Dr. DDevil: How to Paint Yellow Without Fear


Hello Deesciples!

It’s been a bit since I did my last painting guide, but I am here to finally show you how I do my second most requested color. With the new revamped Defenders affiliation stealing my attention, I knew it was time to paint something new. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love the X-Men.

In order to do a guide though I knew I was going to need a model. I, personally, would be filled with unbridled rage and get put into way too many comic books for financial reasons if I were to buy this model from anywhere other than Bearded Dagon Games since I would be missing out on the bubtastic code of PCME10 at checkout to get a sweet-as-maple-syrup discount. Listen to me Bub, when I tell you that you won’t be disappointed if you get it from this amazing store.

Recently, a new way to painting yellow has been popping up that I believe was popularized by Goobertown Hobbies in that you use a pink undercoat to get a rich and warm yellow. I have tried doing this myself, and it did actually work. However; I eventually just went back to my old methods since I am a crotchety old man. I have always used a nice warm brown as my yellow basecoat since I think it accents the yellow so wonderfully. The darker color also makes the poor coverage of yellow much easier to deal with. I think I have come to appreciate Skraag Brown so much that it is on every single model I have painted for the past million years. I might have a problem. Anyway, lets get to it.

Yellow Paint List:

If you decided to order anything from Monument Hobby make sure you use the code PROFESSIONALCASUAL for a swanky discount as well. It directly helps me out.

My painting station is messy. I am not proud of it, but it is what it is. Kiss me about it.

For any paint job, we need some inspiration. The classic Wolverine outfit contained larges amount of blue due to the old Hickman-run art. Personally, I think the blue makes it look too busy so I wanted to go with something slightly different. I am more partial to Wolverine’s more recent outfits that push away the blue and goes with all black and yellow. I have always adhered to the thought that too many competing colors can make a model difficult to look at. The more limited palate will keep it simple and keep a very effective yellow as a real show stopper. Which is perfect for the type of yellow that we are about to do! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES!?

This must be recent Marvel art. It is just literal perfection.

First we do 2-3 layers of GW Skraag Brown on the areas that we want to paint yellow. It would be wise to water this paint down a little bit. Many of the GW paints apply very badly since they can be especially thiccccc. If it is not watered down enough it will goop up on the model and can be very frustrating to work with. Thankfully, when you have painted as much as I have you just accept this frustration as your master and you keep the screams internal so not to bother the neighbors. Thankfully, Skraag Brown isn’t the worst offender, but it is never a bad idea to make sure. Put a couple of drops of water into your paint on your palate, please. Cover all of the areas as sloppily as you like and just make sure it’s nice and opaque by the end of it. You need a nice solid basecoat for colors like yellow since any mistake now will only get amplified by the pigment content of the yellow.

It always looks terrible at the start.
I always appreciate the etched details in AMG models.

Oh, so you came here to actually paint yellow? Fine, lets start by throwing some Monument Hobbies Warm Yellow on this angry canadian. As always, at this stage it is much more sketch-based painting than it is fully knowing where everything is going to land. I don’t mix this yellow with the brown before-hand since I know that I will be going back with some watered down GW Skraag Brown glazes to balance the paint job out at the end. Leave some of that delicious brown in the deeper parts of the model. Now, the first thing to remember about putting yellow down is that the pigment content is going to be much less opaque than other colors. You are going to have to do at least 2 coats of the warm yellow. Thankfully, the brown undercoat is helpful for coverage since it will also be the color in the recesses. Less surface area for you to have to cover in yellow is a boon since it also helps give the color depth.

Again, it always looks like buttz when you just start getting everything on the model.
Used this picture to show the difference between the yellow after two coats on the top, one on the bum, and just the brown along the back of the leg.

To reinforce how important the coats are to this color I went back and took pictures after the second coat of warm yellow to show you how it looks.

See how much brighter that yellow turned out. And it is still the same colors.
Due to the way yellow paint works, don’t panic over brush strokes at this point. It is much easier to get them out with some glazes later.

Next, we pull out the GW Phalanx Yellow and put it on the wet palate. For this color, I will take the previous color and mix just a little bit into it to make sure the colors have something to tie it together. This is the yellow that is going to make it look WAY more appealing since it starts to give it some brightness that the human eye really appreciates. Now is when you need to know which direction the light is coming from. I usually go with up and to the left of the model since that is my predictable habits showing themselves. It can work from any direction though as long as you keep it consistent. With a direction chosen in your mind it is easier to keep the paint pointing that direction consistently. This lets us have a gradient over flat surfaces like his pecs and gives the abs some depth.

I even went in to block in the black chest line things since it helps your eye establish what the paint is going to look like when the model is finished.
Even with a fancy camera the depth is hard to see. More contrast will be established when we go back in with the brown.

Again, here we are at the crossroads of where many people will stop and many other people will keep going. When you live the kind of life I do, you are going to always be seeking that contrasting values. Much like my personality at a tournament, I want people to see all kinds of mental problems when they look at me.

We mix in some MH Heavy Titanium White with some of the GW Phalanx Yellow from the previous layer. The most important part is to add the white slowly so that you can control how it looks. If you put TOO much white in there you will take away the delicious yellow and just start painting white. This might be to your benefit though if you are painting something more reflective like metal, but that is a discussion of what texture you are trying to paint. For a generic paint job, mixing in just enough white to make it a new shade of yellow is enough.

Can start to see it slowly coming together.
At this angle you can see the deep recesses still have that brown making the yellow look brighter.

Then go back in with the GW Skraag Brown and smooth out the transitions to try and get rid of any unseemly brushstroke lines or bad color gradients. This is pretty easy with some watered down paint that you drag into the recesses. My only advice is that you leave the highest points alone unless it looks super out of whack. Make SURE that if you do this that you do it slowly and make sure that watered down paint does not settle in a puddle since it will leave a awful hard edge paint ring on your fancy paintjob that will cause you to call Tim at 4 AM and drunkenly cry into his ear about how your life is falling apart.

Or you could just take the middle yellow and cover it up with some glazes. We all handle problems differently.

At some point in the process I would go in and start blocking the other colors. It is hard to see any one specific color on the model until the colors around it have value since your eye gets tricked by only seeing a single color. Once the blacks and skin colors start taking up space on the model your eye is able to distinguish how the color is going to look much more clearly. This is why it is important to get all of the colors on the model before you fully judge how it looks.

The yellow looks much more prominent now that the blacks have been finished.

These blacks were painted the exact same way as my How to Paint Cool Black guide.

After going back in and lightly glazing in some more brown and painting in the black parts, you can now see the change in transition along the back of that leg.

Eventually, the base must also get painted, and I admit I love how simple and effective my method for it is. I will do a separate tutorial on it later, but the base was done in my usual concrete way with some light blues and whites. I am very well known for my basing, and I aim to keep it that way, bub. I honestly think it’s one of the most overlooked parts of the process. Naturally, I painted the skin the exact same way as my How to Paint Fair Skin guide. You can’t mess with perfection after all.

Logan is angry that he dropped his favorite red cup!
Make sure you keep the direction of the light the same between the colors. You can tell the right arm is getting more light than the left arm.

After we dirty up the base we got ourselves a finished angry Canadian. You can see that adding a little grime to that concrete REALLY helps it stand out. Large flat surfaces like that are just BEGGING to have a little glow up like that. GW Typhus Corrosion is my answer for that.

One of AMGs better faces in regards to their faces.
Just gluing some sand to the base in certain spots adds some exciting depth to the base and model overall.

Here are some other examples of models I have painted with prominent amounts of yellow.

Varangian For Infinity
Varangian For Infinity
Proves that the yellow might even be BETTER as a supporting color and not the main colors on the model.
One of my earliest well done attempts with this specific technique. I can see many areas that could be improved, but a painted model is a painted model.
That spot between his shoulders is perfection. Nice and bright on the edges and that delicious warm brown in the middle.

And here is the fully finished model inside the lightbox for optimal eyeball enjoying.

Make sure you stop and appreciate the areas where the brown gives the yellow some delicious contrast.
Logan’s biceps must make up like 50% of his body mass. That was a short person joke, Taylor.

Thats another one in the bag Deesciples!

This model took a little longer than I was expecting, but there is a lot you can do to make this model really sing. I was not able to do all of the tutorialing that I wanted to do in this article so the next one should be pretty close behind this one.

Make sure you tip your waitresses and bartenders on the way out, and use the code PROFESSIONALCASUAL if you grab anything from our best pals at Monument Hobbies. Like seriously, when you do that, it really helps us out and we love you for it.


Dr. D out.

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