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Help me out with a painting question?


Thechosenone
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With black and whites you really need to work from dark to light. Utilizing thin layers of paint and glazes is essential. A good way to figure out what your miniature should look like is take a good picture of it ( such as the stock photo from the company) and then put it through a photo effect program and change it to grey scale. That way you know what your mini is suppose to look like.

Another technique is feathering from a mid tone as well. The real trick to this is knowing what the shades and hues should look like though. That comes from the photo.

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I'd go for the feathering from a mid tone. Also remember that black and white films aren't actually true black and white, they usually have a very faint sepia hint to them. So I'd go from not quite black in the shadows, up to a cream white on the highlights. Which does mean mixing your own midtone grey from black and cream unfortunately. If you want to try something really fiddly, add a hint of very dark blue to your black as you go towards the shadows to give you old shadows and warm highlights.

But with something like this, midtones are key. Only go to the extremes at the very edge points. That's why i'd start with a midtone and work outward. I painted my Lost Love totem in greyscale with a purple light on it using that method (link is signature if you want to see it)

As AZ says, a greyscale photo of a painted version is really useful to place your highlights and shadows. And getting them inhte right places is really important as there's no colour changes to distract from it.

Edited by Mako
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first question you have to answer is, are you going for true monochrome, or just the impression of it....

true monochrome, has been covered above. tranfer the picture to B&W and try to emulate it with a consistency in what you choose for your white... (as above, a sight sepia white helps)

this is one of the hardest techniques to come out well because for minis, there's one simple fact of old movies that's ignored... in the old movies, costumes and makeup were specifically tailored to work with the monochrome scheme. contrasts higher to emphasize details, faces highlighted more to give clear features, etc...

so just going black and white on the picture isn't really enough... after that, dial the contrast up a little...

now, implied monochrome is a little easier...

while you still stick to the same basic ideas, you can still give the model a little more detail by using alot of washed out colors...

take the palest flest tone you have, and cut it 50/50 with white... use that as the base... then cut your shadowing colors similarly 50/50 with black... and darken all the way down to black...

basically, if a color is light, make it really light...

if a color is dark, make it really dark...

only use colors in a cold spectrum if possibly (blues, greens) and only use color to draw the eye to key details (faces, special pieces of cloth, etc...)

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My best advice is to research, find images that express the idea/style that you are attempting. That being said low to no color styles can be very tough to pull off, one thing that makes it a bit more of a challenge is the table/ environment is not B&W. Another thing you can do to help is use some browns and oranges in you painting.

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Thanks fellas. Its more my friend's interest to do a Resurrection crew all in BW. I just wanted to give it a shot for experience. If i can get him to follow through and do it i'll get pictures.

Here's what i did so far and i don't think it's right. Anyone who knows, please let me know where my technique is going wrong? I primed white, hit it with black wash layers, drybrushed some white to layer back to grey in some areas. I just sort of winged it and it shows badly.

2011-10-30191541.jpg

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Its close, I would almost go for rehighlighting after eavery wash stage (if thats how you feel most comfortable in acheiving the effect) as it will help keep thos e mid tones a bit more distinct form the shadows.

Try and get some pure white in there at apex of light source as well that will help.

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It's a good start to the skin, although perhaps going a little darker and lighter with the shadows and highlights would be good. Aim the wash into the shadow areas, and only drybrush the white onto the raised bits rather than using it to pick them out.

The other thing I'd say is that you need to decide what parts are which colours, as every colour comes up differently in greyscale, and unless everything is the same level of colour brightness you'd have areas that were paler and areas that were darker. I'd use a darker set of greys for the wood, pale for the face, chest and crest, and middle for the skin. Remember If he's got pale green crests and dark green skin for example, he'd have pale crests and dark skin in greyscale.

Metals are a swine as you can end up in the realm of non-metallic metals, or you could just use a good silver since NMM can drive you insane very quickly! But remember, metals (and other shiny surfaces) reflect more and so the shadows and highlights are more extreme, to pure black and white at the very edge areas perhaps.

I've actually just started a monochrome project myself as an exercise in painting different types of surface, it's not a Wyrd piece but if I can get off my backside and do it I'll do some step by step shots of it if people like?

And I'm embarrassed now, but thanks for the compliment!

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THat's the kind of thing, while Lord Chompy is mostly the same kind of tone, you can see from the dreamer that his nightshirt is very pale compared to his skin, so you'd start with a much whiter tone for the shirt and a mid to pale grey for the skin.

As a random side note, it also shows quite well on chompy that often you'll find stronger shading and highlighting around the face of models, as that's the focal point. Though in this case it applies to his stomach mouth too...

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