Friday, 6 December 2013

Skin Tones

The book I talked about in November (The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head) really has had a huge impact on my drawing and painting. I feel I'm getting closer to 'realistic' style. So this week I decided to tackle mixing my own skin tones with acrylics. I've always used Ceramcoat & DecoArt out of the colour flesh tones and that's been fine but I do like a challenge sometimes. :-)

I did a heap of on line research and the general consensus is yellow, red, blue & white in varying amounts. Which is obvious really because that's all that every colour is made from. Doh!

What I hadn't thought about is that each primary colour has a warm and cool version and that has a big effect on colour mixing and that some colours are opaque (the cadmium colours) while others are more transparent (like the quinacridones) which will have an effect too.

A few mixes to try:

Cool opaque
Cadmium Yellow Light
Alizarin Crimson
Utramarine Blue
Titanium White

Warm opaque
Cadmium Yellow Medium/Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red Medium
Manganese Blue
Titanium White

Cool transparent
Quniacridone Gold
Quinacridone Rose
Cobalt Blue
Zinc White

Warm transparent
Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold
Quinacridone Red
Cerulean Blue
Zinc White

Whatever mixes you choose the principle is the same. Mix quite a bit of yellow with a touch of red then lighten it with white to create a base colour. Lots of room to play here. Then add even less blue to cool the colour down a little. Once you have a base colour you can add white to make highlight colours and blue or blue/red to make shadows.

Practice practice practice! And let me know how you go.

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