Thursday, 19 July 2012

Black is a pain to work with

Today I want to have a quick talk to you about black.  The favorite base coat colour of many a painter and for the most part only ever actual used on models for the odd dark detail here and there.  But what do you do when black is the primary colour for your model?

Personally I have never come across the issue before, I play Blood Angels which are of course red, dark eldar that I paint blue, orks are green, nids are red and cream there is simply loads of colour in my armies and that's the way most people like it, colour is good, it makes things look better right?

Lets not get into the 'are black and white even colours' argument here

With the emergence of 6th edition and Death company becoming good however, I now need to learn to paint black.  The biggest problem with black is you cant shade it, least if you can I don't know how, please feel free to enlighten me!  You can highlight it but its incredibly difficult to get right,  this is often done with dark grey or white but by far the easiest way to make a model look good are washes.  It's a know fact a quick wash will make most any model go from zero to hero in seconds.

So after trying a death company marine and failing miserably on the highlights I left it for a while, then tried an old chaos marine, since well lets face it I'll need to be breaking that army out again fairly soon.  Here is my first attempt at it - 

Main highlights ended up on the hand, chest, bits of the face and top of the leg

Now the problem with Mr Black Legion here is the scheme generally uses lots of silver and gold, as such these colours can in fact help to solve the bland black problem a little.  You can probably see though where I had to apply a dark grey as a highlight to try and make it look even remotely not flat and awful though.

Let's face it, this isn't particularly good, its probably not even average painting, this is where you come in though, throw me your tips, how do YOU paint and highlight black models to not look utterly flat and basically unpainted but not go overboard and end up with something that's not even black anymore.

One area especially, the shoulder pads, is very very plain and extremely difficult I find to highlight up since you can't do the generic line highlight tactic.

I'll leave you with another pic of my ork that I posted earlier, now with improved gun barrel and the base is complete, enjoy!

Could I have found a chaos marine with a worse less interested pose? I doubt it!

Till next time, thanks for checking out my work on my little corner of the internet.