Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reader Question: Color Scheme For Lizardmen

by SandWyrm

Hey SandWyrm, this is Aus-Rotten from 4 Up Cover. I'm looking for a color scheme for my Lizardmen and unfortunately I am pretty fail in the painting department. I'm looking to have the Saurus and such be cool blues and the Slann to be cool greens. That's pretty much as far as I know what I want. I'm not very good at coming up with color schemes and I'm looking for some help.
SandWyrm's Reply:

I'll be using terms from my 2nd color theory article, so head here for a refresher if what I say doesn't make sense.

When you're stumped for a color scheme, it often helps to look at what nature has to offer. Typing "Colorful Lizard" into Google image search turns up quite a few possibilities, of which my favorite is this one:

Easy to paint and threatening looking at the same time. But we do need to avoid using pure black. Let's chart out a solution.

First, we'll try a straight red-cyan complement:

I like it, but let's see what an analogous scheme would look like:

You could go either way. Here's both with a Cyan (Ice Blue) marking over them. Think eyes or lizardman glyphs.

I think I'd go for the option on the right. Good luck!


  1. I like the use of color theory you apply to painting, but I'm a little confused as to why you need to avoid using black? I went back and skimmed through your other color theory post, but didn't see a defining reason.

    Black will create contrast (assuming you also use bright colors in the scheme--such as "Ice Blue"). additionally, painting black does not have to use an excess amount of "pure black" either, as even black has shades (well, at least it does on a painted figure).

  2. You should avoid using pure black because, like pure white or pure gray, it's a color that doesn't exist in nature. By using it, you'll kill the natural feel of the other colors on your model (or in your painting). So you should always add at least a little color to it.


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