Sunday, 25 December 2011

Neutralising Vinyl

I get asked often about neutralising vinyl colours to make them enough of a neutral colour to get a realistic final skin tone.  This step is one of the most important in the reborners art, understanding colour and how to cancel it out is an essential skill and takes patience, practice and a good understanding of the colour wheel, knowing what colour will cancel out another is really important. 

To start this series of articles on neutralising kits I will begin with a Secrist kit, Erin,  Secrist kits tend to be quite peachy coloured, you can just paint straight onto the kit un-neutralised but the finished result will still have that peach tone underneath your skin paints and doesn't really give the realistic skin tone that you want. 

It's no longer used technique to paint inside kits, its been shown that colour over time can leach through the vinyl so all paint work it done on the outside of the kit. 

To neutralise (cancel out) the peach tone of this kit and give a nice colour to work with the colour I use is a pale minty green.  This is applied all over the kit, although I do avoid using it on the lips and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet of my kit.  You can do the entire surface of the kit but as I am going to paint those parts of my kit a pink anyway it seems a bit pointless to neutralise them first. 

To make this colour I use the lightest Flesh Colour  (Flesh 08)  and Phthalo Green 06

There is a colour very similar to this called Earth Mint produced by Bountiful Baby in a pre-mix but I do think that it is good practice for an artist to learn to mix their colours from scratch.  If you mix it, you understand it and if you understand how colour is created and works then you can use it better. 

Mix your colour as you would any other skin layer, its much easier to apply paint that to remove it, so thin layers are the key.  I find that 2 or 3 ultra thin layers works a treat. 

I apply this colour to my kit with a mop brush or similar brush, make sure you don't have your brush dripping with colour and use a cosmetic wedge to pounce the colour in once it is applied. 

Leave your kit pieces to one side, do not bake straight away, it's much easier to see gathered colour and streaks once the thinners have flashed off. and then use your sponge to blend any streaks or gathers you may have developed.  Once you've done that, bake. Allow to cool and then assess whether or not your kit needs another layer. 

You can see in the picture the difference in colour.   At this point you can now apply skin layers as you normally would.