kimera paints, which come out in limited batches. They're a set of dense single pigment paints for mini painting. 

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