You might remember I made a post a while ago about how to paint black hair. I'll put a card up here so you can go watch it. But today I want to talk about painting black things in general.
Now, I guess you're probably thinking the answer to the question, "what do you paint something that's black?" is "Black, duh." But that's not exactly correct.
In fact, I think you should almost never paint something that's black entirely, or even predominantly, black.
One reason for this is because, in order to have dimension, things need to have shadow and highlights. That means some parts of it need to be darker or lighter than the base.
Now I think you can see where this becomes a problem because if you've already painted something black, you really can't go any darker.
Take this picture of me in my black leather jacket for example. Here it is with three squares next to it. You can see, even if that’s a little too dark but we’re getting closer. Now I would say the best match is closer to somewhere between the second and third gray squares, than it was to the first black one.
So in reality, when you’re painting something that’s black, only the darkest shadows should actually be black. I can even remember being in my mom’s car as a kid and looking around at the interior thinking, “I know this is technically black, but a lot of it looks gray to me."
In the video below, you can see me demonstrate this concept by painting a board half black and half dark gray.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife