Painting Black
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  1. #1
    Brushlicker Bloodhowl's Avatar
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    Default Painting Black

    I am trying to better my technique of shading and highlighting black. I don't like the look of using gray for highlighting, so I used a blue-black for the base, and then layered on A light blue-violet mix for the first highlight and layered straight black for the shadows. Hopefully the photo sufficently shows the work. Comments/constructive feedback/advice welcome!

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    Last edited by Bloodhowl; 03-30-2012 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Farking picture is still upside down!

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    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  2. #2

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    Interesting going with violet. I like lightening my black with flesh tone colors instead of gray. So are you going to continue with the violet?

  3. #3
    Brushlicker Bloodhowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Interesting going with violet. I like lightening my black with flesh tone colors instead of gray. So are you going to continue with the violet?
    Why is the photo upside down? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I even loaded it into paint and rotated it so it was right side up! Grumble, mumble stoopid computers mumble grumble...

    For this one, yes. I may strip this figure once done and use it for testing other methods as well. The recipe I am using called for blue-black base coat, mix of light blue and violet highlight, then final highlight with more light blue added into the initial highlight mix. The example I am trying to follow is of an SS tank commander's uniform from a book titled "How to Paint Realistic Military Figures".

    I figured this guy's cloak was a good test subject!
    Last edited by Bloodhowl; 03-30-2012 at 06:53 PM.

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  4. #4

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    I like to use blue-greys to highlight black. It can give it an almost glowing appearance. Nice cool tone.

  5. #5

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    For me, highlighting black depends on what the surface is.

    For artificial stuff, like plastic or sci-fi surfaces, grey works. It looks artifical to us.

    For cloth, a bit of Bubonic Brown (or any of the pale ochre browns) mixed into the black-grey-white progression does the job. It looks natural, and clothy. It can look more weathered and/or of a poorer quality cloth if you add more of the brown, but just a bit of it can do cloth of quality it looks fine on a fancy noble type.

    A blue-grey, like Shadow Grey added into the black-white progression can equally make a pleasent black highlight.

    My go-to to method for leather tends to involve a bit of a a rich dark blue (like Regal Blue) added into the black-white progression. It works, as we often see leather rendered that way in arty photgraphy and the palettes of films like Batman and Underworld.

    A favoured process incorporates turquoise. As so little in the world is dark turquoise, we don't see it as a dark turquoise but "oh, that's a highlighted black". It can be tricksy getting the levels right with the incremental amounts of black/turquoise/white for the highlight stages. It's easier to use Coal Black fromt he P3 range of paints as it's a dark turquoise already.

    Can be prudent to start the highlighting early. Ensuring only the deep recesses are true black. Else, too much is black and without contrast between the shadows and midtone. Though it's a tricky balancing act, as it can all too easily end up not looking black at all, but a dark grey or dark-whatevers-added. I've found it best to ensure there's a lot of tones in around the 1/3 stage between the contrast from black to white, so it's dark enough but has room for highlights to really give the definition.

    The surface is of course suggestive of how sharp a contrast you go with too. Something like shiny leather, you want to go with a high contrast, bright white highlights with few stages before the white is on there. Whereas a beaten leather or cloth being a more low contrast surface you can sneak an extra couple of layers in before having the occasional pure white highlights on the extremes.

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    Senior Member roninjr's Avatar
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    Default Beautiful Blacks

    A lot of great ways to paint black have been voiced but one which is my favorite and to me, one of the easiest. I love the Andrea Black Paint set. It's a set of 6 black tones designed for use with brush and airbrush alike. They're easy to use and provide one of the most realistic looking results. The bottles are great and the paint goes a long way. I've been using my set for the last three years and there's plenty left. Look into it. I think it would give you great results. I believe you can order them here from CMoN. Here's a link to a good example of it use: http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_u...?v=oInQ9POGlGo

    Stay Frosty
    Last edited by roninjr; 04-02-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Add a video link
    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.
    George Orwell

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    Another method is to use a very dark grey basecoat and put the shadows in with black.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  8. #8

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    Privateer press Coal Black is a godsent when painting black...
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





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    The violet/blue mix doesn't seem to be yielding the results I would like. Either the technique doesn't work well with the smaller scale figures (the example is a 120mm Verlinden SS Tank Commander, and I am trying it on a 28mm Reaper Mini) or I am not mixing the paint correctly to get the appropriate shade of violet/blue (I mixed Reaper Blood Red and Templar Blue in various ratios to first get the violet, then to lighten it) and create enough contrast. Might be time to strip it and start over with some of the other suggestions in this thread.

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  10. #10

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    Whenever I do black, especially on cloaks and such I put a black basecoat and then gradually highlight the black up with a Khaki.

    I have always been happy with the results.

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    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodhowl View Post
    The violet/blue mix doesn't seem to be yielding the results I would like. Either the technique doesn't work well with the smaller scale figures (the example is a 120mm Verlinden SS Tank Commander, and I am trying it on a 28mm Reaper Mini) or I am not mixing the paint correctly to get the appropriate shade of violet/blue (I mixed Reaper Blood Red and Templar Blue in various ratios to first get the violet, then to lighten it) and create enough contrast. Might be time to strip it and start over with some of the other suggestions in this thread.
    Ok a couple of points:
    Firstly comparing the painting on a 120mm figure to a 28mm is wasting effort the techniques differ dramactically between the scales. While 28mm needs contrast 120mm needs subtles changes in tonality to get an effect which looks "right", in fact the closer you get to lifesize the harder the amount of colour shifting an tweaking you need to apply.
    Secondly I think you are hampering yourself with the mixing of two colours to get the initial point from which to blend another colour in. Start with pure "out the bottle" colours and the task becomes easier and more controlable.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

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    Brushlicker Bloodhowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Ok a couple of points:
    Firstly comparing the painting on a 120mm figure to a 28mm is wasting effort the techniques differ dramactically between the scales. While 28mm needs contrast 120mm needs subtles changes in tonality to get an effect which looks "right", in fact the closer you get to lifesize the harder the amount of colour shifting an tweaking you need to apply.
    Secondly I think you are hampering yourself with the mixing of two colours to get the initial point from which to blend another colour in. Start with pure "out the bottle" colours and the task becomes easier and more controlable.
    Thanks for that! I figured it was my mixing the colors throwing it off and I suspected the scale had something to do with it, but was not completely sure. Into the Simple Green bath the mini will go! I will re-prime and start over using one of the other suggested techniques. I have P3 coal black on order, so will try it out once it arrives!

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  13. #13
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    If you want to try something you could try wat we use in water colours, mix dark brown with blue to get a good near black.
    Out of my paints I'd use VMC Camoflage Black Brown and Prussian Blue to try and get an 'Off Black'.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

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    Senior Member roninjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Ok a couple of points:
    Firstly comparing the painting on a 120mm figure to a 28mm is wasting effort the techniques differ dramactically between the scales. While 28mm needs contrast 120mm needs subtles changes in tonality to get an effect which looks "right", in fact the closer you get to lifesize the harder the amount of colour shifting an tweaking you need to apply.
    Secondly I think you are hampering yourself with the mixing of two colours to get the initial point from which to blend another colour in. Start with pure "out the bottle" colours and the task becomes easier and more controlable.
    I think your absolutely right on target. "Out of the bottle" colors simplify the task dramatically. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy using the Andrea Black Paint set. K.I.S.S. & it's much faster thus more fun. Of course there are many other ways to accomplish the task but I have yet to be disappointed when I use this paint set. Great stuff.

    Have fun & stay frosty!
    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.
    George Orwell

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    Brushlicker Bloodhowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roninjr View Post
    I think your absolutely right on target. "Out of the bottle" colors simplify the task dramatically. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy using the Andrea Black Paint set. K.I.S.S. & it's much faster thus more fun. Of course there are many other ways to accomplish the task but I have yet to be disappointed when I use this paint set. Great stuff.

    Have fun & stay frosty!
    I have the Andrea Black set on order along with an Andrea Caped Crusader figure. Because I added the figure to the order, it's going to take 2-3 weeks to get here. SHHHHHHHH. Don't tell the wife, she only authorized the paint!

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  16. #16

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    Roflmao! Smuggling miniatures past the wifey....havnt heard that before
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marjedi View Post
    Roflmao! Smuggling miniatures past the wifey....havnt heard that before
    AMATEUR, you can't call yourself a collector until you've smuggled at least one miniature past the missus without getting caught.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  18. #18

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    Well my gf likes the stuff almost as much as i do. I have even persuaded her to wave a brush around in the near future.
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





  19. #19
    Brushlicker Bloodhowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marjedi View Post
    Well my gf likes the stuff almost as much as i do. I have even persuaded her to wave a brush around in the near future.
    Sure. She's all sweet and nice and into the same things you are. NOW. But put a ring on her finger and say "I do" and she will change. Ever seen the Exorcist? Yeah...like that...

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



  20. #20

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    Hahahaha....good thing marriage is out the window then. She has been previously and will never again.

    So dodges that bullet....
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





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