Weight painting not always painting

Hi all Im trying to weight paint a model and Im having a few problems.

Firstly Im trying to paint a flipper of a penguin I have modelled, Im using automatic weights and editing them in weight paint mode. The main body of the flipper is red and the area where it joins with the body is green, when I try to paint on the green area with the weight and strength set to 1 (not really sure what the difference is between the two) either using mix or add nothing happens, I have to paint on an unpainted blue area (which I don’t really want to paint) next to the green area in order for it to work, at which point the colour spills over onto the green area. it doesn’t seem to matter how high I set my UV subdivision modifier either, same problem.

Secondly there is a dirty area of colour between the red and the green which I had assumed was pure red (as desired) but was just discoloured by the shading of the model, (again it won’t let me paint on this area) but Im not so sure because the mesh deforms in this area when I pose it (not desired).

Thirdly assuming I get this working and don’t go mad and close Blender for good, how do I then mirror all my hard work onto the other flipper ?

Thanks in advance for your help

You can use the ALT-CLICK and Drag feature to paint a gradient across a short area. Give it a try. Put the mesh in weight paint mode then press and hold the ALT key and click and drag across the mesh area. A line will appear to show the length of the gradient. Let go of the mouse button to lock in your new paint stroke. By default this is an additive process so the gradient starts off cool and gets more hot if you repeat the same gradient stroke in the same place.

Hi Atom thats not working for me, all pressing Alt + LMB does is rotate the camera. Still don’t know why the weight painting refuses to paint on some areas of the mesh even tho subdivision modifier is set to 3 or 4 it seems to be painting in squares, as if its painting to the base un sub divided model, and refuses to paint on some previously painted areas