I painted a forge! I was a little worried about painting a thin enough sheen of red and yellow on the coals to allow the LED to shine through and glow, but it looks okay. You can't really see it in this photo, but I experimented with multiple coats for this model: a base stone grey, followed by two layers of black-ish washes in an effort to make the forge look old and well-used.
It looks like the baby carriage from Rosemary's Baby. But in an old and used Western forge way. Congrats!
Or It's Alive...you're right. Huh.
I wonder if it would look more like coal if I put a thin black coat overtop of the glowy part. Or would it ruin it?
It's much more to do with the shape of the model than its colours, although the wooden shelf really looks a lot like the push bar for the carriage. Maybe it looks less baby carriage-like at a different viewing angle. Or more baby carriage-like if one of your human models is painted up like Mia Farrow. Your choice.
Black is the opposite of colour, so you'd only use black when you want colour to go away. In printing, if you use "rich black", you have a black that looks blacker than black and so is colourful. With paint, you either use a superblack or Payne's Grey. Straight black simply creates dullness that fatigues the eye. Even your Blackout Tuesday black was Photoshop black, which is Adobe's proprietary rich black (you can test this by looking at the Info tab in the Properties Window in the Windows tab of Photoshop).
I think using either would ruin the look. What you could do is mix a runny version of your paint and let that settle into the cracks, and that would bring out the bright stuff in greater detail. I'd use sienna (burnt or raw) before I'd use black, though. Maybe mix in a little dot of ultramarine blue.
Seeing as you are using real illumination, which is far out!, I doubt you really need to do anything more.
Of course, you need to test the colours for yourself, and you'd do that by looking at photographic sources (or visiting a real forge), and then by making colour tests on your own using a throwaway model or just some paper.
TLDR: Make a colour test for yourself, and compare it with some photos!
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