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Friday, May 16, 2014

Primary Color painting experiment


So I placed a preview of the class on Monday.. went to sleep.. woke up and now it is Friday! Damn!!! I think I might be a bit under the weather... argh..

Anyways.. on to the short little experiment that I was put through, and pleasantly so, during Rafael's class last weekend.

The class was to focus on his style of painting, and to work with extreme contrasts. Be it with color, light/dark or matte/gloss. But to work with them all within the scope of the class. And for those to be worked on, we picked out the Savage Orc models to play around with.

I honestly cannot say that I was overly thrilled with painting it, and less so with the results that I was plagued with!


Steps forward could be seen, but the model was just not screaming to me enough ( even if he does look it! ). So I sidelined the model in order to not derail myself from the class too much. And since the class was in a gaming store, I browsed the shelves to look for a better piece to paint up. Something that had a bit of everything on it, that I could play around with.

Now it must be noted that I stopped working on the Orc on the second day around noon. Bough up a kid pirate from the Tales of War line sometime around 1230, and had him assembled and primed by about 1.

This is when Rafael realized that I was doing something different and made some comments. First comment was.. dude.. wtf!! No.. actually his first comments was your falling into old habits.. and using de-saturated and coward colors on this model.

He had a look within my paints to see what I had.. de-saturated was said a lot.. not a lot of vibrant colors there..

So he had an idea.. to see if I could make the browns that I liked playing with.. but with only using the primary colors! And we set off to pick up 3 colors from my paint box that were vibrant and saturated enough to be the primaries for this experiment.


And building off of his thoughts with regards to the color wheel he set me on a new course.

We only added the black/white paint so that I can play with the hues a bit further, but the goal was to only paint the model with these 5 colors.. Black/White/Blue/Yellow/Red... something that I have been told before can be done in a class from Massive Voodoo's beginners class.. but not something that I have actively sat down to actually do.

What was really interesting was that with the reduction of colors I was able to paint even faster! And with more freedom, as the colors I would require were there in front of me. If they dried up ( which for some reason did fairly quickly! ) I could just mix up another batch on top of the older ones.


Things like the pants were quite easy and hard at the same time. Easy cause it is basically moving from blue to yellow.. and blending and mixing the colors from one to the other.

The boots were more interesting to play around with, and the extreme yellow light was Rafael's doing more so than mine. But he began to push me to try really bright colors in the highlights and see where it would take me. And in this case it began to give me an idea of a light source ( even if not fully proper ).

But it was the skin area that I played around with the most. To get the right consistency of the colors to make it work.



The photos shown here are my 4th attempts at getting the skin just right. Or at least right enough for what I wanted to hit. Earlier versions were either too clean cut over the muscles making them look unnatural. Or were the wrong shade, and too yellow/orange in spots and dark in others.

After an hour of playing around with colors I finally found a mix that I liked. Can I repeat it? Maybe.. but I cannot say that I have a recipe for it. More like an instinct that it was what I was liking. But I can say that the white was used to help bring out the highest peaks on the skin there.

What I really like is that although this model is a bit small, it was all accomplished in about 4 hrs. While Rafael was pushing on with some lessons, I was brush deep on this piece going further and further. Painting one section at a time, until it was at the point that I liked. If I had one more hour in the class I believe I probably could have gotten all the pieces painted up, and had a better idea of the overall effect and feel for the model.

I can see now that the piece is still a bit rough, but considering that it was painted without the luxury of my normal painting desk or lamps, it is not bad. And I think more of the effect and exercise itself was more important than the final detailed results. I will attempt to finish it off in the coming weeks and see what happens. Maybe clean it up a bit more. But I also think I will attempt this exercise again at some point to see what can be done with a different combination of primary colors for it as well. Perhaps even moving into the secondary colors and see what kind of combos I can come up with on a similar piece.

Expect to see some more of this.. and would love to hear your comments below about this experiment. In the meantime.. enjoy the weekend!

16 comments:

  1. I loved this post!!! Everyone should read your thoughts about experimenting with colours. Very inspiring and motivating! Good work Mr. Cruickshank! :)

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    1. Gracias professor del Subway... ;)
      Seriously it was a good lesson to learn and one that I also agree many should attempt. Now to get better, and finish this bad boy! He be needing his slingshot for future fights on the high seas!!!

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  2. Wow! Looks amazing! I think it is very brave of you to step out of your comfort zone, and look what it brought you! Combining all these different insights and experiences you have gained over te coming period, you are a true inspirator :)

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    1. Wow.. thanks MaGie! Big words coming from you, and yes this was definitely outside my comfort zone on so many levels. Will be giving it another go at some point or another for sure!

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  3. Pretty much sums my experience of the weekend as well. I never stepped away from the ork but after doing my normal level of contrast on the ork having Rafael coming over and extending so much further than I thought it would look good was eye opening. The exercise with the primary colours was also very rewarding. So I look forward to try his second idea of painting something using only black and white

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    1. Really glad others had a good time at the workshop. I am also thinking about what model to use for his second idea... a monotone piece would be interesting to say the least!

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  4. Nice and instructive post, great work!

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  5. A very interesting post, I think I'll find the colour wheel useful!

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    1. Am sure it will come to good use to you Ray.. even with historicals I can see it having its place of use :)

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  6. Inspiring! That one and doing a mini in monochrome or black and white are next on my list of experiments! The mini I did with only washes for that video was such a blast that setting up more fun little journeys of discovery must be taken!

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    1. Thanks Zab.. it was a lot of fun as well which is a bonus. And yeah it is the little things that really move your forward at times ;)

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  7. Very great work fella. And that is exactly what a great teacher do, show you new ways to go, give you something to think about and bring you to a new understanding of what you are doing.

    It was a a good idea to change the miniature, fun is one of the biggest motivations to learn something new.
    I'm looking forward to what you will do as the next steps.

    Enjoy the weekend Kyle

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    1. Indeed Micha.. was fun, and learning new things are awesome also!

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  8. Any particular type of reds, blues and yellows that are suited as primary colours?

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    1. Hey FourEyedMonster.. just saw this comment.
      For this experiment I used Scale75 colors, but they are quite matt, and sometimes desaturated. So have played around with the vallejo, and P3 colors also.
      Honestly there is no right or wrong primaries, as they all have their place. It is just a matter of playing around with them, and understanding what you want to do with them.
      Some will have more green or purple tones in them ( for the blues and reds ), and that can shift the mix a bit as well.
      All I can suggest it experiment some, and see what comes of it!
      For myself, I need to get back into that and give it a go once more!

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