How do i avoid going too dark???

Darren

Needle-chuck Ninja
I see alot of beginners like myself trying to airbrush the eye, leopard etc using just black paint to get the black/grey effect and a very common mistake i have noticed is that almost all of the time the finished piece is just too dark, how can this be avoided?

I guess it is all down to practice?

From my own experience, when using black (even over reduced black) to try out these tutorials at first my painting is far too light then one more light going over and the whole thing looks almost black!

Any tips?
 

Seamonkey

Air-Valve Autobot!
Good topic, i have the same problem with black and white! Cant wait to hear some answers!!

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
The easiest way is not to use black but to use opaque greys and slowly add black as you need to go darker.
 
M

Malsograf

Guest
-The key is patience. Don't try to make the darks too dark too soon. build up colors slowly. doing the steps over and over till looks like reference. nice and relax.

-I experiment air pressure also to find what works best, dilute the color to a lighter value, reduce as needed. (depending on the color, exact ratios are not required..)
 
B

Badass

Guest
add some white in the black and why not a tint of blue and after that you add mora black to it til you re satisfied
 
F

Fire Brush

Guest
I think it's about color value. Like Badass suggested, add white, maybe a bit of blue, and more thinner so you can work in thinner layers. Flip the subject sheet upside down and try a "right brained" approach to your practice sheet by painting the upside down image instead. When the eye no longer looks like an "eye", but just color and value instead, it might help.
(that said, I'm scared spitless to attempt this eye project! My job is all about coloring what my husband creates. I totally stink when it comes to drawing.)
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
main thing on black and white painting is there is very little black used and almost no white. Straight black only goes in the darkest of places (reverse highlight effect) as the most extreme whites get no color at all.
I work from a light Payne grey +white (paynes grey reduced about 1 drop paint to 20 drops reducer) to a heavy paynes grey with a touch of smoke added in . It took me a while to learn this .
Also if you print your reference pic in grey scale it is easier to see the values you are looking for , If you print two or three copies of it then you have one to spray and compare you lighter shades to and one for the darkest.
Just my 2 cents.

Here is one I did , example.
 

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Darren

Needle-chuck Ninja
Thanks for all of the replies, I will try out some of the projects again using some of the tips.
 

Darren

Needle-chuck Ninja
main thing on black and white painting is there is very little black used and almost no white. Straight black only goes in the darkest of places (reverse highlight effect) as the most extreme whites get no color at all.
I work from a light Payne grey +white (paynes grey reduced about 1 drop paint to 20 drops reducer) to a heavy paynes grey with a touch of smoke added in . It took me a while to learn this .
Also if you print your reference pic in grey scale it is easier to see the values you are looking for , If you print two or three copies of it then you have one to spray and compare you lighter shades to and one for the darkest.
Just my 2 cents.

Here is one I did , example.

Reducing the paint that much (20 - 1) what sort of air pressure are you using? I would guess around 10 - 15 psi?

Great painting there, I love the greyscale art and hope to master it one day!
 
O

OzAirbrush

Guest
There are some great solutions posted, the best being to 'cap' of fix your colours to a certain value using opaques.

Using transparent paints takes a lot of practice and full control of your airbrush.
Taking the eye exercise in the original post for an example, the point here is to use transparents to learn to control, different stroke applications and how to build up tone values correctly. This is very hard and is worth perservering with. It helps build the motor skills required for correct double actioning, makes you take it a bit slower to build tone values with complete control and give you a lot of practice with the differnt AB strokes to achieve certain results where required.

Keep going with the eye exercise or find something similar that has larger areas without too much fine detail and a variety of stroke types to practice, something like a closeup of a hand or similar. Make sure you make your copies large, the exercise isn't about details yet, just control. Diong the same exercise over and over can get boring so mix it up a little, come back and do the eye again later and see how well you have progressed.
I've been away from the brush for a year or so now and I'm back to square 1, I'm starting with the real basics again such as evenly shading simple squares to a chosen tone, it took me about 6 squares to get even coverage and a few more before I could get another 6 or so in a row to be well covered with even textured and consistent value.
Once you can master the transparent exercises you will be well set when it comes to more detailed work with any paint ;)

Here's a link I found with some hand reference photos for practice. www . elfwood.com/farp/hand/
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
Reducing the paint that much (20 - 1) what sort of air pressure are you using? I would guess around 10 - 15 psi?

Great painting there, I love the greyscale art and hope to master it one day!
'
I use a Micron so I reduce my paint more than you would for say a CS or CH. but I usually run at about 20 PSI and than adjust down with the Mac valve.
 

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
Hi Darren - you can get the desired result with straight black - and i would strongly encourage you to practise this way as it's the most difficult. This is part of the reason i find monotone airbrushed artworks so beautiful, because behind their simplicity is extreme difficulty.

When practising control exercises.. do them as lightly as possible.
As Masograf said, build up your effects slowly - no need to get it in one go. just be patient, relax and build up your shapes and effects in layers.

try to paint your layers at around 15% intensity.. this way you control how dark it gets.

it takes around 16-20 hours of practising control exercises to be able to control how dark your painting is.:)
 
P

Paul

Guest
I'm glad this thread was started. I have been struggling with this same problem for a few days and was beginning to get frustrated. I've got a trash can full of paintings that turned out way to dark. I'm actually trying to use an opaque black textile style acrylic paint (Spectra Tex) that lays down a very sharp dark black easily. It's very difficult for me to get the lighter tones and when I do manage it, its either rough and gritty or thinned to the point that the paint just wants to spider all over the place. They offer an extender that I assume is like a binder that I might try. I was hoping some of you with more experience might be able to tell if this might help. I was thinking that I would be able to thin my black with the extender added and that it might help me get the lighter tones without tending to spider so easily? I just don't know if I'm hunting for a magic bullet that doesn't exist and I just need to focus more on trigger control or what. I'd like to learn how to pull this off with black paint without using grays and mixing white and blues if possible, so if anyone else thinks they can give any more advise it would be appreciated. Thanks for everything.
 
O

OzAirbrush

Guest
Hey Paul,
I haven't used Spectra Tex but it being a textile paint it could need to be sprayed a bit thicker and with more pressure than your typical ab acrylic. The thicker paint allows for better coverage on textiles which soak up the thinner paints.

If you are going to thin it to get it to work, using a binder is a good idea to help the paint keep some body, maybe try mixing a binder and water thinner with say a 50/50 mix of each and add a few drops at a time until it sprays a bit better. Extenders are used mainly to thin the pigment, not the paint, so this will help a bit in that it will take more coats to reach your tone but in the long run it's better to have a better control of the AB and use as close to standard paint set ups as you can.

Sometimes it's just easier to get the right paints though, they will make a big difference and help stop the frustrations :)

Cheers,
Mick.
 
P

Paul

Guest
Thanks for such a fast reply OzAirbrush. I'll try what you suggest and see how it works. I should be able to report back in a day or two and let everyone know how it worked. I also ordered a sample set of Wicked paints to see if it makes a difference. I'll keep working at it until I get it figured out. At this pace it will be a while until I come up with a piece worthy of posting :). It's going on 2 AM and I can't put my gun down yet. This is addictive.
Take care,
Paul
 

Darren

Needle-chuck Ninja
I am using the Wicked paints, Wicked Detail range. I too will just keep at it with the straight black or black/blue mixed (and reduced) as I too would rather learn this method over mixing lighter opaques.
 
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