Friday, 28 November 2014

Painting over a Black Basecoat

Image used with permission of the artist

Regular readers and followers will know that I usually paint my miniature figures over a Black basecoat or undercoat, ala Kevin Dallimore. For details see Kevin's own website. However I sometimes find that the Black has a 'dulling' effect, particularly Yellows, Reds and in some cases Blue. When painting a Napoleonic Rifleman this effect can actually work in your favour, reproducing the Bottle Green or Dark Green tunics to perfection.

In an attempt to counter this dulling, I have many different paints - most Acrylic or water-based, although some are enamels and even the odd oil based artists tube. In addition I have tried basecoating in Grey, Dark Brown and even White!

Last week I was visiting Leamington Spa and on the way back to the car passed one of the many art galleries where I saw some canvases by Wendy Cook, for details of her site go to this link. I was able to study some of the artwork and in particular one work-in-progress, a dancer wearing a red dress painted onto a Black canvas. Wendy has a series of similar paintings on her website (and Facebook site - follow the links).

The outline of the female dancer and her Red dress were built up over a pale White or Ivory base and this got me thinking. "Is this the way to reproduce my Yellow and Reds?"

As you can see from the image at the top of the page, the Reds, Yellows and Whites appear to be glowing, literally leaping from the canvas and these are painted over a Black basecoat!

I have no on-going project that I can experiment on at this moment, but thought that it was worth producing this post showing the fantastic work of this gifted artist and wondering if her techniques might be transferable to my miniatures, particularly in the painting of Yellow - a real problem for me.

If like me you are interested in improving your painting skills or the theory behind colour, you may want to check out a series of tutorials produced by Wargame Soldiers and Strategy and hosted by Christy, for details see this You Tube link.

I would be interested in any comments concerning the techniques used to paint over a Black undercoat.



Andrew Saunders said...

I use vallejo Japanese uniform 923 as the first layer over the black when building up my yellows, and similarly i use Burnt Cadmium Red 814 as the starting point for reds.

Tony said...

Thank you Andrew, I'll look out for these two colours the next time I'm shopping for paint.


Goerge Warburton said...

I used to "Kevin Dallimore Style" and still do to some extent. For painting red I used GW Mechrite Red when that was released and built up from there; it took about 3 layers then you can start to layer brighter reds.

With yellow, I would use a brown like Snakebite Leather as the base to start from which gives a realistic sort of yellow.

Since I have got interested in old school 40K I have been attempting to reproduce the bright paintjobs of the 90s. I now use Tamiya Light Grey spray primer undercoat and then spray Tamiya White from a high angle ("Zenithal highlithing").

Bits that are yellow or red though, I re-undercoat pure white before painting the red or yellow.

If I was to paint a historical figure using a black undercoat, I would paint the red areas white first, then paint the red.

Hope that helps.