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Avriel

Choice of brown paints without seeing them

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Hi everyone!

 

I'm planning on collecting ever more paints and was thinking about adding some more browns to my collection. The only problem is that I'm in Australia and there is absolutely nowhere nearby that I can actually see reaper paints in person. I have to order them based on what I see online and I'm painfully aware of how different online swatches can be from actual paint colour. I've tried looking up photos of models people have painted with them, but few people name each colour or put on a flat coat without blending/shading. I'm hoping someone here may have a few of the colours I'm looking at and could tell me what they think or share a photo of the actual colour (not perfect I know, but a lot closer than swatches). I don't paint anything in particular, e.g. a specific army, I just like painting a variety of things and browns are always useful. I like collecting paints so I'm not looking for a bare-minimum list to do a lot of mixing with, but I also don't want to get colours way off what I expect or too close to each other that I'll never use. My potential list to get a good, varied range of browns is:

 

The grey-browns triad (woodstain, shield and driftwood)

The red-browns triad (mahogany, chestnut and rust) - I'm looking for a nice reddish brown like jarrah or red mahogany here, and a lighter orangey rust colour - will these suit?

Harvest brown,

Earth brown,

Leather brown

Basic dirt - to me this looks more of a grey/blue toned brown with no yellowy/reddy tones in it - is that close?

 

I already have the bronzed skin, olive skin and dark skin triads, ebony flesh, redstone and auburn hair shadow (in case they are too similar to rust brown), and vallejo model colour gold-brown and english uniform (for yellowy-browns). I could swap a few out for vallejo model colour if that would be a better option but without knowing what they really look like it's hard to compare.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions or has had issues with any of the colours listed?

 

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I always loved Intense Brown/Walnut brown and Blackened brown.

I used these for almost all woods and some leathers.

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I find the grey-brown triad to be super useful. It's nice for old worn wood, dull looking zombie hair, all kinds of things. The colours aren't 'sexy' looking in and of themselves, but their neutrality is what makes them so handy. If you've got a piece with a lot of colour but you still need to paint a bow or shield or whatever - these come to the rescue. 

I use the red brown triad paints a lot, though looking at your post I now realize that I rarely use them together. The chestnut is my go-to for shading warm gold NMM. Rust I've used as rust, but also for a vivid redhead look. 

I've never really loved Earth or Leather Brown. I'd probably pick one of the leather colours from the Bones line instead, and the Bones Ruddy Flesh also works as a dark leather colour. You are correct that Dirt Brown doesn't have much if any red in it. It's kind of like if you thought what is generic brown, I'd probably think of a colour like that. 

Harvest Brown is a good choice, but I'd also/instead consider the darker one in that triad, Russet Brown. I don't use it a lot on its own, but it's a great shade colour to add to blonde hair, ivory, warm yellow bone, parchment, and other things of that nature. 

Also I'm glad you're not relying on the online swatches, the digital online colours are not a great guide. I don't have swatches of the main MSP colours, though hopefully I'll do that as a project one day. But I do have swatches of the Bones colours in case that is helpful. It's not going to be the exact colour you'd get, but it's closer than a digital swatch! (This post includes post the Dungeon Dwellers paints mentioned in the title and the main Bones colours.)

https://birdwithabrush.com/2018/10/21/dungeon-dwellers-bones-paint-hd-new-paint/

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I could type a bunch, but I actually would say (with less detail, skill, or overall knowledge) the things Wren just said above. I do use the grey browns a bunch.

 

I will also echo Glitterwolf. Blackened Brown is on pretty much every single miniature I paint, and I also use Intense Brown pretty frequently. Blackened Brown in a 50/50 mix with Nightmare Black is my go to for black, especially black hair.

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I agree with Glitterwolf about those browns; I use them a lot. Also agree with Wren about the gray-browns. My favorite go-to brown is probably Saddle Brown personally.

 

Blackened Brown I use a lot for hair for some reason.

 

Mahogany and Chestnut are great paint, but I use them less for "brown" and more for red hair and things that need oomph.

 

Driftwood brown is a VERY nice lighter brown.

 

Woodstain Brown is a greenish brown if I am thinking of the right one. Lower coverage.

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Thank you everyone for the replies!

 

So if I removed earth brown, leather brown, harvest brown and replace them with say blackened brown, intense brown, russet brown and rich leather would that give me a better range?

 

On my monitor harvest brown is almost indistinguishable with intense brown, and russet brown with blackened brown. Are they at all close in reality?

 

Given that I'd already have some some darker browns in dark skin shadow and ebony flesh, would you say walnut brown is different enough to warrant picking up as well?

 

And wren yes I've used your bones paint swatches to pick colours before, they are very helpful, thank you for posting them!

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12 minutes ago, Avriel said:

Thank you everyone for the replies!

 

So if I removed earth brown, leather brown, harvest brown and replace them with say blackened brown, intense brown, russet brown and rich leather would that give me a better range?

 

On my monitor harvest brown is almost indistinguishable with intense brown, and russet brown with blackened brown. Are they at all close in reality?

 

Harvest brown is very close to intense brown (they're both very close to many burnt siennas). Russet brown is greener than blackened brown and quite noticeably different. I've used both often.

 

12 minutes ago, Avriel said:

Given that I'd already have some some darker browns in dark skin shadow and ebony flesh, would you say walnut brown is different enough to warrant picking up as well?

 

I really like walnut brown, which is much darker than dark skin shadow and darker than ebony flesh. I use walnut brown as something very like a warm black. And I use it a lot.

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18 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Harvest brown is very close to intense brown (they're both very close to many burnt siennas). Russet brown is greener than blackened brown and quite noticeably different. I've used both often.

 

 

I really like walnut brown, which is much darker than dark skin shadow and darker than ebony flesh. I use walnut brown as something very like a warm black. And I use it a lot.

I'll second using Walnut brown as a warm black.  It's my base coat for black hair usually. 

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I use the red-brown triad almost constantly; it's my go-to for wood, leather, sometimes hair. It's a lovely very warm brown set. 

 

If you want another option for paint swatches, give the Paint Rack app a try. It's not perfect either, but they do take pictures of actual swatches, and at least it would give you another color reference. It's only downside is that last I checked, it's Android only. 

 

Huzzah! 

--OneBoot :D 

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Harvest Brown is lighter and a bit more orangey than Intense Brown. Blackened Brown is a fair bit darker and a bit richer than Russet Brown. One of my top uses for Russet is shading some fairly pale tans and ivories. I'd have to use a lot more drops of the lighter colour to the darker, and I'm not sure the colour mixes would be the same.

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