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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a centuries old technique for flat canvas painting. All the old classical masters used it.

Basically, the colours of the spectrum are formed into a wheel.

When they wanted to create shading, they never added black etc to the original colour mix, as it became very flat and lifeless. (Not very acceptible for flat canvas work, but slightly less of a problem on miniatures).

Basically, if you start with one colour, then mix the colour exactly opposite it on the colour wheel, it will shade your colour more dynamically (a 50:50 mix theoretically produces black)

It also has other uses. I use it for choosing spot colours for my colour schemes: I look at the opposite colour, and also ones roughly opposite and take these all into consideration.

Here is an example colour wheel (though many slightly different ones are easy to find on google this is the standard one) and a shameless plug of my models painted with this technique. In this case the main colour is the light blue, and the spot colours are orange (on the bases) and red (on the gunsights and a few other things)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Whoa. hold up. The blue on my guard is a standard ice blue, over ultramarine blue with a sw grey highlight. The colour theory i save for shading on larger models/banners etc, its not worth the effort on your standard guardsman, its a bit finicky.

I'd only recommend it for advanced painters, and only if they want to try something a little different.

Where it is best used for GW scale painting is on picking complimentary colour schemes that will stand out i'd say.

However, where you can see the effects of the shading using the opposite colour is towards the centre of the colour wheel. Typically 25% of the opposite colour would give you a very murky shade, probably your deepest. You need less of the opposite colour than you think, especcially with light colours like yellow.
 

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I'd like to try this. Too bad it doesn't work for white. :)

I'll test it out on my next biker on the green ill use.
Thanks, panda! BTW, nice Guard!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Anph. Hope it goes well, though i'd recommend a little practice mixing first - it can be a little tricky to get the balance at first.

Definitely post some pics of the biker though, i'd love to see how it goes.
 

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I've found that unless you're painting a large, flat area (such as the armored panels on a land raider or the like) the color theory really doesn't work that well. The shading tends to be so subtle with it that it's hardly noticable on the 28mm scale. It's still very useful to know about if you're painting anything in general anyway, which all of us are, though, and it helps make certain colors "pop"-- red with a green spot color, for example, is particularly effective, particularly on things like Space Marines. Green eyes tend to "glow" on red helmets, even if you aren't working that hard on getting that effect.
 

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to point out, mixing a colors compliment will never yield black, the closest it will get you to black is 50% gray, with tendencies to cool or warm dependent on color contaminants.
unfortunately Citadel colors are engineered colors, they are by no means pure, mixing Blood red, and ultramarine blue will not yield purple, it yields a nondescript gray.

Color theory is one of my favorite intellectual topics. its simultaneously psychological as well as physical in terms of the light acting on the retina.

mostly this applies to color schemes.
you can achieve various effects by choosing your color scheme
a good choice is analogous, an

analogus color schemes will include colors adjacent to each other on the wheel, like Blues, teals and greens. or reds oranges and yellows.

monochromatic is not necessarily black and white, but also a color and its various tints and tones (think red, pink and burgandy)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've found that unless you're painting a large, flat area (such as the armored panels on a land raider or the like) the color theory really doesn't work that well.
Yeah, this is exactly what i have found.

Also, thanks for all the extra input guys (and for clearing up that black issue engelus). I think its a good background for anyone interested in the painting side of the hobby to have, but to be honest, its main use is really for chosing colour schemes at this scale, rather than anything else. A lot of times, people really have difficulty chosing a complimentary colour, and this is what i turn to.
 

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I feel this learning style would suit me better

Hey, my dream is to do a lot of pencil sketching. But it is my dream to do oils. There happens to be no good place near where I leave that teaches oil painting. All are there just to fool the kids. Also the teachers are not that experienced. So is there any site online where they I can learn the tips and tricks of oil painting. Since I am a self learner, I feel this learning style would suit me better. I did see some sites, but they were not free. I would prefer some free ones initially and maybe later opt for the paid ones for advanced learning.
 

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Hey, my dream is to do a lot of pencil sketching. But it is my dream to do oils. There happens to be no good place near where I leave that teaches oil painting. All are there just to fool the kids. Also the teachers are not that experienced. So is there any site online where they I can learn the tips and tricks of oil painting. Since I am a self learner, I feel this learning style would suit me better. I did see some sites, but they were not free. I would prefer some free ones initially and maybe later opt for the paid ones for advanced learning.
well this is thread necromancy at its finest but... if your dream is to do oils, you should pay for it. A paid site is usually a site that knows what they're talking about, so if you're serious about it, cough up the money and get real professional assistace.

although this was posted over 4 years ago, so you may have already found your own solution. X_X
 

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Since the thread was already necroed and it fits....

I use a quite cool online colour theory tool for work, to select colours for logos, promotional material etc, that Adobe provide.

http://kuler.adobe.com/#create/fromacolor (though 'front' page for the site is http://kuler.adobe.com/#)

Basically you can drag around the main (centre) point on the colour wheel and the other points show you colours that are related to it. You can select which rule is used to select the other points from the list on the left of the colour wheel. The OP was talkign about the complimentary rule but Analagous and Triad can also be good.

If you register for an account you can save the colour sets you make, and though not so much for minis, can download colour palette files you can load into adobe apps like photoshop, illustrator, InDesign etc. I guess you'd still have to guess/mix the equivalent paints but still a useful tool I think - and certainly if you use the Bolter & Chainswrod space marine painter you can take hex colour codes straight from Kuler to there.
 

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well this is thread necromancy at its finest but... if your dream is to do oils, you should pay for it. A paid site is usually a site that knows what they're talking about, so if you're serious about it, cough up the money and get real professional assistace.

although this was posted over 4 years ago, so you may have already found your own solution. X_X
You think somebody who posted here four years ago and has a post-count of one is ever going to read this thread again? :laugh:
 
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