Mixing warm and cool colors

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Mixing warm and cool colors

Postby deFl0 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:43 am

IS there some sort of painting guidlines around mixing warm and cool colors?

I'm painting a Saim Hann army that is very contrastly white black and red.

Each can be done warm and cold:

Red cold - start with more of a scarb red, use black, blue or brown low lights and highlight to red. More of a purple to pure red.

Red warm - starting with red and go towards orange than yellow, with the brightest part with bone white

Black cold you use a highlight with or a more purpley grey like space wolf grey

Black warm would be more with a stright white and black mix.

Whites cold - include greys and blue

whites warm include yellows, orange and brown mixes

So if there theory that you should stick with all cold color combos across a model or should you mix them for contrast?

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Re: Mixing warm and cool colors

Postby -Jarrett » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:10 am

An example of two cold colors working would be an icy or regal blue mixed with white (white with light bluish shading).

In the case of your Saim Hann I would most certainly stick to hotter reds, ultimately highlighted with a very fine hint of orange (I would avoid taking it up to yellow - a bit too bright). Black and White are both really neutral colors. The white on Saim Hann would probably be like the warmer white tones you were talking about - a white highlighted up from a brown and then bone color - to represent wraithbone common to eldar units.

The key to black is subtle highlights. I'd avoid going higher than a 25% black, 75% white mix for your final stage highlight, if even that.

A Red, Black, and White scheme working has less to do with hot and cold than why a Red and Green, or Blue and Yellow scheme works.

One suggestion I'd make is to talk to Chris Bacolo about how he did his Blood Angels, which are mostly black and red with some white here and there (his chaplain comes to mind). He's got an excellent technique for reds using inks (a red inking, then a brown inking, then highlights or something similar), and definitely highlights his whites up from brown
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Re: Mixing warm and cool colors

Postby slann » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:21 am

Go with the red with blue or purple mix and highlight to true red i feel that this keeps red looking like red when you start to add orange it start to look less red.if you feel you do have to highlight to an orange go over the whole area with a very thin glaze of red to blend it all together.

with black less is better i add a small amount of space wolfgrey for highlighting.
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Re: Mixing warm and cool colors

Postby subversive » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:35 am

"Warm" and "cool" really only apply to neutral colors. Contrary to some interior designer's statements otherwise, there is no cool red. That's a gross oversimplification of color theory along the lines of telling someone how much "memory" your computer has. Red is, by definition, a warm/hot color. Sometimes you'll hear people talk about a red with some blue in it as "cool," but they're missing the idea. All reds are by definition warm, and a better description is orangey-red or purpley-red. You wouldn't use a crimson (purple-ish red) with a scarlet (orange-ish red) because they're not far enough from one another to make interesting contrast, not because one is "warm" and one is "cool." Yes, by comparison one is "cooler" than the other, but that doesn't mean you should always use a warm white with a "warm" red or vice versa.

Regarding neutrals, there's no hard and fast rule for what to combine with. A lot depends on what you're going for, look wise. Certain colors will work together and others won't. As long as the colors you're working with are relatively far apart in tone (light/dark) and hue (perceived color), you don't have much to worry about beyond plain old good taste.

edit: re-checking the OP, You could very easily go all warm, all cool, or a mix. I would be careful using a cool black with your reds, as red has a visual register very close to black and it would be like doing purlple and red (which is hard to do well). But any other combo of cool/warn white with black and probably an orangey or true red should work
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