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So I was painting a black tank (a custom made one out of a rhino) and I realized I didnt know how to do sheet black, I did basic highlighting but what else can I do ?
I dont realy have any project in mind but in general how do you paint black ?
It is good to remember that black things are only black in the shadows. Everywhere else they will be catching some light and be a shade of grey. How light and hard the highlights are depends on what type of black surface it is. Is it glossy, mat, or somewhere in between? Things that are very shiny will almost go as light as a white color in their highlights.
If it is a gaming piece this is what I do:
I paint the black --- black...
I then pick out the details of the model in other colors and spend my time highlighting and making those areas really look good. That way the black is not overpowering. These are things like trophy racks, scrolls, purity seals, emblems, gunners, etc.
Usually the natural light will fool the eye into seeing any necessary highlights and shade...
Here is an example of black armor with no highlights... Instead I added the highlights to everything else:
Now if I am painting a showcase piece I will most likely start with either a dark dark grey or maybe even a blue or brown and then ink it black so that the recesses are black and it graduates to a lighter color (not that light - just enough to see the difference).
Hope that helps some... I know others do it differently but it works for me.
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A nice thing to remember is that if you don't have enough detail, you can always add dirt. Make a muddy or dusty looking track by drybrushing to take the eye away from the never-ending expanse of black.
I tend to just do black with a few grey highlights here and there, but for the reason that it's so difficult to make anything of black, I try to avoid it.
So 1337 that it'll crash your physics engine.