Author Topic: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes  (Read 3659 times)

0onarcissisto0

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Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« on: March 28, 2012, 06:56:36 PM »
Hey all,

My question goes out mainly to experienced painters. I've come to realize that I am quite bad at finding colours that go well together on a dinosaur model. For simple colour schemes such as a white underbelly with a dark brown body, that's simple enough, but when I want to try something a little more exciting such as mottling or stripes, I have a hard time finding colours that look good together. On my Sean Cooper Predation Scene, I was "plagiarizing" Steve Riojas' colour choices and even then I had a hard time finding the exact hues!! Currently, I'm working on Shane Foulkes' Torvosaurus. I've chosen to portray it with a white underbelly, yellow body, spray of red on the neck, dark brown spikes/scutes and dark brown giraffe/cheetah like spots. I initially thought it would like good, but somehow, it doesn't all work together harmoniously. How do you guys choose your colours? And if my colour choices do not actually suggest that I am completely colour-blind, what am I missing? Is it just a matter of mixing the patterns well on the figure????? Is there some sort of secret that involves transparent paint??

Help!
If the sculptor has nothing but science his hands will have no art.

- DK -


tyrantqueen

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 07:45:20 PM »
Check this out- it may help you

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9186/tutorialcopper3copy.jpg made by one of our forum members

I have the same kinda problem getting the colours I want, I guess it just comes with practice  :-\ I usually try to copy colours from paleo art I find in books or on the web. I have not painted anything I am satistified with enough to post on the boards yet, but I'm still slugging on, trying to get better.

I like to build my colours up slowly, going from dark to light with slight gradiations of colour. Otherwise the paint sticks out and looks bad.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 07:47:07 PM by tyrantqueen »

Roktman

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 04:51:35 AM »
The first thing I would do is to search for a color wheel to print out and then look around to see how it works. This will let you see which color goes with what. There are also a few You Tube vids that talk about the color wheel.

It may sound silly but the best thing to do since you are already trying to copy whats already been done is to go on You Tube and look for mini wargaming painters (a guy going under the name awesomepaintjob is currently my favorite for showing painting skills). They have a lot of highlighting and shadows to paint in a small space and they usually have the camera right in there so you see everything thats going on.

You'll see that they do not use just, as in your example of white, yellow, red and brown.  Take the yellow. You may see just yellow but in the creases of his body it's not yellow but a darkened yellow, deeper still may be an even darker version of the color or it maybe has moved into a brown color.  The war game people always say to use *at least* 3 shades of the color, and sometimes even more to create highlights and shadows.
Then if you look at at an animal that all one color just by the sun shining on his back and not on his stomach area, you wouldn't use the same one color for both areas the top or his back would be a lighter highlighted color and it's belly being in shade would be a darker shade of the color.

For example we all know that a zebra is black and white


But if you look where the light is coming from (arrow) you'll see more colors. Yep the circles marked in red is where the light is hitting directly is white. Also look at the black stripe in the very bright highlighted areas. There's areas on the black stripe that isn't black but gray!!
Now the parts of the zebra marked in blue is in shadow and isn't white but a cooler gray color.  And the green areas in between is in the shade but not as deep a shade so its a shade color but not as dark.   So you now see a zebra is not just black and white.  ;)

Finally what I like to do is use a thin wash to tie all the colors together. so many people don't do that and for me it looks like a painted animal rather than a true representation.

This is just my thinking, but I HTH

SBell

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 05:19:53 AM »
The first thing I would do is to search for a color wheel to print out and then look around to see how it works. This will let you see which color goes with what. There are also a few You Tube vids that talk about the color wheel.

It may sound silly but the best thing to do since you are already trying to copy whats already been done is to go on You Tube and look for mini wargaming painters (a guy going under the name awesomepaintjob is currently my favorite for showing painting skills). They have a lot of highlighting and shadows to paint in a small space and they usually have the camera right in there so you see everything thats going on.

You'll see that they do not use just, as in your example of white, yellow, red and brown.  Take the yellow. You may see just yellow but in the creases of his body it's not yellow but a darkened yellow, deeper still may be an even darker version of the color or it maybe has moved into a brown color.  The war game people always say to use *at least* 3 shades of the color, and sometimes even more to create highlights and shadows.
Then if you look at at an animal that all one color just by the sun shining on his back and not on his stomach area, you wouldn't use the same one color for both areas the top or his back would be a lighter highlighted color and it's belly being in shade would be a darker shade of the color.

For example we all know that a zebra is black and white


But if you look where the light is coming from (arrow) you'll see more colors. Yep the circles marked in red is where the light is hitting directly is white. Also look at the black stripe in the very bright highlighted areas. There's areas on the black stripe that isn't black but gray!!
Now the parts of the zebra marked in blue is in shadow and isn't white but a cooler gray color.  And the green areas in between is in the shade but not as deep a shade so its a shade color but not as dark.   So you now see a zebra is not just black and white.  ;)

Finally what I like to do is use a thin wash to tie all the colors together. so many people don't do that and for me it looks like a painted animal rather than a true representation.

This is just my thinking, but I HTH

The problem with the zebra example is that some subspecies actually have grey/brown stripes within the white--those aren't shadows or creases, they are markings.

Blade-of-the-Moon

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 09:04:35 AM »
 I honestly just use google's image search and browse around til I find something I like. Then I match the colors by mixing. It does take a good eye to see what colors and shades are on top of what and how best to blend them though.

Weaver

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 09:48:19 PM »
I agree with Blade and look to real animals for inspiration. Was the dino a hunter, scavenger or herbevore? Look up animals that may have filled a similar niche and use their colors for inspiration.

Roktman

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 08:50:03 PM »
(snip)

The problem with the zebra example is that some subspecies actually have grey/brown stripes within the white--those aren't shadows or creases, they are markings.

You're kidding right? All my explanation and you poo poo it by saying some zebra have brown stripes mixed in? I'm talking about including highlights and shadow color in the guys painting.
 If something - you pick what - standing in the sun, the part facing the sun will *look* a lighter color than the part that is shaded.  ::)

Gryphoceratops

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 11:02:45 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that very few things in nature are one shade of color.  When I do my paintings whether it be a watercolor or acrylic model I always use several colors for a base.  By this i don't mean mixing a bunch of colors together.  What I do is perhaps make one part of the body slightly more reddish and another slightly more greenish.  Note I say SLIGHTLY.  Its not a glaring thing but it def makes a difference in making your finished product look natural. 

0onarcissisto0

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Re: Need advice from painters for choosing colour schemes
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 05:00:27 PM »
(snip)

The problem with the zebra example is that some subspecies actually have grey/brown stripes within the white--those aren't shadows or creases, they are markings.

You're kidding right? All my explanation and you poo poo it by saying some zebra have brown stripes mixed in? I'm talking about including highlights and shadow color in the guys painting.
 If something - you pick what - standing in the sun, the part facing the sun will *look* a lighter color than the part that is shaded.  ::)

Loool. This makes me laugh. Seriously though, despite having known most of it already, that was a great explanation. I wish I had come across a post like that back when I still knew nothing. My original post was more about how to choose colours that look good together, but anyhow, this thread has become quite interesting nonetheless.
If the sculptor has nothing but science his hands will have no art.

- DK -