Tutorial - How i work with colours

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

First, for this article i have to say sorry as it might seem a bit disorganised. It was simply an idea to catch my thoughts while starting off with a miniature, nothing more, nothing less - in the end i hope it gives some of you a visual and insight in my brain paths while painting... good music is recommanded also!

This article is about the second fella i did for the Urban Warfare II. The orange/red one, dressed in contrast colours to the first, green one. The model was primed as usual and now i did choose the colours i wanted to use and opened them in front of my wet palette.

Having in mind that I want to paint the model with a zenithal light source i've placed the colours already in order from light to shadow. Every colour you choose for a basic/main colour on your model changes when it comes to work with light, it changes its appearence due the light/shadow activity which hits the model. First it is important to me to find the colour i like to have as the main colour on my model... i did choose some Dark Flesh, Elf Flesh and Graveyard Earth... I did take a bigger brush to get them out of the Citadel pots without cleaning the brush meanwhile, you don't have to do this, but I do it that way for me colour is something harmonic that doesn't hurt, it will always stay in my hand to change the amount, no need for cleaning my guitar all the time, i rather love to play it...

I did mix this up with some water on my wet palette. I mix every colour with a drop of water to make it easier to handle and not as sticky as it would be if I only take it out of the pot. So here is my base colour on my wet palette:

I know applied to it the colours i want to use for the shadows and lights by mixing them up in line, basic colour in the middle. First shadows mixed in. Second picture light mixed in. As you might guess right, you can do such a colourful way from light to shadow with every basic/main colour you can imagine...

Now comes the tricky part i just can't explain while taking photos for the explantion. I plan to make a video someday but didn't manage to do so yet, sorry. Let me try to explain. I mix these colours all in all on the miniature in about 5 minutes, like painting on canvas, really chaotic and dirty the result still looks but this is just the basic work. I include light and shadow already in this stage. First i put some of the basic colour on places in the middle of the miniature which are "normally" hit by the imagined light source from above. I then mix in the brighter colours where the light hits the spots, clean my brush and mix in the shadows again. All in one step. I don't go for the highest light and the deepest shadow in this step as this will be done later on while working out the details...

As you might see the bright areas are really bright. The planned shadow areas get much darker and not as strong as the parts that are hit by the light source. At the moment all looks very desurated, but that is fine at the moment. I have in mind that this is still my sketching and i have no worries about seeing some dirty places at the moment - hey, that's 5 Minutes of work so far, i can't ask for more...

Now i let this wet in wet basic dry. Next step is to bring in depth with some glazes of darker washes/glazes. While using them i also seperating them in brighter ones for the light areas and darker ones for the shadow areas.

I apply them with using water to thin them down to glazes. Using the brighter ones in the upper areas while i use the darker ones at the shadow places, all again applied while everything is swimming, let it dry afterwards.

After this is dry the real work begins. This is just my basic work to get a sketch for the light and shadow situation on the model. Now i start to intense the shadows, paint different parts away from the main colour, strengthen a light here and there, doing the same to shadows, details, details... here is my basic work after about 30 minutes:

I failed to work this article out further, but maybe it these thoughts a good for the one or the other... sorry for my failure!

As i have been asked about the green guy also - damn, i have no idea, he was orange before the overpainting, haha. I worked mainly with Camo Green and set this into light and shadow... also some Yellow Olive from Model Air colour was mixed in somewhere... here are three shots i got of him - Fail again i know...

Hope you like it and hope this thoughts shared may help or inspire or both! And fine music again...
Keep on happy painting!


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