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Color desaturation

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by whiskeymike, Jan 9, 2019.


  1. whiskeymike

    whiskeymike Young Tutorling

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    i’m working on learning color theory reading and watching videos. Found a lot of great info but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem like there’s much material on applying it with an air brush (with the exception of the threads I’ve found here).

    I’m especially interested in color saturation and if that is used in Air brushing if so how do you do it?

    As I understand it, you can desaturate a color by mixing your color with neutral gray or it’s complimentary opposite color. So if you had a solid red, you could add some green to it.

    But with an airbrush, you have transparent colors and you also have the ability to lay down very light passes. Do that mean that traditional color saturation doesn’t play a large part in the process?

    Thanks, sorry if I rambled too much.
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    They make Opaque colors for airbrushes as well . Golden and E'tac both have artist pallets so you can use the same theory as traditional artist do.
    Where building layers comes into play with airbrush is mainly due to over reducing your paint to be able to get super fine detail on small items which also means you lower you air pressure as well.
    I suggest learning how to control your airbrush and how it functions at different reduction and air pressure before putting too much effort into learning color theory. If you really want to do photo realism https://www.schoolofrealism.com/ Dru can teach you everything you want to learn on doing Photo realism , Hyper realism and just about anything fine art related.
    In fact Dru just talk a little about this in his last news letter here is a quote from it.
    "The solution? Start out painting with purer, more saturated colors. Its easy to desaturate a color by simply adding its complement. It is not as easy to increase saturation, due to the presence of contamination. Therefore, I paint a little bit "hot" with regards to color intensity, because it is quick and easy to remove excess saturation"
    Dru if you see this buddy and I was not supposed to share it from the new letter just tell me and I can remove the quote :D
  3. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Even bigger part. Since instead of mixing you can spray trans over it and desaturate to adjust, make a gradient, etc.


    Then there's The Dru method of adding a little white to trans to limit how dark the trans will go.


    So you get to play with saturation / de saturation on an almost mind blowing scale that goes waaay beyond mixing.
  4. whiskeymike

    whiskeymike Young Tutorling

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    Good insights. Thanks guys. Time for more practice and try some things out.

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