I haven’t posted in a short while and honestly I haven’t gotten much done in that time so there’s not much to “post home about” so to speak. However, I have lurked.
I use a feed program, www.feedly.com, to aggregate the various blog posts I follow to my phone/computer and keep up with what most are doing. Today I spotted Anne O’Leary’s latest post; O’Leary Miniatures: Painting A Siren-Tutorial Step 1.
In that post she showcases her newest project, a siren, and plans to make the miniature follow an underwater schema. She’s already painted the skin after choosing a color by mixing some base Reaper paints. Here’s the color swatches she posted:
She mixed three colors to varying degrees and got her base Aqua blue for the creature’s skin. Next she posted two photos that she tracked down to research colors for the rocks, clothing, and who knows what else she’ll include on the figure.
And basically by looking at the photos she determined, “…a palette of Mint Green, Coral and Coral Pink would work well with the Aqua.”
Here’s the two pictures she sourced:
And I can easily see Mint Green, Coral and Coral Pink within those images. Assuming I recall the color names from the plethora of paints I own. However, if you see a color you like and can’t place a finger on the exact Reaper or other paint name you want … what to do?
Try Reaper Miniatures’ Online Power Palette
Upload the source photo to Reaper’s Power Palette and use a color picker to pull the color from the image.
In the picture below you can see that I uploaded one of Anne’s source images and clicked the red coral on the bottom left:
Their Power Palette suggests that the best match for that click is 09217 Magma Red. You can stash that to your Stored List or throw that paint right in your Reaper Shopping Cart if you don’t have it already.
This makes the most direct comparison of picture color to paint color because all of the mediums involved are the same; digital.
What if you want to compare your online image to another product line?
A lot of companies that produce inks and paints provide color charts for ease of comparison and purchasing. Unlike Reaper’s online tool, this comes with some inherent drawbacks. First, color differs by medium. Ink on Paper, Toner on Paper, Paint on Paper are all different. So unless you have a perfectly calibrated color printer that outputs what the company’s paints will look like on a white primed figure … they can only be rough guides.
That said, here’s where you can download some color charts from various companies:
- Vallejo – Model Colors: Scroll to the bottom of the page and download the ones you own or are interested in.
- Citadel – Paint System: After peeking about the web, since I don’t own any Citadel Paints and I am only marginally familiar with the company because every time I look at the paint in gaming stores I cringe at the price, I decided the only real useful thing they have for determining color is their Paint System page. It shows the most colors in one place.
- Privateer Press – Formula P3 Chart: This PDF has everything grouped nicely for comparison. And as a bonus they have a mixing guide to help you figure out your various layers.
You could request printed copies of these charts and guides from the manufacturer who probably put effort in with their print shop color matching them to get them as close as possible considering the medium differences.
DakkaDakka has a chart that I found while researching some of this that could prove as a useful tool for cross-manufacturer comparison.
Other Means of Picking Colors
Well, as my Reaper peeps CashWiley or Kay can attest, not much beats seeing the real deal. So, making swatches for yourself is a great way to go. Cash is working on his on his blog, The Wily Brush and on Reaper’s Forums. It may take a while to make but you can hold them up to source photos and compare directly with the finished product.
My method is to use a nice heavy piece of material. If you do this on foam board, you get rigidity and low water absorption. You can use plastic, etc, but that gets heavy.
Prime sections of your material with the white and black you use to prime your minis. Once you have sections covering your entire “palette” with the two primers (or three if you use gray primer a lot), pull out your colors and paint over the primed sections using a white and black for each so you can see what the color looks like with the differing brightness behind it. To increase the value of the swatches, paint one small portion of the primers with a base coat layer and then another with a thinned layer. Use whatever water:paint ratio you use most for layering for the thinned layer.
Store these in books of baseball card or coin holder sheets and reference as needed. Once the bulk of your library of paint colors is added, updating is easy.
But who has all the time to do that? LOL
Do you have alternate methods of getting a specific paints from source pictures? Tell me about it. I could always use another talking point for this blog.