This post was inspired by an article in a magazine called The Artist from August 2003 that Sue had bought for me from a charity shop. The premise of the article was advising novices to watercolour painting on the use, actually how not to use Black (and as it happens White) in your watercolour palette. The author, Julie Collins suggest that Black is too stark a colour (I will use the term colour for Black, some might disagree) when used in watercolour painting. She advises using a number of mixes; Windsor Blue and Burnt Sienna - Dark Blue and Dark Brown as the darkest mix and Ultramarine Blue and Sepia - lighter Blue and Brown.
I was intrigued to see how this approach would work with acrylic paints and miniatures. Here are the results.
I chose a 40mm Cliff Hanger miniature sculpted by Jim Bowen. Frankensein. The miniature was mounted first to a wooden disc and then to a 40mm plastic base. The groundwork was built up with DAS modelling clay and the headstone a piece of 3mm plastic card.
I assure you, no Black (or White was used) - this is a mix of very dark Blue and dark Brown.
The main painting used Snakebite Leather, Blue and Brown, plus some Linen or Ivory paint to build up the tones and subtle colour.
Following on, I wondered if the same could be done with a much lighter miniature and this time I chose a 40mm Mummy from the same range. Here you see the finished figure.
The miniature was based in the same way. I used a small resin pot as base decoration, which I glued in place after sanding the base smooth.
This figure was first painted very dark Green with some Brown to the top. The wrappings were drybrushed with Snakebite and Linen and then washed with Sepia wash.
I am not sure that I will be using this technique on future projects, but found the exercise interesting and thought provoking.
As someone who regularly uses Black to undercoat my figures this experiment has made me think about the use of Black (and White) in the painting of miniatures.
You may wish to try it.