View Full Version : Question About Skin Tones
10-03-2005, 11:18 PM
Would appreciate some suggestions about colors (Acrylic) for skin tones. I have played around with portraits in Water Soluable Oil but wanted to try some using Acrylics. Some of the colors that are available in Water Soluable Oils are not available in Acrylics and I do not know what to use instead. All suggestions appreciated for skin colors or all races.
Thanks so much for your help.
10-04-2005, 01:46 AM
I'm a newbie, but on the artists channel, Helen Van Wyck suggests red, yellow, white for caucasian skin, she didn't give specifics due to variation between brands and also from person to person. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
10-04-2005, 04:31 AM
Here is a link to a recent portrait I did of my Niece, Jolie WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=286428), I listed my palette colours within the thread somewhere.
Hope that helps!
10-04-2005, 09:56 AM
Would appreciate some suggestions about colors (Acrylic) for skin tones.Hi Annie, is this for caucasian skin?
I have played around with portraits in Water Soluable Oil but wanted to try some using Acrylics. Some of the colors that are available in Water Soluable Oils are not available in Acrylics and I do not know what to use instead. What colours have you used before?
For whites, skin is essentially a range of subdued tints of orange; the colour you'll use most of is Titanium White of course, with a yellow and red of some kind. Many people use an earth yellow with a true red (a cadmium being a popular choice) and sometimes add small amounts of a neutraliser (blue, green or black). Highlights generally would favour the red and white without any neutraliser, shadows are often achieved using additions of other colours to the midtone base but it's better to mix them from scratch in my experience.
We have portraiture and figure forums here as well if you'd like to have a quick search, there's bound to be a huge number of threads that can help.
10-04-2005, 05:13 PM
Thank you for the information from Einion, Eyeinthesky and Nitsa.
To answer a few of your questions, I am actually looking for colors for all races, not just caucasian. Also, I want to start a painting of a grandchild and her skin tones are very light and different than portrait that I have tried in the past.
In the Water Soluable Oils, I primarily used Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, and Alizarin Crimson with touches of Indian Red, Burnt Umber, Payne's Gray and Sap Green (for emphasis). Most of my portraits have been those of men, so far so the coloring has been a little darker and more rugged.
I will try to attach a previous portrait for your review and comments. I hope that I can do it correctly. I haven't done this for a while.
Thanks for your comments.
10-04-2005, 05:23 PM
There is an outstanding thread in Portraiture classroom on skin tones you might like to check out.
10-05-2005, 01:02 PM
To answer a few of your questions, I am actually looking for colors for all races, not just caucasian. For ethnic fleshtones I think a very good palette is Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Red Oxide and Mars Black. Various proportions of these will span the range from light-skinned Orientals to dark skins as you see in some parts of Africa and the southern Pacific.
Since you already have Indian Red that should work fine as the red earth and any black will do, I just prefer Mars Black to maximise opacity. With very dark skin you'll need to start paying attention to reflections which can be quite blueish.
Also, I want to start a painting of a grandchild and her skin tones are very light and different than portrait that I have tried in the past.Do you have any books on portraiture or figure painting? Check your local library for any books by John Howard Sanden, Wendon Blake or Douglas Graves. They're for oils but the colours work the same in acrylics and they should cover light colours like this.
If you can't find them locally I'd just favour the red in the mixture (plus white of course!) and possibly use a little of a crimson as well as, or instead of, the scarlet I would usually use as the base red. My favourite neutraliser is Cerulean Blue (Sanden's usual one) but a light/medium grey or a green that's not too strong or dark will work much the same.
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