Do you want to know how to make skin color for your paintings?
It's not hard. We can have the joy of painting portraits when we learn how to mix skin colors.
All skin colors are a mixture of red, yellow, blue and white. This combination of colors will make skin colors for watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings.
There was a request on how to make skin color. I thought oh my, because people are not my normal subject.
The first and last time I painted people was in 1982 and '83. First was an American Indian, then a little boy and lastly two girls. That's only three people paintings, ever!
When we understand color, then we can mix the colors for landscapes, animals and people all the same.
It's important to get a drawing before we start painting.
This drawing was put on watercolor paper with a pencil.
Double check the drawing while doing the underpainting. Make the necessary adjustments now before starting colors.
This subject had dark hair and eyes that are the darkest values. There was a dark shadow under the chin.
The lips were painted too dark. Don't underpaint them that dark.
The face is the lightest value. It is not underpainted, except for a small shadow on the right side by the hairline.
The values in the shirt are a thin wash of the same color mixture.
We make skin colors from the three primary colors.
This demo is watercolor. Oil color names are the same. Acrylic color names may be somewhat different. Just use a trio of primary colors.
Watercolors use more water and less pigment for the lighter values. The white paper shows through the color to lighten it.
Oils and acrylics will use white for the light values. But remember that white paint cools the colors.
We may want to lighten warm colors like orange or red in oils or acrylics. Try using yellow instead of white, so the color will remain warm.
All of these skin tones were mixed with varying amounts of the three colors. Even the lighter tones are a mixture of red and yellow with either a little blue or a mixed green to tone down their intensity.
Let's do the hair first to frame the face. With the hair done we can turn our attention to the skin and how to make skin color.
You may have noticed a variation of light and dark values in the underpainting. That's because I was deciding which way to paint the hair.
One way or other is just a matter of preference.
I mixed a variation of lighter tones of brown, even some violet and blue.
Paint the light tones over the dark values. Paint loosely with abandon, not strand by strand.
Notice the light is coming from the right side. So the hair on the left of the head is shadowed, darker.
Prewet the forehead, so the paint will go on smoothly.
Start painting on the left shadowed side and paint lighter to toward the center. Paint the yellow down onto the nose.
The middle forehead is in full light. It is still damp, so the colors will blend together. Paint it with the rosy tone.
Curiosity got me, so I put some of the rosy tone on the right cheek to see how it looked.
In my photo there was some green-blue in the middle of the forehead. I put it in and took it out later because it didn't look good.
Paint the shadow color on the right side of the forehead. The hair is sticking out and makes a shadow on the edge of the face.
Prewet and then paint some shadow color on the nose side of the right eyebrow down to the eye. Then blend it into some rosy color under the center of the eyebrow.
The lips were painted fairly dark in the underpainting. I supposed a glaze of red would go over the dark value.
That was a mistake. Red did not even show over the dark underpainting.
So, I did my best to remove the dark paint with a damp brush. That didn't take off hardly any paint.
Finally, I blow-dried the area. A pencil eraser removed the excess paint to an acceptable value.
Prewet under the eyebrow and the right side of the face. Paint the rosy tone up the right side. Join it to the color on forehead.
Prewet and paint the left side of the face blending it up into the forehead color.
Notice the highlighted area under the left eyebrow.
Start painting the left side of the nose and the neck.
Mix any shade of red or pink you wish. I went through several shades of red before deciding on one.
Notice the top lip will be lighter. There is a shadow under the bottom lip.
Ultramarine Blue is a perfect shirt color.
Prewet each area of the shirt, as you get to it.
Have fun painting the shirt loosely and watching the watercolor flow.
Start where ever you want. I started on the left side of the face.
Complete the left eyebrow with the underpainting color.
Use the underpainting color for around the eye, a shadow under the bottom lip and inside the mouth.
A lot depends on our style of painting. We may want to see brush strokes and the break between different colors. This is joyful method of painting portraits with oils.
This painting is a smoother type. Look over the skin and see if the colors transition well into each other.
Does it look like a smooth child's skin?
We both have experienced how to make skin color. It was a joy sharing with you.