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 Post subject: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:06 pm 
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Location: Gladstone, Queensland
Hey guys, here's a free download colour theory article from a magazine i've been reading lately, i think it is a great starting point for colour theory.

it's written for 2d digital artists but i think it's quite easy to translate to mini painting:

http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754332297800669/colour-theory-simplified.html


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:59 pm 
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Some new links I've found which I'm finding very useful (but not for the faint of heart).

Whereas the previous link was sort of a basic, rule-of-thumb guide, these two are quite technical and scientific in their approach. I found they were a little intimidating at first, and took a while to digest (I'm still only part way through them), but well worth it once you start to get your head around it.

Hope they open a few doors and dispel a few myths for people, they certainly have done for me :) .

If you only read one, I would suggest the first one. Also, there is of course no substitute for practice and experimentation (but understanding the theory certainly makes it easier :wink: ).

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/index.php

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/wcolor.html


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Oooh! Nice find Kubbs! I think i've seen the handprint stuff before, but not the other one. I think i'm coming more to grips with colour theory the more i read, so these should help.


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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:24 pm 
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This thread definitely needs a revival. A few of the previously mentioned links are a bit boring and hard to read and follow, but some are gold. I'm hoping to spice up this thread a bit, by making it easier for the viewer to look and understand, and join in the discussion of the colour schemes used.

http://colorschemedesigner.com/ has a fun little tool to let you choose monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, tetradic etc colour schemes. Not necessary, just play around it for fun if you like. But, the next two links, please, please have a look.

The imaginefx link, with its tutorial.pdf is a must download and look. Its only 5 simple pages! It shows examples of monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, tetradic colour schemes. Please have a look at this, its only 5 pages, and I promise, very easy to follow. Just look at the headings and the pictures (I haven't read the text explanations yet - its easy enough to follow with heading and picture).

This dev.opera.com webpage article, has all the pictures and simple explanations on the single page, for very very very easy viewing and understanding. Has basic colour wheel stuff, complementary etc, warm cold info.

Ok, so now that you are conversant with the colour wheel, and the basic colour schemes, lets have a look at some pics. yay! I've put a colour wheel and warm to cold spectrum next to each pic (hopefully your screen is wide enough) for ease of reference. Here's a 4:6 ratio reference pic you can printout (at your local photo printout joint for basic 4 inch by 6 inch photos, at Kmart, Harvey Norman etc). Ok, now to pics, truely.

The following scenes are from a game called Battle of the Immortals.

This scene is a mainly warm colour scene, with a small section of it on the left being a colder blue purple to complement all the yellow orange. Note the warm, red hood on the rider in the middle, and the complementary gems, blue and purple in his arm and sword.
Image Image

This scene is also mainly warm, with the large portion of yellow sky, the brownish dragon with gold armour plates. Yes, I never thought of brown and bone colours as being warm colours until Seb pointed that out to me. Since you don't normally see these earthy colours of brown and bone in the colour wheels, it didn't occur to me that they would be classed as warm colours (That's how slow I am :D ). I think the colour scheme here is triadic, with the yellow sky and castle section, the orange colour hair on the girl, and the light jade/turquoise in her dress and in the clouds. What do you think? Is that right? Anything I missed?
Image Image

Is this whole scene cold (a lot of light blues, greys, purples)? or warm (due to the light yellow light source from the top right corner)? or a complementary of the 2, or even an analogous colour scheme? I'm not too sure. Then there is the light red gem on the staff and her warm colour skin tone.
Image Image

To me this green and yellow scene looks warm, but maybe its just an analogous colour scene? Just as I'm not sure how to place the green in the scheme of things in terms of warm cold. The dev.opera.com warm cold explanation shows yellow and green in the cold range, but a google images search for "warm and cold colours" show many different splits of warm and cold on the colour wheel. What do you think?
Image Image

Well, this scene is definitely cold to me, with a nice touch of complementary red on the serpent's eye for balance. So, why is the tiny dot of red so noteworthy? Its because our brain, when looking at a large amount of a certain colour, subconsciously looks for its complementary colour. See this link for a simple experiment. Also, Raffa's Butcher Pete has a good example of this use.
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And here is an undoubtedly cold scene.
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So, in general, scenes with overall warm schemes may convey the following feelings/emotions: warmth :roll: , comfort, familiarity, excitement, happiness, life... , while scenes with overall cold schemes may convey the following: c c c cold :lol: , discomfort, fear, unknown, death, sadness, precision...

Ok, so the next set of pics are character concept pics from a game called Atlantica.

A nice warm colour scheme, with the red and browns / brownish gold bits.
Image Image

I'm not too sure how to place this one. It has the orange hair, gold chainmail, and olive green armour. Would you call this a warm colour scheme? The orange and olive green aren't exactly opposite in the colour wheel so its not complementary, and they are a bit far apart for analogous, and there is no purple/magenta to make it triadic. What do you think?
Image Image

A sort of warmish colour scheme, with majority dark brown and small flashes of red. Notice the tiny turquoise bit snuck in, on the middle of the hips area.
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A majority of warm brown and yellow colours with a touch of red of the shoulder armour. The flash of light green I guess it a very very light tint of green to be complementary of the red eyes.
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A very cold cool colour scheme with dark blue greys and the light blue flame, along with complementary orange trimmings and eyes. The colour of her legs, hmm not sure, are they warm colours? Its very neutral grey with a hint of purple brown.
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I think this has triadic elements in it - the orange, purple and gold yellow, but how does the light teal in the bow and loincloth trimmings come into the scheme of things? Is it tetradic?
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warm leather bits, shoulder pads, and skin, with complementary cold cloth parts (dark grey cloth).
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I think this one has tetradic colours in it. I think. Orange and purple opposites, then red and jade opposites. Any thoughts?
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More character pics for example and discussion. Hope I haven't lost anyone yet. These characters are from the Guild Wars game.

An analogous colour scheme. Not monochromatic but analogous.
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A mostly analogous colour scheme with a hint of complementary blue.
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A very similar scheme to the one above, but would you say the white fur colours coupled with the blue tattoos make it colder? Or do some of the warm browns make it neither cold or warm overall?
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Some analogous electrifying warm reds!
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Mostly warm colours with some complementary cold purple eyes and electricity.
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A lot of warm colours, red orange, golds and yellows and browns.
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Complementary orange and blue parts.
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Complementary purples and yellows? Or triadic purples, yellows, brown-orange?
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Dark green and gold armour bits. Brown leather, cloth, and then blue grey fur and cloth bits. How would you describe this colour scheme?
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Warm analogous colours on the left guy. Middle guy has triadic browns and reds, light teal, lime green, with warm colours being dominant. Guy on right has warm red browns and complementary greens.
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Finally we get to some minis! :O All these minis are painted by Roman Lappat from Massive Voodoo. It was just easier for me to go through the pics I had on my computer from one artist and pick a whole bunch of examples, and since Roman has painted so many minis so quickly, with interesting colours, I chose his minis to use as examples. Try and help out the massive voodoo crew in anyway you can (small donations / ebay minis), as they do write a lot of great free articles.

An analogous colour scheme for Vlad.
Image Image

A hint of complementary reds (helmet crest, blood, apples) and blues (shield, banner on spear, leaves on ground).
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A definitely warm colour scheme! Lots of strong yellows, reds.
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More strong warm yellows and reds, this time with complementary colds in the blue grey pants, teal headband, blue tinges on top area of column, and other cold spots on the base - try to spot them.
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A lot of warm colours dominated by the base, complementary colours in the cold skin colours. Some tiny bits of warm colours on the wolfen - blood on snout and pink purple bits on legs to tie it (I guess) to the base.
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Well, how would you describe this Cain and Able (sp?) scene? Mostly warm, with some complementary cold elements? Try to spot the cold colours on the base.
Image Image

Triadic orange purple teal, with the warmer colours being dominant.
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Very similar to the above example.
Image Image

Ah, raging Ivan. Warm skin and tatts, rust on base, complementary cold green metal parts. Blue spectacle lenses to complement the orange mohawk and moustache. How would you describe the shadow of the skin areas? This is one tricky part which I may not quite fully understand. The highlights on his right shoulder definitely have lighter cold yellow-green tinges, but the left quads above the left knee, are they cold or dark shades?
Image Image

Triadic (?) purple bunny, green base elements, orange carrots and base elements. There is a bit of blue in the bunny ears, the bra and rust parts on the base. So perhaps its tetradic blue vs orange, purple vs light green.
Image Image

Triadic purple hair, green gun part and base bits, orange-brown tatts, on a mostly cold blue-grey everything else.
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Triadic red (parts on base), light yellow khaki (on jacket) / brown (gasmask), light teal pants.
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Love this one. orange and blue complementary. Purple arm vs yellow base parts.
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Triadic colours, red (bloody bits), turquoise (beads around neck, verdigris in armour, bits on base), yellow (bits on base).
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orange fish, complementary light teal clothing.
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cold blue skin, vs warm elements (blood, hair, grass).
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Love the paintjob on this lelith. cold blue skin and hair, vs warm red armour and brown yellow base elements.
Image Image

Mostly cold colours, with some warm yellow brown elements on the base and warm skin colour.
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Well, phew, that was long. Has all this helped you a little bit to make decisive colour choices? placement of cold shades, warm highlights? complementary elements,etc?

As you can see, I don't have all the answers to describing some of colour schemes in the pics. Anything interesting you've noticed that I've missed, please comment and I'll try and update. Question, comment and discuss. :D

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Last edited by weisern on Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:02 am 
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hmm, just playing around with http://colorschemedesigner.com/ and noticed their tetradic chooser is not crisscross 90 degree + , like some other reference pics, and also noticed the accented analogic chooser (like a peace sign), so that may explain some of the schemes I could not work out / place above. 2am and too tired now, will review it tomorrow or later.

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:03 am 
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Location: Brisbane
the dcok commisar is triadic colour red yellow(light brown) blue

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:50 am 
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Excellent work Weisern! I'm printing all of these out now for reference later.

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:53 am 
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commisar updated, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Wow, Weisern great stuff. Thanks.

Zed


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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Location: Wagga Wagga, NSW
Just had one of my local painting friends ask me about colour theory. Think I'll just forward him this thread as a link. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:31 pm 
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I love colour scheme desinger !! been using it since you first posted it a while back..

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:03 pm 
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This is another VERY good link for colour. You should also read this one - http://myworldofcolour.wordpress.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:56 pm 
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The link that Mark posted, you have to scroll down 2/3 of the way to get to the good bits, specifically these 2 sections:

http://myworldofcolour.wordpress.com/20 ... t-me-some/
Shows excellent colour harmony wheel diagrams.

http://myworldofcolour.wordpress.com/20 ... of-colour/
Gives the best warm cool explanation, showing that green and magenta can act as both.
Explains hue, tint, tone shade, and a few other characteristics
Image

What I'm trying to show below is, apart from choosing the hues for your colour scheme on the mini, you also have to take into account how a hue's saturation, tint, tone, shade, affect the adjacent areas and focus on the mini.

Where do you want the viewer to focus on the mini?
Do you want the colours of adjacent objects/areas to blend into each other / complement / contrast?
Apart from a main focus area, do you want other parts of the mini to fight for attention or fade to the background?

These examples, show what saturation, mixture, shade and tint can do. Looking at the gold nmm,
This gold is subtle, and does not steal too much attention from other areas of focus on the mini, like the face, or banner, or blue armour parts.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/180420
This gold is very striking, and all your focus is drawn to it.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/155898

The magenta robes are very striking, but transition from dark below to lighter on top, drawing the viewer's gaze to the face area.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/263602

The use of zenithal lighting and having most of the lighter tint of this monochrome scheme towards the top, shifts the focus upward.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/203638

Instead of using the typical bright blood red, the darker red and its mixtures (for highlight), allow focus to be placed on the lighter face and complementary blue tongue.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/264729

The darker horns (instead of typical lighter yelow bone ones) do not detract focus from the face.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/176814

The colder green nmm recedes to the background, while the warmer nmm scale mail and face advances to the viewer.
http://www.coolminiornot.com/219570

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:44 am 
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Found some slightly colour theor type stuff while hunting down some more art blogs that I lost to my computer crashing a while back.

Image

Yurmby colour wheel

http://theabyssgazes.blogspot.com/2010/03/teal-and-orange-hollywood-please-stop.html

Rather interesting rant about colour grading in films, seems Hollywood is stuck on a complementary colour scheme of teal and orange. I never saw it till I read this rant. But the guy has a point. But then again in certain places it can set a mood, if not overused. I rather like the new Wolfman anyway, they did rather well trying to capture the atmosphere of a black and white movie with colour.

The art blog I was looking for was that of James Gurney (Dinotopia creator). He has written a few books on painting and the one I did have a look at "Colour and Light" was fantastic, showing different effects of lighting and how that changes the colours of the artwork, as well as a whole host of stuff. IF you see it, buy it! He also does a lot of colour theory, play of light sort of stuff on his blog.

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com

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 Post subject: Re: Colour theory 101
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:38 am 
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I've really enjoyed reading all these articles you guys keep finding on colour theory. I've really learned a lot from them. I'm amazed at the stuff you guys are able to find. Should have some WIP shots of some of my stuff on here soon, just need to finish setting my study/studio back up again....


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