Need Help Applying Color Theory In My Tattoos


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J_money

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so lately I've been diving into color theory and started art school, but my problem is applying them to my tattoo's, I use to do B&G first then lay color over it but I'm just beating up the skin more than it needs, so I wanted to try to start using more contrasting colors and different shades for my pieces, but lets say I'm doing a red flower when I lay green down then red it always muddys up and I've mixed in the tube and same results, what am I doing wrong? do I just put the green and the red next to it and not over lap it, also do I want to lay a really bright red and a dark green correct, any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys!!!
 

troub1edsou1z

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I'm not sure why you would be going from a green to a red? If you're trying to blend contrasting colors they will muddy up every time. the key is your intermediate colors. Knowing what colors to use inbetween the contrasting colors to avoid them getting muddy. but I still am not sure why you would try and blend contrasting colors?
 

J_money

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I'm not sure why you would be going from a green to a red? If you're trying to blend contrasting colors they will muddy up every time. the key is your intermediate colors. Knowing what colors to use inbetween the contrasting colors to avoid them getting muddy. but I still am not sure why you would try and blend contrasting colors?
I know what you mean by bridging colors, but I've seen artists put green right next to red I'm not 100% sure if they blended them a little or not, I was always taught the black and grey method, so really my question is what are good methods if your only using color, if you were doing a red rose do you mix it with anything to dull it down without making it a mud color, do you use grey or black or would you do green/purple/red? I know this is a begginer question but the B&G method is the only one I learned, thanks for the help!!!
 

balooka

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Not sure this will help... but I used to airbrush and had the exact same problem with contrasting gradients. I used an online tool to figure out the best way avoiding the mud. I used the in between colors to a minimum, just enough to blend them from one to another.

This http://www.perbang.dk/rgbgradient/ looks a lot like what I used to find intermediate colors to get a smooth no-mud gradient.
 

troub1edsou1z

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it really depends on the style im working. For a rose (just the rose) again depending on style i would use black, medium red, and light red. or for more of a dynamic color range i would do black, purple (if im going with pinkish highlights or brown if im going to white highlights, then dark red, medium red, light red, and highlight. You can also add some tangerine and peach in there and it will give it a nice vibrant glow....
 

J_money

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it really depends on the style im working. For a rose (just the rose) again depending on style i would use black, medium red, and light red. or for more of a dynamic color range i would do black, purple (if im going with pinkish highlights or brown if im going to white highlights, then dark red, medium red, light red, and highlight. You can also add some tangerine and peach in there and it will give it a nice vibrant glow....
the style would be realism more than anything, so basically every main color you use for a design you use the next intermediate color like purple/red orange/yellow blue/purple, I've just really started learning color theory so I'm a little late lol, so you mix the purple/orange/blue with black and fade it out? thanks for all your help!!!!
 

J_money

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it really depends on the style im working. For a rose (just the rose) again depending on style i would use black, medium red, and light red. or for more of a dynamic color range i would do black, purple (if im going with pinkish highlights or brown if im going to white highlights, then dark red, medium red, light red, and highlight. You can also add some tangerine and peach in there and it will give it a nice vibrant glow....
and why the brown if your using white highlights? also have you ever used the intenze color solution? I got some but never use it, thanks for all the advice, my mentor was a traditional style artist so he never taught me color blending like this,so thank you
 

balooka

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Not tryng to hijack your thread but I have a question that relates to this...

I am trying to do a rose, from cherry to bright red to pink-ish and white highlight. Works fine but the black shades is what I am not sure about.

I use dynamic pure for deeper shades and a kuro wash to soften it. I tried shading first and blending the color in but seems ‘unnatural’ as the shade is not multiplying on the the colors. And going over the black with the colors makes it muddy and taints (?} the brighter colors. I also tried doing the gradient of colors and a bit of texture and add the shade afterwards which seems more natural to me, but I womder if there are pitfalls when doing shading last?

@J_money if you rather have me move this to a new thread I’ll do that but it is kinda related...
 

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If I am using reds on a flower for example, instead of shading black I may use purple instead, if not then a black wash or whip shading would be my choice.
 

balooka

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If I am using reds on a flower for example, instead of shading black I may use purple instead, if not then a black wash or whip shading would be my choice.

Thanks, do you schade before or after color? And if before, do you go over the shading or blend into it?
 

J_money

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Not tryng to hijack your thread but I have a question that relates to this...

I am trying to do a rose, from cherry to bright red to pink-ish and white highlight. Works fine but the black shades is what I am not sure about.

I use dynamic pure for deeper shades and a kuro wash to soften it. I tried shading first and blending the color in but seems ‘unnatural’ as the shade is not multiplying on the the colors. And going over the black with the colors makes it muddy and taints (?} the brighter colors. I also tried doing the gradient of colors and a bit of texture and add the shade afterwards which seems more natural to me, but I womder if there are pitfalls when doing shading last?

@J_money if you rather have me move this to a new thread I’ll do that but it is kinda related...
hell no bro this helped you explained it the way I couldn't lol, I really appreciate it bro so please don't move it, someone said as soon as you understand light u understand color theory, so I guess it's time for light study, my biggest problem is using light on a 2d image if that makes sense or with the type of light source to use on a certain placement of the body if that makes sense
 

J_money

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Thanks, do you schade before or after color? And if before, do you go over the shading or blend into it?
I know when I do it how I use to I always did color over B&G to show different tones, I tattoo better that way since it's what I know but I want to learn how to just use colors instead of B&G
 

balooka

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I know when I do it how I use to I always did color over B&G to show different tones, I tattoo better that way since it's what I know but I want to learn how to just use colors instead of B&G

Thanks. That's what I read and see online a lot indeed, shade before color. For my job I do a lot of photoshop work and almost always do shading last so it won't interfere with the colors I want. The shading is depth and contrast and I have more controle (I think/feel) doing it afterwards as it complements the original colors. I tried both; black washes before and after color and I liked doing it afterwards more than before but I'm not sure if that would result in a problem somewhere down the line. That being said, I still need to keep track of the light source since those are in the color part.

Is there a specific reason that you do grey shade before color? Or do you shade with pure black?
 

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Thanks, do you schade before or after color? And if before, do you go over the shading or blend into it?
Shades before the colour and I sometimes do go over the darker colour with the next colour to get a smooth transition, that’s just the way that I do it.
 

balooka

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Shades before the colour and I sometimes do go over the darker colour with the next colour to get a smooth transition, that’s just the way that I do it.

Thanks. I tried putting in some shade and then use soft pink next to it, blending it in and passing over it a bit to get a smoother blend but ended up with a not so soft pink, more grey-ish/ash looking because of the black that got mixed in.
I figured that soft pink could be a troublesome color and get muddy fast so I tried cherry and basically had the same problem, it went a bit dull.

What am I doing wrong here?

And is there a downside to adding a grey wash shade after color even if you do the harder, black shade before, so that you still have the darkest part of a shade there but keep the colors crisp?

That sounds complex but what I meant to say is dark part of shade -> colors -> soft part of shade
 

Goldwingdaz

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You can avoid the shading discolouring the colours that are prone to a problem by letting the lining and shading heal before packing and blending colour into the tattoo. Just an idea.
 

troub1edsou1z

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Using a grey wash as an undertone is ok, but it's going to mute your colors and will most likely muddy up your lighter tones. You need to use straight black and whip it out to get a nice fade, then pack your color over that
 

Wynncolor

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Use pure in your middle values, desaturate your shadows with a complimentary color and use a tint for your form shadow above your middle and you are good to go.
 
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DKJ

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thetattooyoyo
Use pure in your middle values, desaturate your shadows with a complimentary color and use a tint for your form shadow above your middle and you are good to go.

more info at xxxxxxx.com
Hello Faith,
can i ask you to introduce yourself (and why not, your company) before you continue posting?

Also, please refrain from sending soft advertising in your messages, like you did here by pointing out to your website. I edited your post for this very reason.
I'm not against a link in your signature, but advertising is not welcomed here without the approval of Nathan Molenaar

Be free to give all your tips, advices, and ask any question though, you're welcome!

Peace,

DKJ
 

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