View Full Version : Skin Help, Please--WIP

05-01-2003, 12:05 AM
Help, please!

This is my first hand painting ever. It is a crop of Andy Lavallee's son and grandbaby's hand.

At this time, I am asking for help with what colors to use for skin tones.
On the daddy, I've used violet underpainting, with very light washes of Burnt Sienna and Permanent Rose, and on the baby's hand, violet underpainting and very, very light washes of Permanent Rose. So far, the shadows are just many washes of Winsor Violet.
I have not finished modeling the baby's fingers, but am close to finishing her daddy's. The turqoise spots are the places I have used Masque to reserve whites. BTW, I'm rather proud of how little Masque I've used--I trying to learn to do without it when at all possible.

I'll work on all other problem areas later, but could use suggestions on the skin tones! Thanks.


Ref. photo--cropped

Approx. 7" x 7" Arches 140 lb. cold pressed WN
Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet, Permanent Rose


05-01-2003, 03:40 AM
Lyn, good start :)

For skin tones I like using W&N raw sienna for light tones, then quin. magenta and W&N burnt sienna and the odd touch of vermillion hue. For shadows I use pthalo blue (gs). All of these are transparent, giving the skin more luminosity.

I think you need more pinks in dad's hand, and more yellows in baby's hand.

Just a thought, you could emphasise the roughness of dad's hand against the soft baby hand.


05-01-2003, 04:57 AM
Bless you, my child! Some of those colors I don't have, but you hath lighted the way:D


05-01-2003, 06:13 AM
I use Burnt Sienna +Crimson Alizarin as a rule, substituting Burnt Umber for darker skin. For shadows I add Ultramarine blue to the mix. For rosy cheeks I use a pale alizarin overwash.


05-01-2003, 09:11 AM
Hi, artmom! I'm with Yorky here. Aliz. Crimson with Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber - if I need some yellow undertones a little Lemon Yellow or New Gamboge (depending on if it needs a cool or warm yellow undertone) or if blue needed FUB or cobalt. Of course, on Al's portrait I used the stuff in the middle of my plate.:D thus breaking all the above set rules.

I also try to lay in shadows with FUB since it lifts easily (and I mess up a lot).

Great start here! And I'm glad you told us what the turquoise spots were - I first thought, "Oh, gosh! Lyn's lost it!" or that you had gone Fauvist on us.


05-01-2003, 09:18 AM
There is a artlicle in the post : in Helpfull links posts & articles above . about Skin tones, which I found helpfull.

It is under :Color palettes and mixes,

05-01-2003, 09:19 AM

did you ever see that skin tone thread?

has all the colors and how to mix them......I'll go find it

I think the baby's hand is close to ok as is


HERE YA GO (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26538&highlight=skin)

05-01-2003, 09:34 AM
Hi: All I ever use is alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, burnt sienna. For shading I use cobalt blue, cobalt blue/crimson mix or hookers green. Veridian green is good too. I use dark purple browns or blue browns for very dark areas like that spot in between fingers where they connect or if fingers are laying on something and you have darks between or under. With fingers, less is more. I use these colours above to layer and not mix skin tone on a palette. I start with yellow ochre and a tint of crimson. It is easy to tone down hot colours later, if they are too warm. Build up your structure in monotone then add details loosely until desired structure is achieved. I leave whites by dropping shapes loosely around the white of the paper. Blocking off usually gives hard edges. You can lift back paint pretty well to the paper again if you go a little to much into a spot that yu wanted light. This you do with a damp brush, dabbing on a paper towel as you go in and lift, then dab, then lift. Almost like rubbing lightly. Add fine detail carefully, more to suggest detail than having actual lines.

05-01-2003, 03:27 PM
Hi Lyn, Thanks for using the picture. I havn't attempted the skin portrait touch yet, but looking at this thread I am amaized at the number of colours that go into a skin colour its mind boggling, with your permission when complete I will print out the thread and put it in Her keep sake box BTW its Son-in-law and Grand daughter Gary and Allanah.

05-01-2003, 04:43 PM
I mix Permanent Rose and Naples Yellow for skin tones. Then I paint some on the back of my hand to see if it needs more pink or more yellow or more water.:D

05-01-2003, 08:47 PM
Wow! A myriad of colors and of answers and some great tips, too!

I'm going to study your suggestions and decide which colors would work best for the vision I have for the painting. Then I will try to put my vision on paper! If it all works, I'll post it--if not, I'll try it again. I'm determind to paint this! LOL


Thanks, all, for taking the time to look, comment, post and most of all, for caring!