Painting darkness
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Thread: Painting darkness

  1. #1
    Senior Member secretpaintgeek's Avatar
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    Default Painting darkness

    Hi guys,
    As some of you who have read some of my previous comments will know I am currently working on a terrorgheist. Most of the prep work is done now and i'm starting to form a idea of how I want the end product to look. Now my question is.....
    How do I paint Darkness?
    I want it to appear that the whole mini is bathed in moonlight and as I have never attempted this before I thought i'd throw it out there and see what peoples opinions are. Would OSL help create this feel? Maybe paint the mini in black and white then add the color with glazes? Will it just look bland and colorless? These are the sorta issues I'd appreciate any suggestions/ideas for and I'm sure there are many more issues I haven't even thought of yet.
    I'm sure the collective wisdom of CMON will help me out and illuminate the subject for me :P (Worst pun ever?)

    Secret

  2. #2

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    The gallery is your friend, but your first step is going to be deciding what color the moon is and how that will affect the colors on the terrorgheist. I wouldn't try to color it exclusively with glazes. You'll just need to shift all your colors to account for the moon. As for darkness, keep the colors muted and the undersides (parts in shadow) almost black.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member secretpaintgeek's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Trystan. Seems your becoming my personal mentor :P

    [QUOTE=TrystanGST;675421]The gallery is your friend,

    Had a peek but it dont give away too much on the process and possible pit falls and so on

    but your first step is going to be deciding what color the moon is and how that will affect the colors on the terrorgheist.

    This is exactly what i'm looking for advice on. What colors have people tried? Were they happy with the result?
    As a noob to this sorta thing it seems better to learn from others mistakes rather than making my own, Standing on the shoulder of giants and all that

    I wouldn't try to color it exclusively with glazes.

    Any particular reason for this?

    Hope I have explained what i'm after a bit better

  4. #4

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    For an idea of how the dark would work, try this:
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/317873

    Also, this article by Shawn RL helps:
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/1328

    As for glazes - I suppose you could. I would rather have control over the color the whole way thru, instead of putting all that time into a monochrome paint job (which is actually very difficult to do well) and hope the glazes don't nuke it.
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  5. #5

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    Moonlight's generally white actually, just of low intensity, so no need to shift colours in any direction except for darker...

    OP, previous thread here which links back to an earlier thread with more info.

    Einion

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    Senior Member secretpaintgeek's Avatar
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    Thanks fellas, Much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Moonlight's generally white actually, just of low intensity, so no need to shift colours in any direction except for darker...

    OP, previous thread here which links back to an earlier thread with more info.

    Einion
    'Generally white'. It's sad how limited human vision really is, because the moon is actually quite colourful. Ah well.
    There's still the indirect illumination from the reflected light from the atmosphere to take in account though. And of course the height of the moon in the sky (because of atmospheric light scattering it becomes more yellow lower in the sky).

    But yeah, contrast is key. Have most of the mini being really dark desaturated blues (indirect light surfaces) and medium bright contrasting light (using the natural surface colours, darkened) hitting the topmost surfaces (moderately diffused of course, even in bright full moon when it is not clouded the shadows aren't perfectly sharp edged).
    Last edited by Garshnak; 11-08-2012 at 11:25 AM.

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    Brushlicker Milosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garshnak View Post
    'Generally white'. It's sad how limited human vision really is, because the moon is actually quite colourful. Ah well.
    There's still the indirect illumination from the reflected light from the atmosphere to take in account though. And of course the height of the moon in the sky (because of atmospheric light scattering it becomes more yellow lower in the sky).

    But yeah, contrast is key. Have most of the mini being really dark desaturated blues (indirect light surfaces) and medium bright contrasting light (using the natural surface colours, darkened) hitting the topmost surfaces (moderately diffused of course, even in bright full moon when it is not clouded the shadows aren't perfectly sharp edged).
    Exactly what I was thinking. Even if the scientific definition of moonlight is white I wouldn't agree because it appears blueish to the human eye. I would use blues as well because it adds to the mood of the piece.

  9. #9

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    I suppose the colour depends on if there is any clouds and people burning wicker men in which case it might be red...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garshnak
    'Generally white'. It's sad how limited human vision really is, because the moon is actually quite colourful. Ah well.
    Yeah, because it so looks like that without the saturation being bumped up out of all recognition



    Seriously though, even if it did look like this naturally the only thing that would matter would be the sum of the reflected light, since it would be mixed uniformly when shining on the Earth's surface

    Quote Originally Posted by Garshnak
    There's still the indirect illumination from the reflected light from the atmosphere to take in account though.
    Yes of course, I was referring to moonlight only though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Milosh
    Even if the scientific definition of moonlight is white I wouldn't agree because it appears blueish to the human eye. I would use blues as well because it adds to the mood of the piece.
    I don't think it does really look blueish (normally*) if you study it carefully with a view to trying to sort out what colours you are or aren't seeing (which isn't easy at low light levels). And looking at how painters in the past have tackled moonlight we can see that some of them didn't perceive it as slightly blue either.

    At very low light levels the cones shut off and we're only seeing with the rods - scotopic vision - which don't allow for colour discrimination.

    *Depends how bright it is: when the moon is high in the sky and full or nearly so moonlight can be bright enough that the cones are still in use, in which case you can still perceive some colour.

    Einion

  11. #11

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    You know, I always enjoy reading posts by Einon. It's like sitting in a lecture hall. I always learn something new!
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    I don't think it does really look blueish (normally*) if you study it carefully with a view to trying to sort out what colours you are or aren't seeing (which isn't easy at low light levels). And looking at how painters in the past have tackled moonlight we can see that some of them didn't perceive it as slightly blue either.
    I think the idea of blue comes more from TV and movies. To shoot night time scenes they often shoot in daytime and use a blue filter to make it look like night. So using blues on the mini might make it look correct to our eyes (at least those of us who have spent too much time watching TV) even if it's not what actual moonlight looks like.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garshnak View Post
    'Generally white'. It's sad how limited human vision really is, because the moon is actually quite colourful. Ah well.
    There's still the indirect illumination from the reflected light from the atmosphere to take in account though. And of course the height of the moon in the sky (because of atmospheric light scattering it becomes more yellow lower in the sky).

    But yeah, contrast is key. Have most of the mini being really dark desaturated blues (indirect light surfaces) and medium bright contrasting light (using the natural surface colours, darkened) hitting the topmost surfaces (moderately diffused of course, even in bright full moon when it is not clouded the shadows aren't perfectly sharp edged).
    Ooh, the moon looks like a big opal.

    As for moonlight, our eyes have a night vision that is more sensitive to blue light and cannot really see red or yellow but doesn't actually see colors. Not that that's what you're looking for. Still, you may wish to mute reds and yellows almost to unrecognisable darkness.

    I would not paint moonlight as blue, but I would use a fairly pure white which would look bluish in mixes or thinly painted for highlights. White always gets a cold bluish cast when you paint it thinly over other colors; no actual blue is necessary.

  14. #14
    Brushlicker Milosh's Avatar
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    Here is a good read that explains the blueshift and why the human eye perceives moonlight as slightly blue.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news...angemoonlight/

    yes, rods do play the part Enion says but they are also most likely the cause of the blueshift.

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    Senior Member secretpaintgeek's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. Certainly given me some food for thought. I like the idea of the slight blueshift as I think that could work well with the reddish glow of a torch/lantern OSL and help bring a little more color into the scene. Cant wait to get started and see how this turns out. Just hope my skills can do it justice

  16. #16

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    Well don't know what colour moonlight should really be, but if I were painting moonlight shadows I would use blues.
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  17. #17

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    Ah reciprocity failure, results in many a lovely photo.

    Einion

  18. #18

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    Ah yes, photos aren't always the most reliable source for colour information. Especially in this day and age:

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    Looks kinda pretty though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milosh View Post
    Here is a good read that explains the blueshift and why the human eye perceives moonlight as slightly blue.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news...angemoonlight/

    yes, rods do play the part Enion says but they are also most likely the cause of the blueshift.
    Cool article, thanks for that.

  19. #19

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    Notice the tonal scale in these pix. The moon is the ONLY thing that's pure white. Make everything darker than pure white. The one on the left looks darker because the tonal distance between the white and the lightest thing a lot greater than the other one. The one on the right glows since the snow is a lot closer to white yet not getting to pure white. Saturating the colors can tend to add to the 'glowieness'.




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