As promised, here is a picture tutorial of how I accomplish my 'black'. The biggest problem I have with painting black is how flat it looks. If you look in some comic books, they will use a dark blue as a black so that it is not a mass of black pages. That was the same idea here.
I use four colors, and all of them from some craft store from years ago. Rather than using a sharp contrast in the highlights, the point here is blending, but in a lazy way. Water is an awesome aid.
Step 1: A normal black is used as a base coat... more often than not its a flat black primer from a spray can.
Step 2: The second coat is called "Charcoal Grey." Probably any Dark Grey will do (75% black, 25% white or darker). This dark grey will be painted on all the raised surfaces so that blacklining is the intended effect. If grey makes it into the cracks where black should be, I grab a bigger flat brush if the paint is still we and brush it out or repaint black in the crack. Neatness counts for me. Note that this is not a dry brush unless it is for the finer details and/or I am feeling lazy. I usually skip this color for very fine details like the little chains or the place where the marine's mouth would be on his helmet. Basically anything that requires a 30/0 size brush to get to, skip step 2.
Step 3: The third color used is a grey-blue, oxford blue. I forget the name off the top of my head, but this is a blue-grey. I will get back to you on the specific color. But this grey-blue is mixed 50-50 water/grey-blue at least. The high amount of water will make the paint somewhat translucent so the blending is easier without having to mix it with the dark grey. Also, instead of painting parallel to the edges, try to use the brush to apply the paint in perpendicular lines so that the highlight isnt obviously the same length away from the edge. All raised areas and edges get 2 or 3 fading highlights. Another way to say it is that you are trying to blend the dark grey into the grey blue so that the blend is seamless from a couple feet away. I also put one or two coats where the light shines off the mini. If you put the mini under a lamp, you can see that the light reflects from certain raised areas. I will put a single, watered down, coat where the light shines to highlight the... well, highlight. If you look on the upper legs, you can see the grey-blue streak.
Step 4: "Hippo Grey" is the final color, about 50 to 75% white and 50 to 25% black. This is the only color that is used a highlight in the sense that it is painted only on the top edges where light would reflect, and even then sparingly because it is in such sharp contrast to the other colors you would use. I do not water down this and use the flat edge of the brush so the highlight is very thin and subtle.
Here is how it will look when other color is added. I am still working on the mini, but painting furiously to finish it tonight or tomorrow so you can see the final effects:
I hope this helps.
Edit: To match the colors used with the Citadel Colors:
Hippo Grey = Fortress Grey
Oxford Blue = hmm, you have have to look this one up, looks like a mix between codex grey and shadow grey. anyone know about colors?
Charcoal Grey = a little darker than codex grey
Black = um, Chaos Black
Edited by Jolemai, 14 October 2020 - 08:57 PM.