Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Color Theory

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Olympia, Wa
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    108
    Thanked 197 Times in 87 Posts
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Color Theory

    As the rock washing experiments went along I realized a color palette was taking shape. Or one should have been taking shape. Color has never been my thing but I appreciate an eye catching scene. Somewhere I learned having 3 colors is better than only having 2. I know color wheels exist, also found color generators online. While practicing with scenery materials this seems like a good time to apply some color science. But I have none lol.

    A snap shot of an online color generator. I picked the off green color in the center. Hit the space bar and it shows combinations that (should) look good with my starting color.



    This combination had blue...another color I know will be in the diorama, at least as part of the backdrop. Green and brown turf foam is on it's way but I need to select a ballast color. Hopefully one that shows off the train. The problem is I like dark deep colors, whereas natural colors are usually more muted and washed.

    It's a fantasy scene so there are no proto colors for examples. Then there are lighting, viewing angle factors to consider. How do you think about, or apply color science to building a layout palette? Am hoping to avoid the garish green blob, or the gumball machine layout look.

    Thxs

    Edit: leaning towards this ballast color, will have some evergreen trees...and a red locomotive
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Woodland-Sc...a9edc264820d03

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Rook For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cincy-whatzit, Ohio
    Posts
    6,821
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    9,273
    Thanked 8,390 Times in 3,687 Posts
    Mentioned
    211 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I have been pleased by using lighter colors than real-world. We almost never get to view our small scale in lighting that is of similar intensity to outdoor sunlight, which means the gamut from shadows to highlights is a lot less. By painting things slightly lighter (for instance, I have a lot of black rolling stock, but I always mix my black with a bit of tan to make it a dark gray instead) and then, during the weathering process, giving them a wash of black, it helps the shadowed areas (where the wash settles, hopefully) seem a bit darker than they really are. Your brain adjusts to the dark gray as being the "black point" (comparing to a camera setting its white point), letting the true black of the wash be off-the-charts, as it were... i.e. a perceptually-widened gamut.

    My static grass is rather bright, compared to what Woodland Scenics sells as a "medium green". While their color might be a good match for an actual grass blade, if you hold the two side-by-side, it can come across as dark when photographed. I think it's more that the qualities of the light are told to our brains by how that medium green responds, and we can sense that the intensity just isn't there. By going lighter in my grass, our brains know what grass in sunlight is supposed to look like, and adjusts to this "green point", perceiving lighting of a greater intensity.

    Similarly, after seeing lots of photos of N&W mainline track with a lot of contrast between the ballast and the ties/rails, I came to the conclusion that my ballast should be much lighter in color. I'm fairly sure that I'm using ballast that is "too bright" to be a match for what they actually used, but it gives me the higher contrast that is indicative of intense lighting.

    All of this is readily apparent on my N-trak module when I get it set up with others, as my neighbors use ordinary darker colors. My module has the look of being at a break in the clouds in this context.

    I have heard it said that as you get smaller in scale, you want to get brighter in color, as it helps to reveal detail.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
    Could Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been a smarter movie with just one tweak? wpandp.com/how-an-interdictor-could-have-fixed-the-last-jedi/

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to WP&P For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,064
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    1,248
    Thanked 4,514 Times in 706 Posts
    Mentioned
    77 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    For anything made by Mother Earth, I go with muted earth tones: shades of browns, grays, and greens. For things that are man-made I look to proto photos. But even those are mostly muted after being weathered by nature. So my paint collection is by and large shades of grays, greens, and browns. I don't worry about contrasting vs. complementary colors for stuff on the layout, unless it's the trim on a building.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Olympia, Wa
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    108
    Thanked 197 Times in 87 Posts
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Am trying to push myself toward lighter muted colors away from rich brown and red walls. Gray is usually safe and complimentary it seems. A quick 3d where I'm headed so far. 20x30 micro...is it a diorama or a layout??? Anyway this is where I'm learning all about scenery. Due to the lack of track work it really is all about color in my mind. Thinking fall... paid for these so I'll need to make them work somehow. https://picclick.com/Woodland-Scenic...729785576.html along with some evergreens mixed in.

    snapshot02.jpg

    snapshot01.jpg

    For the little pocket line tourist train. Small enough I'd like to try to light it...maybe a shadow box. It can keep company while trying to build something larger. Need to read up on color points...not sure I'm clear how that works yet.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 1st Jun 2018, 11:22 AM
  2. CB&Q Color?
    By wombat457 in forum Structures & Scenery
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 11th Apr 2018, 09:36 AM
  3. MD&W color
    By nicki6 in forum Diesel
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 3rd Jan 2018, 09:14 PM
  4. What color should I use for.....
    By cboisits in forum Tooling
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 4th Nov 2015, 12:16 PM
  5. Wow! We have color.
    By bsczar1 in forum General Rail Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 28th Jul 2007, 10:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •