Shading and highlighting black and white.

Still in a state of  joy/shock after the New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl, I bring you the next in a long line of blogs discussing color, when and how to use/utilize it, and why.

First, we will start with 2 simple colors, black and white.  Typically, I use a range that consists of a minimum of 3 colors when painting the jersey and helmet of a player.  But with white, I simply use one shadow color, and for black, I use one highlight color.  Before we get too far into it, we must understand the difference between warm and cool colors.  Warm colors range from red hues, to yellow, orange and some purples and pinks.  Cool colors range from blue hues, greens and some purples.  Greys can also be considered warm or cool, depending on how much red ar blue is in the color.  The following link is a good, simple lesson on the color wheel.   A little more than halfway down the page is where warm and cool colors are discussed.

Why… why… why does this matter?  When considering what colors to use when highlighting or shading a figure, you should take a step back and look at the overall color scheme of your team.  Is the color pallette warm or cool?  This simple question should help in guiding you towards which colors to select for your paintjobs which will aid in keeping your teams looking sleek, consistent and realistic. 

Every team has a white or predominantly white jersey and/or pant as a part of their home or away uniforms, and these days, a lot of teams are adopting a black jersey and/or pant as well.  When selecting the shadow or highlight color for a team that has this color of uniform, one should look at the rest of the color scheme for that particular team.  i.e.  the Indianapolis Colts main color is blue, this is a cool color; a cool grey or light blue should be used as the shadow on the white pants or jersey area of the paintjob.  Using a warm brown, or a warm grey would not make any sense with this color scheme.  On the other side, the New Orleans Saints uniforms contain both white and black (away jerseys are white).  Their main color is gold, therefore a warm brown is generally used as both the shading on the white, and as the highlight color on the black.  Using a cool grey or light blue would not make any sense with this color scheme. 

Below are pictures of a figure painted in a black and white uniform, highlighted and shadowed with a cool grey. 

 cool color layout

Next, we have the same figure painted with a warm brown used as both the highlight on the black, and the shadow color on the white.

 warm color pic

The following NFL teams I would consider to be warm color pallette teams:

Bengals; Browns; Steelers; Texans; Chiefs; Redskins; Packers; Vikings; Falcons; Saints; Buccaneers; Cardinals; Rams; 49ers

The following NFL teams I would consider to be cool color pallette teams:

Bills; Dolphins; Patriots; Jets; Ravens; Colts; Jaguars; Titans; Broncos; Raiders; Chargers; Cowboys; Giants; Eagles; Bears; Lions; Panthers; Seahawks

If shading/highlighting white or black on any of the teams listed above, I encourage you to to stick with the warm or cool colors associated with the team’s color pallette.  This will not only keep your team looking consistent, but it will also help make your teams come to life.


Until next time,



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