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Best way to paint black uniforms

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by PaultheMilitaryModeller, May 5, 2012.

  1. Hi all

    I am looking for a bit of advice

    I am about to start a figure of a German Panzer officer who is dressed in black. What's the best way to paint black and still be able to not only show highlights but also shadows.

    I mainly paint in either or both Acrylics (Vallejo) and Enamels (Humbrol). Any hints or tips fouled be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    Paul
  2. Dr Force Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Paul

    I paint in oils but I suppose the principle of the paint mix is the same, just the application is a different technique.

    I always start with a lighter base coat by mixing flesh with black. This is especially useful when replicating cloth as it gives off a warmer appearance. Once your base is dry the next step is to add the gradual shadows by steadily adding more black to the base colour, with highest point of the creases being the base coat and the deepest creases almost black.

    The key thing is to always think about black not being a true black on clothing and remember that leather has a slight sheen which can be achieved using acrylic inks or straight oils.

    Thanks
    Dave
  3. gioazz Active Member

    Country:
    Italy
    Mike Stevens likes this.
  4. e-junkie Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hello Paul; if you like acrylics you might find great source of inspiration here; there's no explanation but I think the pics are extremely interesting:

    (SBS)
    http://www.timelinesforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607

    (The finished stuff)
    http://www.planetfigure.com/threads/better-pictures-of-early-war-german-tankers.18363/

    I've spent hours looking at these pics trying to understand how it works, and here's my guess (it is a guess only):

    basecoat: black + b. skin tone
    2 or 3 progressive highlights, made of basecoat w. addition of b. skin tone.
    1 or 2 shade, made of basecoat + black

    Then, blending.

    I've tried; if you're interested I can send you the pics, just tell me.

    Cheers
    e-j
  5. Many thanks for the replies guys, all most helpful.

    Paul
  6. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    For Vallejo's Id sugegst using Black + Sunny Skintone for the base color, highlight with more Sunny Skintone added and shadows with more Black added. This will give you a really nice, soft, warm black, much like what Jaume Ortiz achieves.

    Once you understand the concept, you can add a variety of colors to the black for various tones of black. I've used blues, yellows and browns with good results. The key as previously noted is to use an off black base color, one that you can darken to get your shadow colors.

    Hope this helps.
    Mike Stevens likes this.
  7. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Giovanni,

    Excellent video. Many thanks for posting it.

    Chris
  8. gioazz Active Member

    Country:
    Italy
    Thank you very much Chris!
  9. pmfs A Fixture

    Country:
    Portugal
    ...or you can use pure Black + Dark prussian blue as base, highlights with base + violet and light blue, shadows Back.

    Pedro.
  10. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I've also used Tamiya NATO Black, too, which is a sort of dark charcoal gray.
  11. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    England
    Got to say I am currently working on Youngs Templar Knight bust and used Pedro's colour selection of black=prussian blue as the base and the cloak has come out exactly as I wanted it. It previously kept coming out as a grey cloak and now it looks black. Thanks Pedro.

    Ken
  12. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    For black cloth, I've found the simplest (with Vallejo) is:

    Base- German Grey
    HiLite- Base + sky grey (2 or 3 progressive HL)
    Shade- Black

    The quality of the base can be modified if you want by adding a touch of English Uniform to the German Grey... makes the final tone of black not quite as crisp, more worn out looking.

    Cheers

    Colin

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