Tinkering Around With Water Colors

Discussion in 'Off Topic - Card Modeler Lounge' started by treadhead1952, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

    Hi All,

    After shooting photos for my projects in card models for more than a few years now it dawned on me that I was missing something that I used to use all the time with my styrene models. I will admit that I do sort of have a reason aside from just plain forgetting about it, I usually take a spring/summer/early fall break from model making to pursue out doors pursuits. In that length of time I neglected to start using back drops for the photos. I had some that I had made up from some large sized pieces of 1/8 inch card board that were sort of grey shades layered up that didn't detract from the model work at hand and kept back ground distractions to a minimum.

    With card modeling, my subjects of choice have been ships and I wanted a bit of a more suitable looking backdrop to use. While it has been a bunch of years since I did any sort of art stuff other than what we do here, and argueably, card modeling is an art form all in it self, I am talking more like painting. I do have some water colors on hand in addition to the stocks of acrylics, and enamels that I use for models so I decided to turn to and see what I could come up with. I had an old drawing tablet that still had a few sheets of medium grade paper that would work for this sort of thing and this evening after getting home from work I started tinkering. Now bear in mind it has been a bunch of years since I did any real art stuff and I am sure I have a whole bunch of long dead art teachers that are probably whirling dervishes in their graves by now with my efforts. But this is my first effort for a back drop. I will work on some more as I get time, but this will look a bit better than a cluttered up workbench top or the cover of a card model kit.


    So what do you guys use for this sort of thing? Do you have anything specific that you like to use or what?
  2. micahrogers

    micahrogers Active Member

    I had a large piece of black felt fabric that I used, the kids destroyed that though.
  3. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

    Hi Micah,

    Let me guess, Batmans' cape or something similar...sign1

    Nothing was safe around my house growing up, four kids, vast amounts of imagination, nothin' was out of reach.:twisted:
  4. micahrogers

    micahrogers Active Member

    It was 4 sq yards of felt one kid got a black cloak, the other got a ghoul costume.
  5. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

    Hi MIcah,

    Ah well, sounds like it was a good cause since you got a "2 fer" out of it. sign1

    Growing up with a 4 kid Navy house hold, you can imagine the hijinx that we got up to. My old Dad was glad that he got to put to sea as often as he did.:thumb:
  6. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    I sometimes use background to enhance my build thread. For my Gondolas, I used backgounds of The Venetian Lagoon. For Warhammer, I used the plans of the models as background and on the ALIENS dropship. I used screen shots and the plans page. They do come in handy and embellish your works better. I find that if I take a photo of my builds on the worktable, their is too much clutter to detract from the model itself. Mostly, I like to use a blank background with no clutter, other than the model or part to be made by itself. So with this entry, I do agree with backgrounds.
  7. tjbmurph

    tjbmurph Member

    I hadn't considered it before, but I like the idea of a background in keeping with the "theme" of the build. And water colours are great for that; adding interest without over powering the model itself.
  8. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I posted this pic once as some people we asking what the heck was it that I was designing. I don't think the picture helped? I actually started unfolding this (orderly, everything unfolds), but the weather is not cooperating! :)

    Attached Files:

  9. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

    Hi Zathros,

    I like it, a fly by past a critter. I guess not everyone sees things quite the same.

    I originally thought about using the water colors as a way to enhance the edges and spots on my card models. While it might work for a few things, I soon came to the realization that most ink jet inks are water based and a very large amount of control and experimentation is required to avoid messing up the color scheme on the model in efforts to touch up the small areas that require it. Not willing to give up on something that I really do enjoy (guess I didn't get water color painting completely out of my system after all) I am still looking at ways to incorporate the genre into my modeling.

    As to edge coloring, between Sharpies and Pitt pens seem to fill that little requirement for most of what I am running into there. The same goes for spotting in places that may suffer a loss of color due to glue issues, folds that may have gotten a little too sharp or a heavy hand in handling things. Although I have been able to use a sort of dry brush technique with the water colors for that in a couple of cases. Just have to remember that as water colors dry they lighten up by about 50% over what you see when first applied.

    I am working on a new painting that I will show when I get it completed. I really hate using a hair dryer to try and speed up drying times on water colors. They sometimes cause a shift in color values or result in other issues that just being patient and letting nature take its' course solves for you.

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