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Jedo
12-01-2013, 03:05 PM
Hi,

First of all, I am a (partially) colorblind and amateur artist so apologies if any part of my question sounds silly, but I am having trouble with the colors as I am trying to paint a character. So far I've learned that the skintone in the highlights tends to be high value and low saturation warm peachy color; the skintone that's in the shadows but still in direct path of the light is darker and more saturated peach and finally the skin that is in the shadow away from the direct light path starts going dark cold purple and blue (correct?). The problem I keep having is I don't know how dark the blue should be or how light or how saturated? How do you guys know how dark or how blue you should go when you paint? Just experience?

Here is a work in progress I am having trouble with. The dark cooler tones end up either too dark or too light or too something else. It never looks right. Her chest for example.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2013/975880-test.jpg

Mares Rex
12-01-2013, 03:29 PM
There is no such rule as "dark blue/purple when X or Y". It depends 100% on the lighting and the local color of the skin. It could be anywhere from green to red.

The only thing that's constant is value, as you suggested. The closer to the light source, the lighter in value. And vice versa.

It's all about observation, observation, observation. Which is very tricky in the beginning, but once you start to get the hang of it, you will start to have moments of clarity on a regular basis. It's an awesome feeling whenever that happens, I love those moments.

In the example above, you have both a temperature problem and a value problem. Hence the muddy look. The side of the tip of her nose would probably be warmer and lighter. Try that and see what you come up with.

Mythrill
12-01-2013, 04:51 PM
There is no such rule as "dark blue/purple when X or Y". It depends 100% on the lighting and the local color of the skin. It could be anywhere from green to red.

The only thing that's constant is value, as you suggested. The closer to the light source, the lighter in value. And vice versa.

It's all about observation, observation, observation. Which is very tricky in the beginning, but once you start to get the hang of it, you will start to have moments of clarity on a regular basis. It's an awesome feeling whenever that happens, I love those moments.

In the example above, you have both a temperature problem and a value problem. Hence the muddy look. The side of the tip of her nose would probably be warmer and lighter. Try that and see what you come up with.
I think that he's a color-blind person trying to depict reality close to how non-color-blinds see it (is that it, Jedo?) If so, no amount of observation will help him see what we do, so it would be nice to explain him how we perceive color shadows.

What colors can't you see, Jedo? From green to red? Just red? Or something else?

Mares Rex
12-01-2013, 05:10 PM
Oh, okay. Sorry about that. I'm at a loss then... Wish you all the best.

Mythrill
12-01-2013, 08:50 PM
Oh, okay. Sorry about that. I'm at a loss then... Wish you all the best.

No problem. Just help him by describing how you perceive skin shadows yourself. :)

karenlee
12-01-2013, 11:00 PM
I think skin shadows are absolutely the most difficult problem in painting, and that's without color blindness. I wonder if you know what specific colors you have difficulty with? Knowing this could help you stay in the realm of colors you feel more secure in.
My first recommendation would be to do sketches of yourself in different lighting situations, using only black and white in order to get the hang of value changes in shadows on the face. The values are the important things to master; then you can work on warm and cool value ranges using color. Color value ranges can be built using many many different color schemes--any color can go warm or cool. You should be able to recognize values in color even if you have difficulty with some colors, as values and colors are read separately in the eye. You did a great job on the hair. I think you will do fine with shadows, with more practice and experimentation.

Patrick1
12-02-2013, 04:14 AM
The edges and spatial form are well executed, but the shadows are too greyed...too much toward grey, blue or purple. I don't know the extent of the limitations of your color vision, but try not shifting the hue so much towards purple, and not greying so much - try using a darker version of the main color rather than using black or a complement. Although this looks like a digital painting - so in RGB, try darkening directly towards black, without greying.

Of course ambient lighting varies greatly - there is no one single right shadow color, but this 'too grey' problem is something I've had with shadow color on skin as well as all kinds of objects...especially on the 'warm' side of the color wheel.

Patrick1
12-02-2013, 04:20 AM
P.S. look carefully at the progression of colors here from light to shadow...quite saturated earths, pinks, reds, and oranges, not a whole lot of grey...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dROlMkSoxXk/UN9U_L8NomI/AAAAAAAAB1g/gXYmtji6ehQ/s1600/_DSC0081.JPG

Mares Rex
12-02-2013, 12:26 PM
No problem. Just help him by describing how you perceive skin shadows yourself. :)
Hmm... The only general "rule" I can think of is that shadows in the face are generally warm (toward red/orange), whereas receding planes/halftones tend to be cooler than whatever shadow color you have mixed. Don't know if this helps or not. Probably not... This is too hard for me. :)

DGrau
12-02-2013, 03:25 PM
Though anyone can use this potentially, especially since you are a computer artist you may find the use of a color picker to be your newfound best friend. This will entail of course either getting your image you are working from on the computer or searching for someone in a similar position and lighting situation..............or judging by any position just the coloring of a person which you find acceptable and comparing different values between your image and the false reference image.
If you are not aware of what a color picker is, ask about what it is an how to use it........and it is in your color editing software IE: adobe. If you do not have a color imaging software program you can download some free ones such as GIMP, though as a side note I have heard people say gimp is a bit hard to learn, and as such you may wish to find a different free program if you decide to use an editing program extensively for many things.
If you do not have a problem with nudity, open the following link to a past thread about skin tones. In this you will find squares of color found by the use of a color picker.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1318245
The use of color picker will also give you the advantage of both identifying a color and also by hue angle recognizing what color it really is in terms of intense colors by hue angle. IE: red = either 360 or 0, orange = 30. yellow =60 etc etc...
If you open the above link, as you look through the thread at the multiple photos you will observe what appears to be perhaps impossible colors selected from the areas they are pointed to. This is due to simultaneous contrast in the form of discrepancy of values. The following image which I created is one of those squares of color shown on a white background from one of the above images in the thread. In the following image you are seeing "the exact same color in every aspect" on a white, mid gray, and near black background.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2013/34090-flesh.jpg
They just appear to be different due to the above reason.

Patrick1
12-03-2013, 07:06 AM
I second David's suggestion of using a color picker. Without it, you'll see colors in the reference scene which are vexingly difficult to figure out. But when isolated as a single color sample, it's like a light bulb suddenly turning on...an "aha!" moment!

That's why I shared the link in my last post here...because the colors are thickly applied and discrete ...which makes it much easier to see what the colors 'really' are.

Jedo
12-04-2013, 02:58 AM
Thanks for the reactions.

I think my colorblindness is not a "see" problem as much as "identify/replicate" problem, and the problem does not include the color blue by the way :). I do use colorpicker on pictures a lot, but my issue is I don't want to keep using reference pictures. I want to know/feel what brightness and saturation to use.

I generally don't have a problem with the skin shadows if it is within the same hue. It's just now I am experimenting with a wider color temperature. I never used blue to indicate a skin shadow so now it doesn't work.

So from what I gather, with experience artists just know how cool to go?

Mares Rex
12-04-2013, 06:05 AM
Yes, I think it's one thing that comes with experience. If you look at the portraiture forum, lots of people, especially beginners, have problems with cool vs warm. It takes brush mileage (or the equivalence in PS) to get confidence regarding color temperatures. It can really tricky. I think we all struggle with it.

jorri
12-17-2013, 10:34 AM
do you know which type of colourblindness it is? i have problems with the red cones and was surprised to know i see reds at about half chroma but at the opposite end can differentiate more greens and cyans than most. (colourblind is the wrong word almost for those with different three colour vision)

but to me it seems that the blue shadows are nearly spot on, but everything else is too red....

but i just go with the flow and depict as i see, its a big part of painting to depict perception and people like to look at colours being played with a little because in the end they see the depth and light in the right way. i do ask if i have painted a sky purple of if a yellow is actually lime green though but i dont think i've really done this since school as i know whats in the tubes and seems too wrong to mix violet into a sky even if i see it....skin colours can be anything though theres just about any colour sometimes and monochromatic the next time.

llawrence
12-18-2013, 04:44 PM
I'd stay away from the purples, to me that's the main weakness with the image you posted. I don't usually see many purples in skin tones (real or perceptual), except in bruises or under an odd light source.

sword
12-23-2013, 08:12 PM
Your examples of color, tone and shading on deviantart are quite good, so I don't think the problem is color technique as much as with the tools in PhotoShop. That is the only application I found mentioned. A lot of people find skin tones quite challenging. I found PhotoShop to be *very* difficult for drawing and Gimp to be much easier. For real power over brushes, layers and blending methods the Krita application is excellent. Layers have been the solution for me to the balancing of tones and shadows. I have posted recently on the subject of 'skin tones' in Blenderartist and Krita forums under my same username. I find that transparent layers of basic orange or red over a very light grayscale layer can get the skin tone and shadow that looks good to me. Let me know if you can't find the references and I'll send them in a PM. I could post examples to my imgur account f it would help.

kinasi
12-24-2013, 07:41 AM
you have fear to use contrast

it is like you have fear to show what you made and you try to hide it, don't be fearful to show what you made

skintone is not that important, you can make someone with green skin look normal if the lighting is believable

cool / warm, I do not believe in that, it's subjective and the rule is not true in real life

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Dec-2013/1558522-fyjfjfjfj.JPG

kinasi
12-24-2013, 08:44 AM
another small issue I notice

skin has a quality to it, it is gentle and nice to touch, skin is organic

you made it look too inorganic

there is a difference between organic and inorganic material, practice lighting, stop caring about hue, hue is not that important, practice what quality skin has

regarding color picker, it is a crutch, don't use it to choose colors

do not rely on pictures too much either, if you use pictures, your painting will look dead, and my canon is better than you can paint. Use pictures to learn from, not to copy, copying is for canon and HP copy machines, there are no jobs waiting for human copy machines, that job has been filled by technology, they are faster and better than you.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Dec-2013/1558522-fhfhfhfhdgdgdg.JPG

Gigalot
12-24-2013, 01:30 PM
:thumbsup:

You can try Imagenomic Portraiture filtre in Photoshop to make better "Old Masters" stylish view.