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A Quick Method For Painting Black

Pylon ‘Look Alive’  

Black can be a difficult colour to paint. There is a scientific explanation for this – namely that God decided it shouldn’t be an easy colour to paint. He tossed a coin.

There are some good guides to overcoming this, such as MassiveVoodoo‘s, or FlameOn‘s – but for a more straightforward rank & file approach, I use these colours:



1) Basecoat – black:


2) Wash with Smoke:



3) I don’t layer highlights on when painting black this way, because it turns the colour grey. Instead, keep the colour-transition minimal, by edge-highlighting in two stages:

i) First edge-highlight – mix a small amount of Khaki with black (dark grey).

ii) Second edge-highlight – add more khaki, to the above mix (light grey)

Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t photograph black very well, but you can see the edge-highlighting on the right elbow pad and Glove:


4) Glaze – black:


It’s not an artistic method; but it makes for an easy way to paint an effective black colour-scheme.


2 responses »

  1. The key to painting black is don’t use just black. Abaddon black or any base coat black is completely without depth. You need to add another colour to the black to give it a slight tint. Adding turquoise to black would be an obvious example.

    • Hi – sorry for not replying sooner. Yes – there’s no right or wrong way to paint black; it just depends what kind of effect you want. In this case, something that was quick to paint, and which would look suitably archaic.


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