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Saturday, June 06, 2020

Last Chance Finance

Steve generously donated a 3D-printed 28mm-scale Old West bank to me a couple of months ago, and this morning I painted it. This is the largest miniature I've yet painted, and the first building. I went with green and yellow for their association with dollar bills and gold coins. It looks pretty muddy to me, and I feel like should probably have painted the second-story columns yellow to match those below. Obviously I'm still having trouble colouring between the lines, as it were, but I feel like I'm slowly getting better at that particular task. Patience seems to be the best help, along with lots of light. 


Jeff Shyluk said...

If you are painting something large, you need to consider underpainting, a base coat primer that will allow the colours you want to see look natural.

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

Yellow pigments are notoriously translucent; they require a white primer or undercoat, and will usually benefit from multiple thin coats.

Jeff Shyluk said...

On that note, I suspect you may be loading your brush with too much paint. After you load, you check to see the viscosity of the paint (with acrylics, you look for a half-drop that forms at the tip of the bristles, but with enamel I don't know. You could look it up, or ask Sylvia as nail polish is enamel as well. Or you could practice by painting your own nails. I suggest Federation Hull White or Plomik Green.), then you wipe your brush once or twice on a paper towel to remove the excess. I guess you could use your palette or even the paint container to collect the extra paint if you need to be frugal.

That way you can a) control the amount of paint that goes on, and b) have finer control over the brush tip. The downside is that you'll likely need to apply multiple coats since you don't have a lot of paint on your brush. If it was easy, everyone would use a brush instead of a ball point pen. Or a smart phone.

As for your palette, I see you're staying inside your head. While that's the best starting place, you can look to photographic resources to find real-world examples that either confirm or destroy your colour hypotheses. Then work from those. That way you can concentrate solely on technique and not have to worry about making composition changes on the fly. One easy thing you can do is to make a colour test sketch, where you very crudely draw the subject and then fill it in with the colours you expect to use, to see if they work together. You've seen my ruffs, sometimes Darth Vader is just a circle with a smiley face. That's all you need, just a bit of line on which to hang the colours.

I believe you are ready to level up. My suggestion is to find a copy of James Gurney's Colour & Light. It's definitely not for beginners, and his thought process is at the forefront of graphic art. It will take you months to absorb his lessons. However, he is clear in his instructions and his steps, while large, can be followed. You will learn a great deal!