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What's in your Pallet?
Old 02 Feb 2007, 14:51   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's in your Pallet?

as above what's in you Pallet?

I've notice that it doesn't matter how steady your hand is your painting will never aspire unless you learn which colours to use. I realised that I've been avoiding browns and that I fail to use neutral pastel colours in any of m colour schemes and so my painting never looks finished.

So my question is what colours do you use, what colours go together and what should be avoided?

-Disney: He's the puppet master, both our damnation and salvation. He rewards our successes and punishes us for our hubris (often in subtle but horrible ways). I suggest we do our best not to anger him, he is the greatest asset to our campaign and potentially the most fearsome foe we'll ever face.
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Old 02 Feb 2007, 17:44   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

Wow, this is such a deep topic, it's hard to cover in one thread.

First consideration - what do you want the army to look like overall. Do you want it to appear warm or cold? Dark or Light? Mechanical, supernatural, or natural? Do you have any emotions or feelings that you want the army to envoke?

Different armies have different needs. And different colours are traditionally associated with certain emotions and concepts. You can use this to your advantage when planning an armies colour scheme.

To get a lighter feeling army, prime white, and use lighter shades of all colours. For a darker, more sinister feel, prime black, and even keep highlights from using too-bright shades.

For a mechanical-feeling army, metals, and greys are good.

A supernatural army typically wants to use bright and vibrant colours that suggest it came from the warp.

A natural army should use lots of more muted greens (catachan/camo green), and browns, and avoid absolute colours (black/white, red, yellow and blue).

To give your army a 'warm' feeling, concentrate on reds oranges and yellows, with gold as a metal, and browns. Avoid white and black.

To get a 'cold' feeling, go with blues, purples, and black/white/greys, with silver as a metal.

Other typical colour associations:

Red: fire, blood, energy, war, strength, power, passion, aggression
Orange: Heat, joy, success, creativity, warning
Yellow: Warning (with black), Cowardice (poor imperial fists), intellect, energy, sunlight
Green: nature, harmony, growth, money
Blue: Sky, Sea, Depth, stability, trust, loyalty
Purple: Royalty, Power, Ambition, Nobility
White: Purity, innocence, virginity, light
Black: Power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery

All colours have their place - you just have to find the ones that work for the army you're working on. I know, for me, the colour scheme of the army I'm playing often impacts how I want to play it. Red armies play more aggressively than blue, for example.


I wanted my sisters to represent nobility and purity. So I gave them white power armour with purple robes. White is traditionally associated with purity and innocence, while purple is a colour associated with royalty and nobility.

My inquisitor, however, wears gold and red - very warm rich colours that suggest wealth and power.

My tyranids are very dark and sinister so all the colours are kept darker - even the highlights are what would be darker shades in my other armies - because I want them to conjure up ideas of Aliens.

My dwarfs, associated with the Sea fortress of Barak-Varr, wear silver and blue, a very cold combination that evokes thoughts of the sea. Blue is also good for dwarfs as it emphasizes their loyal and trustowrthy nature.

My eldar use almost no metals, using wraithbone (bone) instead, and use blue as the main army colour, as it gives them more of a cold, calculating feel, and emphasizes, in my mind, their psychic nature. But their avatar, being the molten war god, is all reds and golds.

My orks, other than being green-skinned, are a fun army, so I try to lighten their colours quite a bit, as well as emphasizing their mechanical side (kult of speed) with a lot of metalics, especially rusted dirty metals.
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Old 04 Feb 2007, 09:34   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

Colours that i use in my armies:

Daemonette: white and purple. with small doses of silver and red
Nurgle: green, black and silver
guard: light browns and white
orks: green, red, blue, white, yellow, brown, grey, silver, tin bitz, black
space marines: black, silver detail.
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Old 04 Feb 2007, 17:51   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

A very deep topic Redbeard hit a lot of the main points for me I tend to use many natural and cold colors

My Chaos warriors are gray with some blues and silver
My small and still W.I.P beast herd are white (being albinos save for the ungors which will be done in off white..I think.)

Tau are Dark Angels green and catachan green

You should try using some browns grab a test mini and try it out and see what comes of it
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Old 10 Feb 2007, 23:43   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

I did an experiment with my Tau. I used an extremely limited palette on the entire army, just 2 colors, 2 shades, and a 1 hightlight. I went with Bestail Brown jumpsuits/underarmor, snakebite leather armor plating, black for detailing (almost none, just there to break up the color patches) and white as a tertiary color, used sparingly to catch the eye. I hightlighted the snakebite with an offbrand that was slightly lighter. Those are the only colors in a 2000pt force. I was very apprehensive, because the colors all seem so bland and neautral, but tha army look amazing, is constantly geting compliments, lived in the case of the Cambridge Battle Bunker until two weeks ago (replaced by my Deathwing) and won Best Painted at my last tournament.

The moral of the stpry is this: don't be afraid of brown. Neutrals can be great. And be ready to chllenge yourself. You can stay simple and limited like I did, then go back once you are done with your first units and spruce them up if you want to. But starting slowly gives to an edge in painting (you aren't overwhelmed by choices) and gives you a neat challenge. It is fun to figure out how to make it all work without looking monotonous.
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Old 11 Feb 2007, 15:11   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

I love browns...currently I'm painting a sept of tau who are bestial brown and bleached bone...and they look rather nice.

Space Wolves Grey is possibly my favorite color though.
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Old 11 Feb 2007, 15:43   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's in your Pallet?

Greys, silvers, and purple/blues with yellow for trim and brown for bases.
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