Jump to content

Subdued Colours


goldngreen

267 views

I was pleased to get a comment from Mikkel on the subdued colours I had used on the engine shed. Despite not achieving his amazing standards I thought I would share how I do it. Subdued colours are something I am aiming for on the layout as I always like the layouts with subdued colours at shows. On the engine shed I used The Gimp to subdue the colour of the printed Scalescenes Red Brick, however on the other areas and all over the rest of the layout I use pastels. I have two sets that I rely on:

 

pastels-2.png.9efca03c8ab21a7ef0603fadcfa4a132.png

 

The Black to White set is from a high street branch of The Works having seen a recommendation from BRM's Phil Parker. I picked up the landscape set at a show such a long time ago that I do not remember who sold it to me. It used to be available from Amazon but I have not been able to find it there recently. I did find one on eBay. Fortunately I have a spare!

 

On all painted surfaces and the scenery I paint using standard colours and then dull down using similar coloured pastels. I often use a few and then blend them on the surface with a dry brush. I like the finish not just for the colours but also the soft edges and the very matt finish. It works particularly well on ground cover and stone surfaces. They clean up well using the vacuum cleaner extension and can be sealed using a spray varnish if necessary.

 

The signal box was finished this way after being painted with Precision Paints GWR light and dark stone, plus Humbrol brick red and slate colours. 

 

Edited by goldngreen
Include credit

  • Like 3
  • Informative/Useful 1

7 Comments


Recommended Comments

  • RMweb Gold

Thanks for that, very useful! That black and white set goes directly on my christmas wishlist :)

 

Ah, the Gimp. I would so prefer to use it as a matter of principle -  but must admit I struggle with it. The interface doesn't seem very intuitive to me. Perhaps it's just because I have become used to other programmes.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
On 02/12/2020 at 08:02, Mikkel said:

Thanks for that, very useful! That black and white set goes directly on my christmas wishlist :)

 

Ah, the Gimp. I would so prefer to use it as a matter of principle -  but must admit I struggle with it. The interface doesn't seem very intuitive to me. Perhaps it's just because I have become used to other programmes.

 

I found The Gimp to have quite a learning curve. I still sometimes have to refer back to references and get online help when I come back to it after a break. I use it because it gives me pretty much the power of a full copy of Photoshop which I believe is currently £238 per year. It even includes features like nested layers which I use a lot in designing buildings for printing. The redeeming factors of The Gimp for me are:

  1. It is very powerful
  2. It is free
  3. You can become very fast with it if you use the keyboard shortcuts for which there is a Quick Reference
  4. The fact that it is free means there is lots of support. In particular it is easy to find short how-to videos on YouTube for almost anything you might want to do with it

I also occasionally use Paint.Net and just fall back to Paint for simple cropping and resizing. I rarely use my old copy of Photoshop Elements now as I find it as difficult to use as the Gimp and less powerful. 

 

What do you use?

 

I hope Santa is good to you with the pastels! :)

Edited by goldngreen
  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

In principle I use Paintshop Pro, which I began using ages ago when it wasn't owned by Corel. It works OK for me as I am used to it, but some would probably call it a bit clunky.

 

I increasingly wonder how much we actually need though. I use Google Photos for storing images, and the web version has some simple editing features. Most of the time that's enough. The only "advanced" features I find I need is to blank out a cluttered background, and occasionally Zerene Stacker for image stacking. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

In principle I use Paintshop Pro, which I began using ages ago when it wasn't owned by Corel. It works OK for me as I am used to it, but some would probably call it a bit clunky.

 

I increasingly wonder how much we actually need though. I use Google Photos for storing images, and the web version has some simple editing features. Most of the time that's enough. The only "advanced" features I find I need is to blank out a cluttered background, and occasionally Zerene Stacker for image stacking. 

 

 

I must admit I had forgotten about Paintshop Pro.  I used to use it. I will have to check to see where it has got to. I was not aware of Zerene Stacker. I will take a look at that.

 

I prefer largely card buildings in N gauge since I do not believe that I am capable of getting as a good a brick effect, at the small scale, as I can using a good printed sheet.  The signal box is an exception! Since my approach to making model buildings is to design them like a kit on the computer first and then print them off, I find I need quite a lot of the features in something like the Gimp. For example I would have layers called Walls, Windows, Roof etc. Each one of those layers would have sub-layers for individual facets of the Walls, Windows etc. I also like the advanced auto-selection features and the ability to soften the edge of selections. The colour, contrast and brightness transformations are useful. I also use photographs of real walls/roofs for some brick and tile effects for which I use the Gimp for squaring up.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I've only just caught up with this blog - some very nice modelling techniques, although N-gauge would test my eyesight too much!  Like you, I find those pastel sticks excellent for gentle weathering.

 

I have used lots of different photo editors but seemed to have gravitated towards Photoshop Elements, although I do not keep up with latest versions.  The underlying algorithms don't seem to have changed much in years - on the whole successive 'upgrades' have simply added more 'automation' tools, which I usually avoid.  I always prefer a direct hands-on approach!  My advice is to get thoroughly familiar with one type of software, so that using it becomes 'second nature' and only change if it won't do something you really need.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.