Friday, 20 February 2015

Colourblind painting

One of the Ishihara test plates for
colour blindness.
My wife, as it happens, is blue-green colourblind. Technically, it' s a variant on blue-yellow colourblindness, but we have endless amusing arguments about the colour of dresses, and she tends to get very stroppy when our vicar uses green on blue text in his sermon Powerpoints.

I have occasionally wondered how people who are seriously red-green colourblind cope with hobbies like ours. If the thought intrigues you too, or you are colourblind or know someone who is, this article from Wargaming Tradecraft is fascinating reading.


  1. I am colorblind. Red/brown, Blue/purple and some variations in between. I usually have to be very precise about the colors I choose.

  2. Warning, the following has no relevance to wargame painting!!

    Interesting. I worked in the electronics/communications industry for 35 years
    and a surprising number of colourblind men managed to "pass" the medical.
    But I have never met any, or heard of, via friends or work colleagues of colourblind women. I believe the ration of colourblindness in men to women is in the area of 18:1.

    My brother also worked for a communications company & was working with a young lad each wiring an end of a cable to a distribution frame. When it came time to buzz out their work my brother discovered that the lad had the blue & purple wires swapped.
    He must have been blue/purple colourblind like Victor above.

  3. I'm the same as Victor, and have to take similar care. Years ago I'd memorised the GW colour charts (so scab red was darker than blood red etc), and then was careful about looking at labels. I struggle to do that with the new names, so I use a paint conversion chart off DakkaDakka to pick the equivalent vallejo paints, the write the old GW name on the bottle.

    As an aside, I read somewhere that camoflage patterns are less effective on us colourblind folks, because we go more on patterns than on colours - though I've no idea if that's true or not...

  4. "Reds, greens, and browns all blur together, and so do blues and purples." - Exactly the same for me. I also use the labels on the paints and I am careful to note which part of a figure I painted which part - if I don't, I usually end up giving them a second coat in a wrong color. When painting sci fi forces, where I have to invent a color scheme, I always consult with my girlfriend, otherwise the armies might look rather strange...

  5. My father is green/brown colourblind. Is quite extrange, really :/ (anomalous trichromatism)

  6. I am mildly color deficient myself, but that just means I have to read painting guides very carefully for khakis and olive greens, as they all sort of blur together for me.

    Sorting Axis and Allies pieces was always a challenge for me, as the brownish Soviets and Greenish Americans were essentially the same color...


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