In mini-painting, why are white and yellow so hard to paint?


In mini-painting, why are white and yellow so hard to paint?

In: Engineering

Two reasons.

First is due to how bright the colors are. Its much easier to darken something than to brighten it. Assuming you’re not simply dumping a bucket of paint onto a miniature, brighter paint will show more of the underpaint. This is the reason why its recommended to prime your miniatures in white if you’re painting lighter colors – i.e. dont prime your miniature black if you are going for whites and yellows.

The second reason is because of pigments. Every paint is made from pigments, and these pigments are obtained from variety of methods. Some might be from crushed minerals, other from some kind of crystallised oil, or dried beetles (yes, that is a thing) etc. The fact is, white paint is notoriously hard to work with due to its pigments. The closer you get to pure white, the flakier and less smooth it becomes. Simply using an off-white (like a grey) will make paint flow much smoother.

General advice when dealing with yellows and whites is to avoid using “pure” color as much as you can, and save it only for the most harsh highlights. When you have a white object, its not actually white. Its grey, with darker grey shadows and brighter grey highlights, and the absolute harshest highlights might be pure white. Similar with yellow.

Tl;dr – brighter colors reveal more underpaint, meaning it takes more coats to fully cover an area vs a darker paint. Pigments for whties and yellows are also harder to work with.

EDIT: Miniac on youtube has a good video about painting Yellows. Vince Venturella also dives into color theory with different types of paint.