Help support TMP

"Keeping Black from Being Boring" Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Message Board

733 hits since 12 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tacitus13 Mar 2018 12:47 p.m. PST

All, I'm painting up a band of Frostgrave soldiers all in black, like a pseudo Black Company. My concern is that they are not only going to look the same, but together they may look muddled. Any tutorials or advice out there for creating different shades of black and mixing it up? Thanks in advance.

JimDuncanUK13 Mar 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Not knowing what these figures actually look like I would guess that their armour could be a very dark gunmetal whereas any cloth could be a subtly shaded black with very dark grey highlights. Any equipment could be in more natural colours ie leather.

Maybe each figure could have one colour contrasting item. A plume, coloured leggings, a cloak.

cavcrazy13 Mar 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Highlight the black with charcoal grey and use a gloss black for leathers and straps. You can also highlight with dark blues and whites on the high edges.

Begemot Inactive Member13 Mar 2018 1:16 p.m. PST

You may also consider mixing another color into your basic black to give some subtle tones to the black. Mixing a deep red into the black would make that black warmer in tone than a black with blue or a dark green. I found that a plain ivory black was quite flat and lifeless when I wanted a night sky effect. Mixing in an alizarin crimson gave the black an added depth and a slight warmth.

Giles the Zog13 Mar 2018 1:18 p.m. PST

As others have said use dark blue and charcoal grey, then a black wash.
Gloss varnish also helps

Got very fed up painting WHFB Dark Elf Black Guard at the same time as AVBCW BUF so these methods do help distinguish models from each other.

Rich Bliss13 Mar 2018 1:21 p.m. PST

Remember that black paint is really really dark blue. Try dry brushing with different shades of Navy Blue, deep purple, etc on different pieces of clothing.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2018 1:29 p.m. PST

As other had said, don't just use flat black. Mix in some other colors and don't forget to add some gloss/semi-gloss for the leather. Silver/steel works well on weapons and belt buckles.

Dark blue, black green, and very dark gray work as well as contrasts over black.

Another thought, if you look at our black cat in full light his fur look very dark brown.

Mix and match on different figures.

rvandusen13 Mar 2018 1:36 p.m. PST

For black cloth I use a super-lazy method: I paint the clothes a charcoal color – such as Army Painter Uniform Grey – and then use Dark Tone as a wash. If I'm still not happy I highlight with a slightly lighter grey once the wash dries.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

I use a slate grey, then a black wash (GW Nuln Oil) once or twice.
Its possible to do a wash once, then use a fine brush to rewash the shadier areas like creases.
A highlight may be needed with a very dark grey on the bits that would catch the light.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2018 3:54 p.m. PST

Thanks. I learned a few things from all of the suggestions.

I usually follow the path of rvandusen and herkybird and use dark gray as a base coat, then a very dark wash (like Nulin Oil), then drybrush.

Next time I work on black figures, I'll try the suggestions of adding blue or red to the black paint.

Tacitus13 Mar 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

Great ideas. Someone else mentioned the wash over gray. The red is very intriguing. The best part is that, since this unit is just for me, I can experiment with a little of each technique and see what looks best. Thanks.

Martin Rapier13 Mar 2018 11:01 p.m. PST

Purple makes a nice highlight on black.

steamingdave47 Inactive Member14 Mar 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

I often use " Paynes Grey" for blacks. If it is then washed with a real black, the effect is fine.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.