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Mixing paint for black and white portrait

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Discussion' started by Mark Milburn, Dec 1, 2019 at 7:04 PM.


  1. Mark Milburn

    Mark Milburn Young Tutorling

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    Good day to all. I am a new member and am having problems locating info on paint mixing due to my apparent lack of proper search term usage!

    I am looking for a somewhat detailed description on the general procedure for mixing black and white paint and reduction when painting a black and white portrait. When I say black and white, I mean black/grey/white etc. Not black or white, high contrast work!

    For example, for shading, do I use various levels of grey or highly reduced layers of black transparent, etc. I'm not asking for anyone to give me a detailed lesson on years and years of their paint mixing experience, but, can someone just direct me to some threads that will give me the basics and I'll go from there!

    Thanks you
    Mark
    Murrieta, Ca.
    Tuffnutz likes this.
  2. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    @Tuffnutz is one of our regular monochrome painters, he has a thread that he regularly adds portraits to,
    https://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/just-flinging-paint-around-again.20644/

    There are a couple of posts where he shows shots of works in progress, it will give you an idea of the steps.
    “Black and White” is technically just different densities of black, adding White is not recommended as you get ‘blue shift’. It’s all about preserving your white whenever possible.

    there are a few members that excel in monochrome I’ll see what I can hunt down
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  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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  4. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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  5. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    There are various ways to achieve the same thing. Working transparently and building up using just black or sepia or any other color is one way to approach it.
    Another way is to mix shades of grey (or some people buy them) and work light to dark. Both ways can be effective. Steve Gibson Has the Grassaile set in createx illustration which is designed for eventual color but is a stepped greyscale. Com Art has the neutral grey set. Or you can simply mix your own to the values you want. There is going to be no exact science on how much reducer to add to any paint.
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  6. Vladimir

    Vladimir Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    To add some good directions above, couud say that there are great DVDs on what you search for.
    Find the course here https://www.airbrushdvds.com/products/power-series-level-1-dvd-set-daniel-power-learn-to-airbrush
    The price is in AUD, not USD, as I understand.
    In this course you'll find all your answers you have now, moreover, big amount of the info you'll need in future. The price is nothing compared to volume of the information you'll get, and compared to other courses' price rates.
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  7. Mark Milburn

    Mark Milburn Young Tutorling

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    Thank you both!I will check out the video. Tomorrow, I will put up a pic of my attempt of a portrait just in terms of various reductions of Black. t's not real good, but better than I would have done before I stopped. You all can give your thoughts!

    Thanks again..

    Mark
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  8. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    There are 4 ways to do it.
    1. with a diluted black / gray.
    Use more layers for darker parts.

    2. Spray your surface with a light gray.
    And then use method 1 you now have a light gray for corections.
    blue shift has already happened.

    3. Mix all your gray tones in advance.

    4. On a dark surface, first spray the light parts with white and with black / gray the dark parts.
    white for corrections.
  9. Tuffnutz

    Tuffnutz Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    You will get a lot of paint separation even if you use the same paint type for mixing any sort of greys. Best to work in transparent layers. If you work on basically the whole image at once it will take your eye away from any blue or brown shift. Like for instance, Paynes Grey, after a while it will separate, even in your paint cup. When you finish even the one mix the bottom of the cup is nearly all blue. You will have to agitate the paint constantly.
    Just a small snippit of things to come.
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  10. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    As a fairly quick test piece I did this one today. working with opaque greys.
    It's not the greatest but it's on some cheap dollar store paper.

    now with that said I prefer to work transparently and build the layers

    Attached Files:

  11. Tuffnutz

    Tuffnutz Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    The best place to hide a Tree, is in a Forest. There’s nothing stopping you dusting the whole image lightly with black to take away any prominent blue shift. Also works by dusting the image with white to level the image too. The darkest blacks thinned right down will give you brown shift. It depends on what white you are working with too. I like to use this to my advantage. Just practicing with stuff will give you The Eye. Sort of anyway.
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  12. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    this was done with just black
    14293-1531114225-d5f23a05236cca86b43d0e27fe256b60 (1).jpg
    This was done using just black. All I did to get the shading was to pull my airbrush back away from the picture so the paint wasn't so concentrate then erased and scratched in my fur then spray another layer of paint till I got the layers I needed and the darker areas get darker as more layers of paint are added to those areas as well!
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