Insider 4-13-2012

I may work as the video producer at Privateer Press, but I’m also a hobbyist. I love painting minis and strive to make each one cool to look at while I’m losing yet another game of WARMACHINE.

One thing I constantly struggle with as a painter is choosing paint colors and color schemes for my minis. There are a ton of great colors in the Formula P3 range, and I have my favorites, but when I want to change it up, having so many choices is a bit overwhelming.

To make choosing colors easier, I’ve started making up my own palette using only three base colors. I then paint my minis using mixes of only those colors.

Recently, studio painter Meg Maples wrote about color relationships on the color wheel in her blog. When using the three-color palette, I find it helps to make my own color wheels to help me decide which three colors to use. I can also file them away to reference later.

Choose primary colors: a red, a blue, and a yellow. These colors don’t have to be the stereotypical vibrant primaries like Khador Red Base, Cygnar Blue Base, or Cygnus Yellow. Any reddish, bluish, or yellowish colors will do.

Here are a couple of examples using colors from the P3 range:

I also use white to tint my paints, but I never use straight black to shade colors. Instead, I mix up complements to darken paint, or if I need an even darker shade, I’ll make a mixture of Turquoise Ink and Brown Ink and add that to my shade color.

Here’s a color wheel made with Exile Blue, Bloodstone, and Rucksack Tan. This makes up some really interesting colors, all of which are the only colors I am using to paint Marcus “Siege” Brisbane for the Press Ganger Paint Exchange.

Here’s Siege in progress. The limited palette makes an interesting alternative to the classic Cygnaran blue and gold:

I encourage you to try using a three-color palette and have fun painting your next mini!