View Full Version : Mixing Colours for Best Effect...

18-07-2009, 08:23 PM
Just a quick word about mixing paints to create colours and tones.

I have noticed many saying they can't finish a model until they get some of xxxx colour. Provided you have Blue, red and Yellow, White and Black, every other colour is possible to mix.

Red & Blue = Purple.
Red & Yellow = Orange.
Red & White = Pink.
Yellow & Blue = Green.
Red, Yellow & Blue = Brown.

Add a little water to the paints,about the same amount as you will usualy use to dilute the paints. I usually just get a good dip on a brush and then use the same brush to add the water and to mix the colours together. Adding the water will give you a smooth mix with the pigments blending nicely. I blend all of my colours, I only have Blood Red, Regal Blue, Golden Yellow and DA Green. I use the plastic lid from the insert from a Warhammer boxed set.

My Pallet

The results of my colour mixing are generally pretty good and I prefer it as you can build up colours so transitions aren't as obvious as they are between two different colours.

Once you have the basic colour it is just a matter of mixing to produce any shade desired. For toning your colours, rarely will you find white/black the best colours to use. White tends to give a flat pasty colour whilst black is hard to control. The following list works better:

Green - Lighten with Yellow, darken with Blue
Orange - Lighten with Yellow, darken with Red
Purple - Lighten with White, tone with Red or Blue for various shades
Brown - Lighten with Yellow, darken with red or blue.
Pink - Lighten with White, darken with Red

Grab a copy of the Citadel Paint Range colour chart and practice mixing the various shades on the chart. Soon you will find it quite simple to just knock up whatever you want or need.

Once you have some proficiency in mixing colours from paint, try out shading with washes. You can change colours entirely with a well applied wash. Yellow basecoat with red wash gives an orange effect when dried,
Blue wash on Yellow basecoat give green and red over blue basecoat will give purple.

These are done with a Regal Blue wash over a white undercoat, followed by a Baal Red. The backs are Yellow with a Thrakka Green wash.

The head was undercoated white, bascoated yellow, and washed Azureman Blue. There was no green used on this model. The gun is white undercoat, sepia wash, sepia wash, red baal wash, sepia wash.

Azureman Blue over a red basecoat gives the purple of the armour. The "gold" on the staff head is Gunmetal washed with a couple of thick coats of sepia and drybrushed gunmetal.

This model was undercoated white. the Gobbie was then washed with a Golden Yellow wash. The skin is Thrakka Green wash, the robe Baal Red, I don't even own an orange paint, the shoes Devlan mud.
The spear haft is Sepia, Devlan Mud, Sepia. Rope is Sepia. Spear head is Babab Black, Gunmetal/Babad Black mix, Gunmetal wash... There was no "painting" done on the model. The Yellow base wash is a very thin, watery Golden Yellow, all others are commercial washes except the gunmetal which was done the same as the yellow.


Vulpus Rex
18-07-2009, 08:28 PM
Nice article Nomad I've only recently gathered the courage to mix paints, but you seem to have managed to double post the Thread.

18-07-2009, 08:33 PM
I've been mixing colours to help with blending.

Randy Johnson
18-07-2009, 08:36 PM
Hooray, I feel so loved.

First, just going to say, it appears everyone is commenting on the one whose title you misspelled.

I'm amazed at all the work you've done with the washes. You might just be the Astro resident colour expert. :)

18-07-2009, 08:44 PM
Nice article Nomad I've only recently gathered the courage to mix paints, but you seem to have managed to double post the Thread.

Practice mixing, and don't be shy. The worst that can happen is wasting a little paint...

Hmm, I noticed. I was editing the title to read Colour instead of Clolour and somehow posted both versions :o

18-07-2009, 09:09 PM
Thanks Randy. I hardly think I'm an expert, just been doing this stuff for a while. Longer than half the members have been alive, although I had an extended break and am just getting back into stride. Practice.