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Is tonal mapping the same as a mottled layer


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:hmmm:

 

That's a good question. 

 

I believe it's about using tonal value to create the appearance of volume rather than breaking up a solid area with a subtle mottled look. 

 

The underlying mottling gives a very subtle variation to the overlying layer of colour which imperceptibly alters the appearance making the part less toy like hopefully conveying a sense of mass. A similar effect can be gained by the use of dot filters over the top colour, a technique popular with armour modellers for a while.

 

Tonal mapping might give it's best results on a figure rather than a mechanical construct like an aircraft. The tones would be built up over the curves of the figure and the face of the figure to suggest depth. A painter would utilise this effect best to gain more of a 3D appearance on a 2D canvas for example. 

 

This is just my take on it though. I'm possibly barking up the wrong tree. Hopefully someone else will be along soon with a better explanation. 

 

HTH

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I think you're going along the right lines Guy, the tonal values of areas referring to the "strength" of light or darkness at any point especially when compared to adjacent areas regardless of colour.  Anything that is too contrasty will immediately hit you in the eye as looking wrong, so subtlety and variation are key.  The scale effect of colour also comes into play as well in my opinion.

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As I understand it, they are two different things.

 

The tonal map deals with contrast (light vs dark) regardless of colours.

 

A mottled layer is a technique to break the monotony of a monochromatic (single coloured) area, such as snow or sand or sky in a painting.  To depict snow, an artist won’t use only white paint but a variety of colours which, in conjunction, would appear like snow under certain lighting conditions.

 

This technique has been developed in the 19th century by the impressionist painters and recently re-discovered by the ‘Spanish school of modellers’ who gave it the pompous name of ‘filters’.

 

Here’s an exemple I did some years ago on a Tamiya Skyraider. The aim is to break the monotony of the upper surface Light Gull Gray by adding spots of various bright oil colors and to cast away the toy-like appearance of the painted plastic.


Oil spots applied...

80131473-5654-440-C-A5-A9-586-FEC84-EDA8


CC1-D7-C5-F-89-BD-4-B54-9-FCA-9-B36-C8-E


After blending...
4-DB60-D78-D30-E-443-F-8970-8-CEE584399-


Final result...
B7-C527-DB-DABF-43-DA-939-D-50-EA98-EAB7


18-BFAD5-E-F995-471-E-BB0-E-C77443293-EE

 

Cheers,

Quang

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i wish iain mckenzie would weigh in he is  amember here but posted on facebook and mentioned  the term said he learned it here.  I  like the look Quang I agree that  subtlety is warranted and  sort of what your doing is also mottling but using color as well.  Since as real object fade and wear the colors in the paint change as well with a colored subject  like   a ww2 era p51 with a  color like  olive green( or raf dark green) the properties  of the paint and how it ages comes into play as well.  I think yellow underlay  although that may combine into green blue I am trying to achieve a  yellowish under tone hmm

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I see you have some magical Liquin on your bench Quang!  It has changed the way that I paint figures, given me the opportunity to paint wet on wet and produce subtle tonal variations but then dry virtually overnight so ready to handle.  Bye bye acrylic for figures!! 

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another thought is why did you use oil paint?  I use mostly enamels and lacquers and i am not sure that oil paint with its slow drying time etc is going to be a friendly  under enamel or lacquer.  btw your bench is as crowded as mine

 

Edited by dashotgun
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Liquin is the oil painters’ secret weapon. 
It’s generally used as a quick-drying medium but its main interest is elsewhere: with it you can extend the opacity of oil paints from 100% to practically 0%. I admit that your eyes won’t probably see the pigment at 0% but your brain does. :coolio:

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1 hour ago, dashotgun said:

another thought is why did you use oil paint?  I use mostly enamels and lacquers and i am not sure that oil paint with its slow drying time etc is going to be a friendly  under enamel or lacquer.  btw your bench is as crowded as mine

 

Try it before you question it! 

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i have oil paints and turpentine  amazon carries liquin magic. amenable to trying it  on a test bed.  So you are saying  dried oil paint is compatible with  enamel.  Lacquer  will cover anything I think

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Why does oil paint need to be compatible with enamel, I don't understand.  Just use oil paint mixed with liquin, experiment on a spare figure and find out what it can do.  I found it gives more flexibility than any other form of painting.  If you're getting some liquin it's advisable to get Liquin Detail - various consistencies are available right through to a stiff gel.  It dries to a slightly gloss finish so it needs a spray of matt.  Still work in progress, but an example of handling colour, light and shade using oil paint plus liquin that I could never achieve previously with acrylics:


EJwmZo.jpg


UWQAtX.jpg


38hnUF.jpg

 

lW6BU1.jpg

 

Edited by mozart
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3 hours ago, dashotgun said:

i have oil paints and turpentine  amazon carries liquin magic. amenable to trying it  on a test bed.  So you are saying  dried oil paint is compatible with  enamel.  Lacquer  will cover anything I think

I think you are getting a little mixed up. I’ll get back to you later.

In the mean time, here’s a very instructive video about the use of Liquin.

 

HTH

Quang

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/9/2021 at 6:13 AM, dashotgun said:

i wish iain mckenzie would weigh in he is  amember here but posted on facebook and mentioned  the term said he learned it here.  I  like the look Quang I agree that  subtlety is warranted and  sort of what your doing is also mottling but using color as well.  Since as real object fade and wear the colors in the paint change as well with a colored subject  like   a ww2 era p51 with a  color like  olive green( or raf dark green) the properties  of the paint and how it ages comes into play as well.  I think yellow underlay  although that may combine into green blue I am trying to achieve a  yellowish under tone hmm

Hi @dashotgun

Sorry for not replying earlier, I only picked up this post just now

@geedubelyer @mozart @quang are all pretty much on the right track.
My intention to doing the "tonal mapping"(for want of a better term, it's the first thing that popped into my head when I was posting on the FB group), is/was to create underlying volume and tonal variation to the final paint layer. Remember, the model I'm painting is overall RLM76, so irrespective of mottling which would create a worn/patchy effect (which I did as well), I had to get something down below my final topcoat which would create a sense of underlying volume ,subtle contrast and colour shift  in the paint scheme. IMO, the monotone scheme would look pretty flat tonally, even with mottling.

If you think in terms of photography, tonal mapping is used widely in HDR. where the luminosity effect of tonal values are evened (mapped) out across the image, i.e highlights are darkened and shadows are lightened to create a more even tone across the image - so instead of blacks shadows) having a tonal value of 0 and whites (highlights) a tonal value of 255, HDR would push the blacks to say 40 and pull the whites so say 210, with the mid-tone at 128.
So with that in mind (and think of the model as an image)- the RLM76 monotone scheme would be pretty high on the scale of luminosity (reflected light on the model) with almost no shadow value to speak of - so my intention was to push the contrast and depth of the tones up on the layers below the final layer of paint, so the final layer of paint would show that subtle variation and contrast in it, and have depth to it. 
It's difficult to see at this stage on the model in a photograph because of the reflected light, but that effect can be seen with the Mk 1 eyeball.
I  have wondered if I would have got the same effect if I had done some sort of variation over the final paint layer, but I still don't think that something like that would have had
the same end result. The picture below is not the best, (sorry - talk about reflected light ;)), but if you look closely you can see the tonal variation showing through, particularly on the wings and fuselage.

Would I do this if I was painting a very contrasty camo scheme? Perhaps not, the natural contrast pulls the eye in anyway. Perhaps if I were doing a light grey/darker grey scheme though. I think it would depend on the tonal contrast of the overall scheme.

Perhaps tonal mapping is not the best term, but the overall gist I think describes best the process I was trying to follow. Perhaps I'll use that term again :lol:;)

Cheers
Iain



m6StYX.jpg

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1 hour ago, dashotgun said:

I think i understand the theory but the technique is less clear

It's basically building up your own shadows and tonal variations using lighter and darker tones of the final paint color. You've got to map out where you want the variations

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