I posted a short video on how to mix a flesh tone for a portrait and that Video can be found HERE
In my last post I mentioned my challenges with this painting. Seems the challenges were smoothed out using Titanium white instead of a semi-transparent Silver white. I’m really enjoying using this very limited palette. I love these warm colors. ‘Feel good’ hues for winter blues.
I noticed that many of you are inquiring about Skin Tone Recipes. There is a mass mid skin tone colour for Caucasian skin. But remember this, our skin absorbs surrounding colour and light. The shadows on our skin are made up of color that is reflecting off our clothing, the the object’s complimentary colour and the ambient colour in our environment (background colour) Atmosphere, if you will. The light on our skin also depends on the colour of the ambient light and direct light. I do recommend only one light source, more than that creates problems and why complicate things? Keep it simple. For your light source, I recommend a 4700k light as it is neither yellow or blue, but right in the middle. This way you can get clean light and clean colours.
My suggestion is to make up color charts to help with mixing the correct colors. The predominant color here is Transparent red oxide mixed with small increments of all the colors on my palette. For instance, the first colour is Lemon yellow mixed predominantly with Transparent red oxide, then Pale yellow, the Cadmium yellow, next Yellow ocher, Indian red, Transparent red oxide, Alizarin, Viridian, Cobalt blue and Ultramarine blue.
The colors along the right side are full strength colors and moving towards the left, the colors are mixed gradually with white. I decided to stick to only five values. If the light source is coming from above, which is my preference, the forehead would be the lightest. Then the nose and cheekbones and then the chin. The cheeks would have the most color as there is more blood flow in the fleshy parts of the face. Depending on the color bouncing off the clothing, Our skin tone kinda has a greenish tone to it too. I think it has a lot to do with the color of our veins. Where there is lots of blood flow, fingers, toes, cheeks, our flesh is redder. Bony areas have more of a yellowish green tone. Think Complementary colors when painting flesh tone. If you want a certain area to look pinker, then subtly surround it with green and visa versa. I have included Venetian red and chromium oxide green on my flesh tone palette. I swear by color charts, you cannot go wrong. It’s a huge time saver and mostly saves expensive oil paint. Mix the correct color each time. Any questions regarding color charts, please feel free to ask.