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Simple camouflage activation/deactivation effect by brush

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Hi folks!
I got inspired to do a simple camo-activation effect on an Eliminator recently and got so much fun out of it I thought I'd document the whole process.
I did the effect in blues, but the same principle will be perfectly applicable for any color you imagine.

Colors used are:
VMC Dark Blue for the main tone
VMC Blue Green for the mid tone
Schmincke Titanium White for the highlights (you want the purest white in your arsenal for cool tones' effects. For warm tones add a bit of yellow when highlighting)

1. Plan how the line of the activation will run and mark it with a broad uneven line. it doesn't need to be particularly strong or opaque as it's just a sketch at this point. I did 2 layers of thinned down VMC Dark Blue here

1.1 In this step I painted both the activated camouflage and the unaltered surface of the cloak. It's not an actual step in painting of the activation effect itself, but I think it's good to see how the thing looks like before we begin the painting proper :smile:
One point to mark here which I learned from my mistakes - it's good if the painted surface touch or even go onto the line we initially marked. It will make the transition smoother

2. Now we begin to glaze the chosen main color (VMC Dark Blue) from both sides onto our effect line creating zones tinted with the effect's color. It's best if those are uneven (easily done) and the one from where the effect is progressing from is broader. I went with the camo-activation effect, so I made a broader stripe on the camouflaged part. if you want to make deactivation effect, then obviously you would tint the uncloaked section more.
Take your time here. It's preferable that the glaze is really thin and you make more passes. I did 3-4 layers in this instance.
If you notice that the glaze blurred your camouflage effect too much at the end, you can enhance the pattern adding just a bit of glazing color to the mix.

3. Now the fun part begins and you start to see the effect :smile:
Paint a narrower line in your chosen mid-tone color (here: VMC Blue Green) inside the originally marked main-tone line. A general idea is to fit one line inside the other, but it's perfectly good if go outside in some places places. It's also good if you end up with a varying degree of opacity across the line. I used 2 thinned-down layers here. 
I'm calling it 'painting a line', but you can make it out of dots or lines or a mix of both. 
As an afterthought I added small lines of mid-tone that reach out from the camouflaged area to the effect line to enhance the feel of movement. Tried to be random, but did not quite managed to avoid a rhythm. 
If you feel the effect got too stark, you can broaden the main-tone glaze and/or add a delicate mid-tone glaze at this point.

4. Another step is to add white (or white+yellow if you go with say reds or warm greens or purple) into our mid-tone. Again we want to paint inside and along the effect line we have adding more coloration into in chosen (preferably random) places. If you painted those small lines reaching out from the effect line, those are good places to focus the highlights on

5. Final step is to add pure (or almost pure) white into most prominent highlight spots. With this step be careful not to create a rhythmic pattern as it will be immediately noticeable.
You can do it 2-3 steps thinning the color down a bit if you fear the granularity of your white paint. 

And that's it! You have it :biggrin:



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