View Full Version : portrait question

05-26-2011, 06:24 PM
I would like to paint a portrait of an old lady of 85 but being new to acrylics i am unsure of what colours to use for her skin tones and where to start.
I have read of underpainting and it sounds interesting and have looked at the threads too but cannot find a suitable wip to follow.
Can anyone help or point me in the right direction please?

05-26-2011, 06:39 PM
There's actually a whole forum for portraits here:


They can probably help a lot.

Lady Carol
05-26-2011, 10:46 PM
Okeekat is loaded with info on skin colours. You could PM her. She has lots of good advice and freely gives it. Her portraits and awesome.

05-27-2011, 05:03 AM
"Old lady" of 85 years:confused: You must be very young.:lol:

05-27-2011, 06:21 AM
Very many thanks for all the help and information, i appreciate it.
I would love to do a portrait of my mother aged 85 but i haven't done a human before so needed the help,lol.

05-27-2011, 07:52 AM
Edith: I love acrylics but it certainly is not the easiest medium to use for a portrait, especially since you said you have never rendered a human. Good luck.
Also the race of a person will change the color combos of course.

05-27-2011, 10:28 AM
Thanks Derek, i have been reading the threads all day so far and cannot find a suitable wip anywhere. I am happy to change the medium to pastel or watercolour but again cannot find really good wip that is realistic.
I am looking to paint an 85year old lady and here doesn't seem to be any done so far,lol.
Maybe someone can give me a link to a really good realistic portrait artist on here so i can get an idea.
Many thanks

05-27-2011, 11:48 AM
human skin generally some form of low chroma orange, sometimes shifting towards yellow orange, sometimes shifting towards red orange.

some folks have found success using yellow ochre and burnt sienna, and i've had some success using cad. red light, cad. yellow med. and a neutral grey to lower the chroma, and burnt umber to make the shadows.

one important thing to remember, the skin is rarely a single color, and can sometimes appear bluish or greenish in shadowed areas, and will change color and value depending on the blood flow, thinness of skin, and bone prominence.

05-27-2011, 02:17 PM
Here are a couple of threads to look at:



Einion can probably help:


Hope these help!

05-27-2011, 06:07 PM
Many thanks for the information, i appreciate it. E