A few questions about blue shift and Com-Art paints.

M

Melbee

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Hi Friends :)
I have experienced the good old blue shift phenomenon a few times when using Com-Art Photo Grays which seem to be on the warm side. Now I can understand a warm paint giving a blue shift when white is sprayed but even when I put in quite a bit of Warm Additive it still went with the blue shift, even if less dramatic.

I was wondering if using Com-Art Paynes Gray, which is already on the blue side, would also encounter blue shift when spraying white over it?

I also wondered if using Com-Art Burnt Umber would suffer from blue shift? From what I've read it seems that spraying white over black or in my case various percentages of Gray WILL cause blue shift but that Brunt Umber will NOT. Is this correct? Can anyone shed any further light on this, pretty please :D I'm about to start a couple of portraits and this could influence which paint I choose.
Cheers Mel
 
The grey can still shift because it contains black pigment. Even silver paint has black in it. It's all really dependant on how they make their colors. It shouldn't shift blue over the burnt umber, but it could shift pinkish If there is much red in the mix, something you have to experiment with. I know with my paints what I can and can't mix but never used comart. This is why I work light to dark. Don't have to worry bout shifts then as much.
 
Hi Immortal,
Thanks for the quick reply. Ah! So there is gonna be a colour shift which ever paint I choose if I spray light over the dark?

I am actually using monochrome Transparent Mix so the white of the board is my white and I go from Dark to Light, highlights are erased not painted.

It's just that I recently tried to correct a small mistake on a similar painting and after many attempts of going back with erasing I couldn't get a smooth spray (on Schoellershammer 4G board) so I ended up trying to paint it. That's when I got the blue shift, although in the end I managed to get a reasonable result using the Warm Additive, I was looking for a way to improve on that for future pictures.

It's ok if I don't make any mistakes or they are erasable, it's just I was hoping that one colour paint might give me a slight edge over another if I mess up again and the only way to fix it is with paint. I guess I'm gonna have to do it right first time round or I'll ignore a small error and let it stay. :sour:
 
I use my own mixed umber all the time instead of straight black, never had the shift since, it's a simple case of adding orange to the black instead of the white, I prefer to keep my whites pure.

Black is made up of the primary colours and the blue is most dominant, this is what causes the shift so adding orange cancels this out, the yellow in the orange cancels any pink shift.
 
You can usually go back in and fix it with a color buffer but every color is different. Best to preplan your steps so don't run into that problem. The fun part I have to deal with in urethane, is it may look fine but won't shift until after cleared. One of the downsides of transparents and solvents.
 
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I use my own mixed umber all the time instead of straight black, never had the shift since, it's a simple case of adding orange to the black instead of the white, I prefer to keep my whites pure.

Black is made up of the primary colours and the blue is most dominant, this is what causes the shift so adding orange cancels this out, the yellow in the orange cancels any pink shift.

Oh that is really interesting to know Madbrush. Did you say you are using Com-Art paints now? If so which Black and Orange are you mixing? I have loads of Com-Art Opaque Black and Photo Black plus Transparent Black and Smoke but the only Orange I've got is Transparent Burnt Orange. I do have a premixed Com-Art Burnt Umber but its not very dark. Whatever paint you are using, what is your Orange to Black ratio? I really liked the colour of the portrait you did and I remember you saying you'd mixed your own Burnt Umber. I meant to ask you then what your mix was but my dim brain forgot!!

You can usually go back in and fix it with a color buffer but every color is different. Best to preplan your steps so don't run into that problem. The fun part I have to deal with in urethane, is it may look fine but won't shift until after cleared. One of the downsides of transparents and solvents.

I totally agree with the pre-planning Immortal but however much I plan I can still stuff up. My last mistake was I had erased a highlight on the nose slightly too high and I didn't notice it until weeks later. Then I suddenly thought there is something wrong with than nose ..... it looks like it's going too high into the forehead. The difference was about 5mm but I noticed and I could have let it go? NO..... I had to flaming try and fix it!! The erasing worked but it left a texture which I couldn't get rid of and the re-sprays looked out of contexted with the rest of the painting. So last resort I went in with Paint!! And I got Blue Shift!! :) :) Durrrrr!!! :D So basically I was looking for "Getting an Ole Gal, Brain Frazz" protection :laugh:lol
 
Oh that is really interesting to know Madbrush. Did you say you are using Com-Art paints now? If so which Black and Orange are you mixing? I have loads of Com-Art Opaque Black and Photo Black plus Transparent Black and Smoke but the only Orange I've got is Transparent Burnt Orange. I do have a premixed Com-Art Burnt Umber but its not very dark. Whatever paint you are using, what is your Orange to Black ratio? I really liked the colour of the portrait you did and I remember you saying you'd mixed your own Burnt Umber. I meant to ask you then what your mix was but my dim brain forgot

Hi Mel, I'm sorry I didn't answer this yesterday, I was off to bed when I saw it so I thought I'll get on it first thing in the morning, lol

I can't really tell you what the ratios are, I generally mix my colours by eye and don't count the drops, or actually I do but don't take notes, I always use the three primaries for mixing and for my orange which I mix first is simply 3 drops of primary yellow and 2 of bright red, when I'm happy with the shade then I throw it into the black usually half and half, I put little bit on my pinky and smear that out on a piece porous paper, this shows me what it will look like going from dark to light, basically what I'm looking for is almost black at the the dark end to and almost brownish grey at the lighter end, just experiment with it until you get a shade that appeals to you, on my portrait I added more orange to the mix just for effect, I was actually going for aged look of very old photos.

I just recently started using com-art, but the black I use is actually golden because they told at the shop that the com-art black and smoke are harder to erase than the other colours, but I tried a little com-art black and smoke and found that they are not that hard at all, I certainly didn't need my angle grinder like I do for Schmnike, lol

I should point out I have the Schoelershammer paper and if assume correctly that the board is exactly the same except thicker, then it is not exactly white but instead an almost creamy colour, because of this if add pure white to your paintings you will see a distinct colour difference no matter what you do, unless you can match the white to the paper colour, also you probably noticed that when you applied white to your work using a hairy brush it stuck out like a sore thumb, I used to use hairy brush a lot for fur, but when I did I thinned it to half the consistency of the white which was airbrush.

These days I try to avoid the use of white altogether and apply it if it's needed right at the end of a painting as I do with black if I want to make some areas darker, I've found out to my horror that using white consistently throughout a painting quickly turns everything muddy, although this phenomenon only seems to be apparent when using water based.
 
white gets muddy with urethane too, but it's more with the black than anything. White shifts like with any medium, and with the addition of kandy for urethane you have to combat white shifting and bleeding the dye. Over the years I've figured out how to spray white over kandy and it doesn't bleed, but I still try to minimize white used at the end. Basically use white to punch out a white highlight that is already there that you left from the paper or basecoat.
 
white gets muddy with urethane too, but it's more with the black than anything. White shifts like with any medium, and with the addition of kandy for urethane you have to combat white shifting and bleeding the dye. Over the years I've figured out how to spray white over kandy and it doesn't bleed, but I still try to minimize white used at the end. Basically use white to punch out a white highlight that is already there that you left from the paper or basecoat.

I've never used uro's myself, at least not for airbrushing, since I work in the house but a little while ago I had the pleasure of watching Haasje Dutch Airbrush as he worked on his Harley Bagger project, he was using inspire uro's at that time and going over black with white and his white remained bright as we would like it to do, so I (foolishly) assumed that it was not a problem with uro's, but, I stand corrected, lol, I suppose in his case it had a lot do with experience and knowledge of the stuff he was using.

As you say, I also try to avoid using white at all, but I like to paint animals, cats in particular, and often they have a lot of white around and under there noses and chin, so to take some of the sharpness off of all the scratching I do as well as to pull that part of the face forward I generally hit it with with a white mist, although I've got into the habit of hitting that area with an acrylic clear medium before doing so, even after three years at it I'm still learning and basically finding stuff out as I go, the one thing I am very happy about is that for the last two and one half years I've had no problems at all with shift except for the positive ones since for small items like eyes and stuff I mix my colours on the work it'self and always use transparent for such things, I know that a little blue shift in the whites of eyes caters for a more natural look after erasing out the highlights.

I actually also avoid straight black mainly because I don't like the sinister look of monotone paintings using black or grey scale, I prefer the warm look of umber or sepia for monotone work and I probably should confess I'm an idiot when it comes to black, even with 50 - 1 thinning I get too dark way too quick, lol
 
If the black is towards the brown side and not blue purple, it won't shift usually if you are careful. This is why I stress knowing your paints. Not just how to reduce and mix, but what the colors are actually made from. I try to stick with primaries and mix my own, but sometimes it's easier to purchase already mixed colors so everything looks consistent. Take kandy root beer for instance. You can mix it yourself with red, orange and yellow kandy with black basecoat to darken it. Unless you are dead on everytime, it will look slightly different than previous batch since you may have added a little too much red or orange. The mixed colors aren't always consistent either though. While machines mix everything with a preset ratio, nozzles can still mess up and either not spray or drip changing the color slightly. I've noticed this a lot with hok, touchups I have to do on pull tractors from explosions and whatnot, I always use same layering and paints, but rarely matches exactly so I find myself staring at it and finding out if it needs and little red or orange added or what have you.
 
Thanks @Madbrush for your Burnt Umber mix, it's good to know. I could always add black to the Com-Art Burnt Umber I have to darken it up but mixing my own from red, yellow and black might give a shade I like more.

I'm surprised they said that Golden paint would be more erasable than the Com-Art Black!! Everything I have read about Golden says it's not, which is why I stopped using it. I used the Golden Fluids + Airbrush Medium (for a few T shirts which it is very good for) and Golden High Flow. Both are erasable if done straight away but the longer it's left the harder it gets. I find Com-Art stays erasable, I am a very slow painter and I like to walk away and leave a paintings for days or weeks and erase things when I see them. That's why I missed the highlight error on this nose because when I'm working I often don't see things until much later. It's like I'm too close and can't see the woods for the trees so to speak :)

Yeah the 4G is cream and I did mix a colour to match it but it still gave a blue shift. My intention is to paint with only 60% Gray which I make transparent with Com-Art Medium and erase for highlights, also masking fluid for hotspots. I agree it's better to avoid using white. I was just looking for alternatives.

I was thinking that Paynes Gray being on the blue side wouldn't shift to blue because it's already there. I also remembered you saying Madbrush that your Burnt Umber mix didn't give blue shift so thought it was worth a try. It's good to know the technical reasons why it doesn't.

@Immortal Concepts That must really suck, if you can't see the blue shift until you Clear it!! I wouldn't like that at all.
 
Sometimes you can, but it's more of a bleeding then it is an actual shift. The solvents in the clear reactivate the paint and if the white is too transparent the color underneath will come through. Back when I was starting out I did a skull with white and shades of brown. Looked good then when I cleared it most of the white turned pink. Since that happened I started making my own colors since the red that was in the brown was too dominant.
 
@Immortal Concepts Yeah your right about knowing the paints and I learn a lot from you guys. Now I've discovered 4G and erasing, I'm liking painting with a transparent and going dark to light. It's much quicker to just put one paint in the cup and start spraying, I just have to learn not to make mistakes or find other ways of fixing them than this last overpainting attempt. Below is a series of the painting while I was trying to fix it, now I wish I'd left it alone and next time I'll know better :)

Here's the original painting with highlight error on the nose, it goes too far up.
Stanwyck Eye-Scan to Flash Drive.JPG

This is after I erased the nose, you can see it left a lot of texture
20140831_120141.jpg

This is after I re-sprayed with Gray only and I went too dark.
20140831_122304.jpg

This is with the painted repair and the Blue Shift. Iam too scared to erase in the highlight on the nose incase I do more damage than good. If I use paint for the highlight I could make the Blue Shift worse.
Stanwycks Eye-Com-Art-Repaired.jpg
If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears :D
Cheers Mel
 
Tough one. Could tell you how you could have done it before you fixed it lol but too late. I've always used the adding orange to white or blue to black to cancel out the shift. Never tries it on a solid black and white portrait and will probably stand out since the rest of the white isn't tinted cause its paper. If you keep layering white and it gets opaque then the shift should dissappear, but then be too strong of a highlight.i would have left it alone in the next to last picture. No shift, looks fine and doesn't need a strong highlight imo because the finger being over the bridge would cast a slight shadow even though light source coming from the right. If you can get it back to that stage, leave it alone and call it done.
 
@Melbee It was the guy at Harrold's who told me that the Golden black was easier to erase, as you say if you leave too long it gets harder to do, but after being used to the Schminke stuff I actually found it very easy, having said that I think that it is very possible that it was made easier because the orange mix was com-art, I have to say I love the com-art now and doubt I use anything else, although I'de like to try the etac stuff.

Generally if an image I want to paint involves a lot of black or very dark areas I'll use more black in the final mix, so basically you just want to play around until have a colour you like, I was inspired by Kev's (Cordyk) painting of the little boy he did with Marissa and that was colour I was aiming for, but most of my paintings require different mixes, I have a load seal-able empty bottles and mix and fill three of these with a basic shade and then when needed I can lighten any of them by mixing orange or darken with black to suit whatever I'm working on, if you look at any painting at all in my gallery there is no black whatsoever but most most appear to have.
 
@Melbee It was the guy at Harrold's who told me that the Golden black was easier to erase, as you say if you leave too long it gets harder to do, but after being used to the Schminke stuff I actually found it very easy, having said that I think that it is very possible that it was made easier because the orange mix was com-art, I have to say I love the com-art now and doubt I use anything else, although I'de like to try the etac stuff.

Generally if an image I want to paint involves a lot of black or very dark areas I'll use more black in the final mix, so basically you just want to play around until have a colour you like, I was inspired by Kev's (Cordyk) painting of the little boy he did with Marissa and that was colour I was aiming for, but most of my paintings require different mixes, I have a load seal-able empty bottles and mix and fill three of these with a basic shade and then when needed I can lighten any of them by mixing orange or darken with black to suit whatever I'm working on, if you look at any painting at all in my gallery there is no black whatsoever but most most appear to have.
Yup make your own shade of black, ties in better with color harmony, helps with controlling shifts, and keeps painting from mudding up so easily.
 
Tough one. Could tell you how you could have done it before you fixed it lol but too late. I've always used the adding orange to white or blue to black to cancel out the shift. Never tries it on a solid black and white portrait and will probably stand out since the rest of the white isn't tinted cause its paper. If you keep layering white and it gets opaque then the shift should dissappear, but then be too strong of a highlight.i would have left it alone in the next to last picture. No shift, looks fine and doesn't need a strong highlight imo because the finger being over the bridge would cast a slight shadow even though light source coming from the right. If you can get it back to that stage, leave it alone and call it done.


@Melbee , Iv'e got to agree with this, your being way too particular again Mel, despite some slight differences in each of the photos all I can see is a beautiful painting and clever composition, if there is any blue shift there it certainly isn't spoiling the painting therefore it's good, if you look at any black and white photo you will also see slight amounts blue here and there, especially in areas a sudden transition meaning close to hard or sharp shadows, all you seem to have done is add a little atmosphere, be happy with it.

And why do you sign your paintings with my initials?, lol
 
Tough one. Could tell you how you could have done it before you fixed it lol but too late. I've always used the adding orange to white or blue to black to cancel out the shift. Never tries it on a solid black and white portrait and will probably stand out since the rest of the white isn't tinted cause its paper. If you keep layering white and it gets opaque then the shift should dissappear, but then be too strong of a highlight.i would have left it alone in the next to last picture. No shift, looks fine and doesn't need a strong highlight imo because the finger being over the bridge would cast a slight shadow even though light source coming from the right. If you can get it back to that stage, leave it alone and call it done.
Yes I agree I could have left it in the one before last but sadly I didn't and I erased again, then repainted, it was worse and so I erased AGAIN. By this time the texture left behind was much worse and did not fit in with the smoothness of the rest of the face, that's why I went for the over painting option.

It would have worked fine if I hadn't got the blue shift because it gave a smooth finish again. Basically I can't erase this amount of paint and have any hope of getting a smooth finish when I spray. So if that is my only real option then I'm going to have to say this one is done and leave the Blue Shift.

I could try re-mixing the white paint and use Orange instead of the Warm Additive I used before which is Ochre. If I put some Orange in the 60% Gray as well would that help? I will have to put down a solid layer of White/Orange to cover up the nose, then spray the 60% Gray/Orange for shading.
 
Probably won't work. Anything you tint will look different slightly then the surrounding paint
 
@Melbee , Iv'e got to agree with this, your being way too particular again Mel, despite some slight differences in each of the photos all I can see is a beautiful painting and clever composition, if there is any blue shift there it certainly isn't spoiling the painting therefore it's good, if you look at any black and white photo you will also see slight amounts blue here and there, especially in areas a sudden transition meaning close to hard or sharp shadows, all you seem to have done is add a little atmosphere, be happy with it.

And why do you sign your paintings with my initials?, lol
@Madbrush lollol:D Well that's music to my eye's, thanks. :laugh: I think you are absolutely right, I am too fussy.

I also see it as a learning process though and to be honest I'm painting another one of these with the same composition but using Etac Carbon Black instead of Com-Art.

I wanted to do exactly the same picture so I would have a direct comparison between the 2 types of paint. For me Com-Art is coming out on top, it sprays consistantly better (less clogging), dries faster on the surface and what you see is what you get. Etac cloggs more (even with filtering), dries a lot slower so stays shiney and how it appears on the surface changes slightly. Etac still works well but it does not beat Com-Art in my opinion.

Anyway, that's why I didn't mind messing with this picture because I'm doing another one, mind you I can still mess that one up as well, it's not finished yet :)

I signed this painting with your initials but when I get it right, I'll put my initials on it. Ha Ha Haaaa!lol:laugh:
 
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