For Every Airbrush Artist!

Ready to get involved? Register for free and you won't see any google advertising!

Register

Colour overlay rules

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by pugster, Jul 25, 2014.


  1. pugster

    pugster Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Can anyone tell me if there are any written 'rules' for overlaying colours? I.e is there a specific sequence most professionals use once they have broken down what colours they need to use for a specific job.

    Ive had a it happen a few times to me now using water based acrylics where overlaying primary colours close together has ended up with a secondary i did not want, the most recent where i used some yellow and went too close with blue and ended up with the yellow going green on me.

    ... Looking at the above it sounds a bit of a confused post, i hope people understand what i mean.
  2. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    I think you kind of answered your own question lol. A lot of is is trial and error and knowing what colors work together and which will react and produce a color shift. Understanding of the color wheel is key. Yellow over black turns green, combat this with adding complementary color to kill the green shift. white over black shifts blue, once again complementary color which would be yellow or orange. Add a small drop of orange to your white to make it warmer so won't shift. Geez there are a ton of them. If you don't want your black to be purple since most contain blue in the mix, add some red to make it warm and it shifts brown in the sun. You just really have to think about what's going to happen, knowing that blue and yellow make green, plan your steps carefully to avoid causing that green shift. There are a ton of different ways to approach this and all depends on your experience and what you are painting. As the old saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    Ricky Spanish, Cordyk, tucky and 4 others like this.
  3. splasha

    splasha Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Geelong ,Victoria,Australia
    Thanks, Immortal.
    I think that sort of explains how the colour wheel thing happens.
    Maybe somebody out there could give a basic explanation of the use etc of it?
  4. pugster

    pugster Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Can anyone expand on immortals post of how to stop a colour shift , i.e say you needed to blend yellow and blue - do you mean you add a small amount of the complimentary to the colour that would be created?
    I.e you would add red to the blue? ( as it is the complimentary of green):confused: , and how much are we talking about adding? As i dont want purple:p...... Or have i totally got it wrong :(
  5. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    Alrighty, sorry I just got home from work so wasn't able to reply until now. Warning this is gonna be a long read. This is what you asked for so you gotta earn it by reading this wall of text. Muahahaha!

    When combining colors to obtain new hues, there are three basic colors that cannot be made by mixing others together. Known as primary colors, these are red, blue, and yellow.

    If you combine two primary colors, you create something called a secondary color. For example, mixing red and blue produces purple; yellow and red makes orange; blue and yellow combined make green; red and blue make purple. The exact tint or shade of the secondary color you create depends on which red, blue, or yellow you use (light or dark), and the proportions used. If you mix three primary colors, you get black.

    When combining colors, remember that it requires only a small amount of a dark color to change a light color, but it needs a lot more of a light color to change a dark one. So, always add dark (eg. blue) to light (eg. white), not vice versa.

    Similar to the situation when mixing dark and light, remember that only a small amount of opaque color is needed to change a transparent one. So make a point of adding opaque to transparent, not vice versa.

    So this is really basic. The point is you can control shifts a number of ways. You can build up light to dark layers and minimize your shift. Or you can take a lot more time and mask it off to protect it.

    Understanding the theory of colors is applicable to anything airbrush, or anything art for that matter. Without fundamentals of color theory and art, while anyone can airbrush, it's a whole lot easier and faster if you get them now before you venture too far and get frustrated and quit this medium. Art is basic principles mixed with a ton of trial and error. Learning from mistakes makes you better. I still make mistakes. Everyone does. Mike lavalle, Mitch, and any other pro makes mistakes, they just understand theory and can apply it to make the mistake never happen, or at least make it appear that way.

    Donations excepted for this novel excerpt. gotta pay bills somehow lol



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    Joe A, Ricky Spanish, jagardn and 5 others like this.
  6. Oddball

    Oddball Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    1,124
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    North Wales, UK
    Damn you @Immortal Concepts ;)
    There was me with a fresh coffee and packet of fag settled in after reading "This wall of Text" thinking it would take a while only to find you were brief and concise :)
    I discovered I knew the dark to light thing but hadn't thought about it. but I still don't get the complementary colour thing?
  7. pugster

    pugster Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    16
    thanks again immortal , i know about primary/secondary/tertiary and how they are mixed (to create the different colours) and that you can add a complimentary colour to darken its opposite (add orange to blue to darken it and visa versa)

    @Oddball - a complimentary colour is just its opposite on the colour wheel and you can use it darken ,i.e you can use a bit of purple to darken yellow and visa versa - if you do it this way you get more depth of colour ( just adding black can make it muddy or give you another colour altogether (adding black to yellow gives you an olive green colour)

    .... but i still dont understand what i asked - which was how (or if) can you seamlessly blend (not mask a line) 2 primary colours without creating a secondary colour (or if this is a rule that cant be broken)

    .... sorry for being a pain in the ass mate , i cant seem to find this info anywhere :)

    *the only way i can think of would be to use 2 primarys that are immiscible ( 1 water based and 1 oil based for example)
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    11,691
    Likes Received:
    8,691
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Hampshire South Coast UK
    Use an inter coat clear, over your first colour maybe? Not too sure, I always take advantage of the colour blending thing, and haven't tried to avoid it.
  9. twood

    twood Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,130
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Glen Morris, Ontario, Canada
    You cannot avoid color bleed using trans. paint. Its not that easy. You can however use opaque paints beside each other without color bleed as the one would cover up the other....if you used enough and go from light to dark. Hope this helps....
  10. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington) Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,657
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Elmswell,Suffolk,United Kingdom
    Great thread guys with very good info....worth a sticky
  11. pugster

    pugster Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    16
    yeah , im still learning (i only picked a pencil up 6 months ago in over 25 yrs) , im still 'thinking' about what colour to use first etc , but when this happened to me last week i thought 'hang on a min -what the hell would i do if i wanted to blend 2 primarys without creating a secondary - a blend/ fade from say yellow to blue or red to blue without the thing turning into a secondary as/where you tried to blend it in - i,e yellow > blue not yellow>green>blue
  12. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    Ok think about it pugster, I've been giving you a hint and you haven't gotten the clue yet hehehe. I'll help you out I enjoy it because it gets me to thinking a lot. However you gotta earn it from me as I like playing mind games.

    What have I been mentioning several times in all my posts? I've been talking about complementary colors. What is blue's complementary color ; red. Add just a half drop to a drop of red to your blue. This will kill a green shift. Now you do have to still be careful and try not to touch your overlap too much in the blend and it shouldn't shift, or at least be very minimized. Control your color shifts with warm and cools. ☺

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    pugster likes this.
  13. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    There is another way,
    To prevent this unwanted green form occurring next time, you could mix up your intermediate color separately (or even several discrete steps of intermediate colors) and then paint them in, keeping the blue and yellow from directly mixing with each other.

    The tricky part will be in deciding what color the intermediate colors really are or what you want them to be (color appearance is highly affected by context), and then deciding which pigments to use to mix them.

    I've used sg100 for blends and fades, but you still have to mix your pigments right with their complimentary to avoid shifts, especially with transparent paints.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    pugster likes this.
  14. pugster

    pugster Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    16
    lol many thanks immortal, i said that in post #4 you git:p, you could have said 'yay you got it'lol

    * a great bit of info from immortal that will help newbies like myself , other than 'liking' a post im not sure how i can give immortal more credit for his post.
  15. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    Lol we need like a gift system. A little token icon of an orange airbrush or something

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    splasha and pugster like this.
  16. Immortal Concepts

    Immortal Concepts Detail Decepticon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    kentucky
    Oh and I know you got it, but you weren't confident in your answer. Now you know you where right so hopefully you learned not to doubt yourself.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    probie and pugster like this.
  17. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    Immortal has served you well for the complicated version and some good color theory though making black outta your primarys sounds easier than what it is LOL, but an easy way of saying it is if you want a yellow to transition into a blue, you will somewhere get some green LOL, but a yellow directly next to a blue is a case of just shielding well, oh and are you using opaques or transparents, it could also help and I think Immortal also mentioned it to make both a lot more pastel, this way when they do blend in unwanted area's there is so much white in em that the color shift between the pigment particles of the yellow and blue may not touch as frequently as a lot more white pigment is disperesed throughout (And cause color shift) so will tend to color shift a lot less and help transition one into the other without so much green happening and to do so I'd also use a warm yellow rather than a cold yellow, the warm will have more orange in it so it will tend to go a darker blue-green than a bright green which may help blend it in more..But yer the main secret is working your opaques to 100 % intensity and avoid the color overspray areas mixing and use a similar gamut of color on your projects if possible, that way ya don't have to worry about such LOL..Good luck
    Immortal Concepts and splasha like this.
  18. jagardn

    jagardn Airbrush Acquisition Disorder Patient Elite Member!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,022
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Sarasota FL
    Along these same lines. It is always better to have your colors too saturated(high chroma) because it is much easier to dull a vibrant color than to brighten a dull one.
    This applies mostly to people who paint by layering transparent paints(optical mixing), but does apply to matching colors also.
    Immortal Concepts likes this.
  19. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    26
  20. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,656
    Likes Received:
    1,968
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    KIlsyth, Glasgow, Scotland
    Dimitris likes this.

Share This Page