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Hi everyone. I've been thinking a lot about color while painting recently. It's been a major motivation for some of my more recent projects. I wanted to talk about some of the things I've been doing and hoped that some of you would share your thoughts about color choice as well.
First of all, my paint collection is fairly modest. Probably around 50. But I'm a firm believer that you don't need a ton of different paints. I add paints periodically to fill gaps - especially colors that I find myself struggling to mix well (purple continues to be a struggle and I need some better options).
I love the Reaper Triads - they're a great way to expand a collection and get colors that behave well together. Also a great way to teach newer painters the philosophy behind layering. For awhile I was running with the philosophy that I wanted to avoid mixing more than two colors at once. Especially because it's harder to duplicate. I was using the triads a lot as a guide while painting.
However, I have recently pushed away from using triads. I have been playing around with more limited palettes. Not exactly the 3 color challenge, but just really considering whether or not I need to grab a new bottle, or if I can mix what I want using something I already have. With this philosophy, the triads clash. So I definitely find myself grabbing the midtones most often.
I've been thinking of this as "mindfully limited palette." Sometimes I grab the colors I know I want ahead of time, other times I'll grab a new color as I go. Typically this involves a black and a white and then 5 or less unique colors. Often a red, blue, yellow, and brown. Though not necessarily the purest versions of those colors. I might choose a greener blue. Or a brownish red.
There's two ways I've been playing with this. One is by leaning into a more monochromatic palette. I have found it really fun and challenging to try to imagine the setting a mini is in and reflecting that environment in the color choices of the mini. It's also a fun challenge to make many different shades and tones using similar colors. This is what I had in mind while painting this Ice Witch, and Swamp Skeleton.
The other way I have been playing with these limited palettes is to try for a more unified tone, but not necessarily monochrome. There's a painting theory behind a "mother color" where you mix a bit of one color into every other color on your palette. While I haven't gone that far, I have found that reusing colors, even in different mixes, helps unify the piece. Just like balancing colors across the mini. I don't have as many good photos of this, as my best examples are the most recent minis I've been working on - really pushing color variety while using limited paints. This Kobold is sort of like that, though he definitely is a bit more monochromatic. I'll have to come back and add my more colorful examples.
What kind of color theory and challenges have you been playing with to motivate and push your painting? Please feel free to share photo examples. This has been a major source of excitement and motivation in my painting recently and I feel it's really improving my results. I would love to see what everyone else is doing!
So I was drilling a plastic figure last night, and realized part of my issue with drilling is my hands are stiffening up, and it won’t be too much longer before arthritis becomes an issue. I was looking at Dremel attachements, and came across small rotary engravers, which also might work. Does anyone here have any experience with ways to drill that don’t involve pin drills? Has anyone tried the rotary engravers? If your hands aren’t nimble, how do you drill?
Before posting I searched this section to see if there was already a discussion going on but didn't find anything. I could be wrong though. I think it also goes without saying this post and any subsequent posts will include spoilers.
I finally got around to seeing The Last Jedi, I was waiting for the crowds to die down. So I ended up in a noon showing with only five other people (mostly older folks who I can only assume also waited for the crowds to die down).
Right off the bat I want to say I'm not impressed with the new film. Rather than go on a rant about what I liked and hated though I'd prefer to start a discussion of the new film.
What did you like? What did you hate? Were you happy with the final product?
1. Lex Luthor, archenemy of Superman, spent the first 50 years of his existence as a mad scientist. Only after the first great DC Reboot, the Crisis on Infinite Earths, was Luthor retconned into an evil megalomaniac businessman. The new Supergirl TV series has set up another character, Maxwell Lord, in pretty much the exact same role.
I find it disturbing that we pit our fictional heroes against egotistical self absorbed businessmen, while in the real world, a hell of a lot of us seem prepared to vote one into national office.
2. Since Superman's inception in 1938, he has featured in the mass media, first with a radio show, and later, several different TV shows. In those shows, sometimes, Kryptonite is used as a plot device to explain why evil businessmen or ordinary bank robbers could pose a threat to a guy who can juggle Buicks. However, in the comics and the media, kryptonite didn't appear in every single episode. Superman was allowed to juggle Buicks, so to speak, most of the time; it's why we tuned in, after all.
However, in most episodes of the new Supergirl TV series, kryptonite is seen nearly every episode, usually weaponized in the form of handcuffs or darts intended to subdue or kill Kryptonians, engineered by the government. In most of these episodes, they are used by the government agents against Supergirl, for one reason or another. I find this irritating. There are two Kryptonians in the whole universe that are on our side, and once a week, we slap one of them around with Kryptonite? Is this a good idea? Or can we just not stand to have a strong female protagonist in the TV series? Does Superman have to put up with this nonsense?
Or am I just talkin' thru my hat or what?
Hey all, some people were talking about wanting to enter into this area of the Reapercon contest but weren't sure how to get some good effects. I've got some experience in vehicles, I don't always do a WIP for everything I paint, and figure lets get a discussion going to help people figure out what they want and how to do it.
I'll start off by saying I'm more familiar with weathering and I don't have any real experience with an airbrush (though that will change this weekend as my compressor arrives tomorrow) so in some areas I'm going to be more helpful then others.
First off let me start with an awesome free resource I had forgotten about. The weathering magazine released a free "Best of" online mag last December and it has some great articles on basic rust, worn chipping and mud (which I've never done) so this is a great read.
Also Painting Buddha just did one on painting a warjack that can be helpful but it looks like there will be a few weeks until it makes it out to the community college (ie free).
I'm going to start about a few basic techniques that I think can be used for any paint style then move onto how I do chipping and worn paint without salt or other specialty paints. Probably won't have any pictures but if people really need some I can get to that over the next few weeks. I have a few dust vehicles I picked up on the cheap over black Friday that I've been saving for when I get an airbrush.
---Defining the machine.
1) Oil Washes --- So one of the hard things to do, without an airbrush, is get good gradients and contrast going on certain vehicles. How they reflect light and the large flat surfaces in general are tricky so it's hard to really define the various part of the vehicle like one would with a human. Also you generally don't paint a vehicle 10 different colors and there's much less range in the colors you do use. One thing you can do, that I got from the guy behind Kallamity, is to use a wash of pure black oil paint. This may seam crazy but oil and acrylic work just fine together--I've been doing it for about a year now and the Massive voodoo people have for longer then me. The reason for oil is, well, the blacks in oil are just 10x blacker then what we can get in acrylic. Also oil washes are way, way more fluid then acrylic washes so they flow right into the ridges and lines and stay there without staining the rest of the paint -- they're quite easy to use. If you dilute the oil paint enough they dry pretty quick too (less then 30min). You'll want to several washes but it will really define all the separate parts in a way you can't otherwise.
2) Pigments -- Pigments can be used two ways. To quick shade and to make the machine look like it lives in a world. There's a great article on Warsen.al's blog about painting one of their terrain pieces where pigments are used for the shading. I would link but it would violate forum rules so you'll need to search for it yourself. This can be a great way to shade a large surface but pigments can be a bit tricky to use as it's very easy to get too much on your brush and then you've got something way harsher then you wanted (and cleaning them can be a pain). I tend to only do this on the undersides where you're prone to have darker shades and, possibly more dirt, as it's a great way to add a final shade without much work. The second application for pigments is really more a discussion on it's own.
---Quick weathering tip
1) Dry Mud -- Got this from massive voodoo. Some of you have the crackle paints that I used for ice. Well just paint it earth tone and you've got some very dry mud. The non-clear paints are more durable so I suggest the white.
-- Chipping effects
Let me start out by saying I love the chipping solutions from AK Interactive (MIG also makes a line but I haven't tried them but they're probably easier to get) as it makes the process below require less of a soft hand. But you don't need them. I have not tried salt and hairspray but it's clear you can get some good results--but read up on it first as only certain hairsprays really work.
First off here's a wooden Tori I used this technique on to make.
You can also use this to do heavy rust (though you'll probably want more colors) This shot was after I added pigments into the rust effect
Without using a chipping solution it's very easy to accidently take off more paint then you expected (as well as some primer) but that's OK as you can use that opportunity to add in some slight color variation to show faded paint, repaints (that don't match) or various shades of rust.
What you'll need is the following:
1) and old tooth brush. I've got one where the front 1/3rd of the brush is kept a the same length and the back 2/3rds have been cut half way down. I suggest a soft or medium brush.
2) and underpaint. This will be the metal or the figurative primer--machines will have a primer between the paint and metal so we'll represent that with a different color. If I'm doing TMM I'll use a metal color I like. If not I'll do a dark gray. Temperature of the gray is up to you, choose to best to fit the desired mood of the piece.
3) (Optional) a second undercoat. You can do a metallic then the aforementioned figurative primer.
4) Hot water. You'll want this after your paint coats have dried. The warmer the better as warm water will break up the acrylic paint bonds and help you scrub it off.
1) Paint your base layer. You may want to do a few coats of this as it's easy to take this layer off ---which generally we don't want. This layer will be your figurative primer or TMM color. If you're doing do separate undercoats now is where you do it.
2) Paint your paint layer.
3) Depending on where you live let the paint dry some. The longer you wait the harder to get off. I normally wait 20-30 min (I live in a desert).
4) get your tooth brush and dip in the warm water and scrub away. Be warned that at first It will seam like nothing is coming off but then a little will followed by a lot. Use the longer, and thus less pressure applied, part of your brush for a more gentle scrub that will take off less. The shorter bristles will take more off quicker. Generally it takes me about 20 seconds of scrubbing to get the effect you want but the majority of it is in how warm the water is plus how much force you apply.
That's basically it.
Feel free to ask questions or just form a general discussion on how to paint machines as I'm more then certain there's more then just me with some tips to share. I'll post some more guides here as I have time based off of people's question.
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