Thursday, February 24, 2011

Painting Question: Tyranids

by SandWyrm

Purgatus Writes:
Sandwyrm - I need you to whip out your color wheel-o-awesome and give me your thoughts on this:

I know it's dangerous to use four different colors. Let me know if I've gone too far or if I'm still within the lines of sanity here. Any brilliant suggestions would be... brilliant.


SandWyrm's Reply:

It's not dangerous to use 4 different colors. It's dangerous to use the WRONG four colors! :)

Let's look at the model:

And let's map out the colors:

Ok, so most of the model is painted in an analogous red-orange range. But you also have a green-magenta complement going on with the weapon hose and the lash whip. That's what's throwing you off.

So you need to decide whether you want hue contrast in your model, or if you want it all to blend together. Assuming you want some contrast, I'd do what you did with the eyes and make all your contrasty bits a bluish-cyan instead of magenta or green. Because that's the complement (opposite) of the red-orange hue range that most of the model is painted in.

But that also seems like a bit of a stretch. Why are you drawing attention to that weapon hose anyhow? What's so special about it? Pretty color combinations are one thing, but you should have a reason for why certain bits are going to contrast to the rest. Else it just comes off as meaningless noise.


  1. I have to agree; that greenishness happening around the whip and hose kill the composition. Also, you're implying that the whip and hose are the same, which is kinda... not good. The magenta under-shell I can live with, because it's not such a distraction.

    Otherwise, I think it's pretty well done, especially the bone colors and the weathering around the carapace bits.

  2. I kind of think the Green and orange are a bit out of place. The orange is too saturated for my taste, to be going with the bone.

    I do like the violet/dark blue on the undercarapace. I'd probably go with dkblue/indigo and bone for the majority of the model.
    or if you like the bone and orange, like Sandwyrm said, a dark (greyscale) tone light blue would work nice.

  3. Have you considered just painting the green parts a different shade of red or orange? Then it wouldn't stand out so much like stated above but still blend in and show that its a different texture than the already red parts.

    Just a thought..

  4. Nice! Thanks for giving it a look! I think the colors don't show up quite right in this photo - the reds are quite a bit darker IRL (not orange at all).

    I'll rethink the "fleshy bits." Thanks!


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