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Dick Montgomery

Better for Shadows and Highlighting....

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Please consider that I'm a rookie with Figure painting so....

 

I'm practicing on a 1/24th WWII Naval Aviator and I've got a Mae West to paint. I've used a "yellow" (acyrlic) for the basic color.

My question is: When I add the shadow and the highlight is it better to add a darkening agent (and highlighting agent) to achieve the shadow/highlight colors or is it better to use a bottle of darker yellow (or lighter yellow) to get the shading/highlighting colors?

 

Blend or buy?

 

And if I blend....what should i use to darken the yellow? Gray? Black?

and what should I use to lighten the yellow? White?

 

 

 

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Please consider that I'm a rookie with Figure painting so....

 

I'm practicing on a 1/24th WWII Naval Aviator and I've got a Mae West to paint. I've used a "yellow" (acyrlic) for the basic color.

My question is: When I add the shadow and the highlight is it better to add a darkening agent (and highlighting agent) to achieve the shadow/highlight colors or is it better to use a bottle of darker yellow (or lighter yellow) to get the shading/highlighting colors?

 

Blend or buy?

 

And if I blend....what should i use to darken the yellow? Gray? Black?

and what should I use to lighten the yellow? White?

White should be fine for lightening, but avoid using black or gray for darkening, unless you want to turn your Mae West into sort of a hard-boiled egg-yolk greenish-gray. Use one of the warmer browns, instead, like a sienna.

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I can do that. Thanks!

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Chris,

Excellent! Thanks! I just printed it out and posted it near the workbench. That will be a great aide to use since I am using, primarily, Vallejo.

I'm also playing with mixing brands and that's what I just did on the yellow mentioned earlier. Mixed a pollyscale yellow and Vallejo Brown-Red something or other and thought the results were promising.

 

I'm still loading up the brush with way too much paint and need to control the mixing to a much finer degree....but its fun and the results I'm getting are encouraging. My fig faces don't look like "The Joker" now...or at least, not as much as they used to.

 

I'm hanging around some excellent fig painters in the local area and learning as I go.

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Dick,

 

I am glad to help and I am still learning too.

 

With the highlights and shadows, I am still learning to add the highlight color to the mix a little at a time to get a whole range of colors values and not just 3 colors.

 

The trick to acrylics is learning to master the glazes. I have not done that yet, but I am still learning.

 

Let me know if I can help you in any way.

 

Chris Fontenot

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You're ahead of me! But then, who isn't? The only thing I know about glaze is that's what goes on the Christmas Ham!

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Check out this one that I recently did:

http://forum.ipmsusa3.org/index.php?showtopic=3865

 

On the tunic and cloak, I tried to get in many different values from dark gray to off white. This increases contrast. I also use glazes to defuse the lines between different color values.

 

Chris

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Dick,

 

When I painted figures I found that I would put the base color on with acrylics. After that had dried for a day or so, I would do my shading and highlighting with artists oils (they're very forgiving). For the face I used burnt seinna for general shadows with burnt umber for areas like under the nose, lips, chin and jaw. A little red was touched to the lips (veeery little). I used white to highlight by blending it into the burnt seinna on the nose, forehead and cheeks. The main thing with figures is to do the eyes first. You add the personality there. If you don't like the way they look, paint them out and do them again. Beware of the thousand yard stare. No matter how well you paint the rest of the figure, if the eyes are bad it will kill the presentation. Hope this helps. You might email Patti to see what her technique is. She paints a little differntly than I do.

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Patti's work is light years ahead of where I am now...but I might e-chat a bit. I'm using the colors you mentioned, but all acyrlic....don't want to mix media until I figure out what I'm doing with acyrlic.

 

Dead on about the Deer In the Headlights eyes. One of my buds showed me a technique that he uses....he's a rightie so he does the right eye first and then flips the fig upside down to do the left eye. Prevents an awkward hand position....

 

No fear here...if I mess up I simply prime over the gunk or throw the fig away and grab another from the spares box. When I get a bit better I'll start keeping them but now they're all disposable.

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Thank you, James, for the color chart. I've printed off a color copy for keeping with my bucketload of Vallejo paints. I acquired over 400 tubes/jars/bottles/whatever of Vallejo when an LHS closed its doors. The owner gave me the rack, too, to hold the paint. I'm still learning how to use them, with artist's oils my usual weapon of choice. The astronaut figures I did for the Apollo CM were my first all-Vallejo painted figures.

 

Ed

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Dick,

 

Keep at least a folded paper towel handy (I use one of those note paper cubes) to unload the extra paint out of your brush before applying it to your figure. This will also give you a handy area to see how your base, shadow and highlight colors work together. I find that it works best for me to thin the highlight color to just a little more than a wash and gradually build up glaze coats to the desired intensity.

 

Jim

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Jim, you mentioned something that I experienced earlier today....I thinned the highlight color and built it up slowly..that seems to work fairly well.

 

I still don't know what the "glazed" comments refer to....except the look in my eyes when I see the work of experienced painters...

 

Practice, practice, practice....

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Jim, you mentioned something that I experienced earlier today....I thinned the highlight color and built it up slowly..that seems to work fairly well.

 

I still don't know what the "glazed" comments refer to....except the look in my eyes when I see the work of experienced painters...

 

Practice, practice, practice....

 

 

A glaze is thinned paint about as thin as a wash, (don't let the paint flow into the creases) but take most of the paint off the brush and put a VERY thin coat over the transition lines or where you want to slowly build up color...let dry ...and do again. It takes patience, but the results are woth it....and it does take several thinned coats.

 

Chris

Edited by Kjundude1

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Oh, wow! That takes control! At least I've got something to shoot at now. Thanks for the explanation!

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Dick,

 

Glazing is simply adding a layer of paint that is thin enough to be semi-transparent. Building up colors this way helps blend and avoids the hard edged appearance in your shading and highlighting.

 

Jim

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You are quite welcome, Ed.

 

Dick, there are several good ways to do very nice painting. I have always used Vallejo acrylics, but many people do beautiful work with base of Acrylics and top coat of artist oils. Even people that do acrylics don't all do it the same way.

 

The important thing is try different methods and find the one that works best for you and most imporant...just have fun.

 

 

Practice, experiment and ask questions.

 

Chris Fontenot

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And I'm heading to the workbench right now to try that glaze technique....it'll work with practice. I think I have a clear mental map of how to do it. I just need to get the muscle memory thing going.

 

To edit this post...I just applied the 2nd "glaze", using an absorbant material to clean the exess paint from the brush....... oh yeah....it works.

 

Guys, thanks for the tips...must spend some time now, doing some additional practice.

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