Originally Posted by ncsnoangel
I'm having a horrible time with these skin tones, esp. the shadows. I feel they are too dark and look horrible. I've attempted this piece 3 times. I really need help. any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi, ncsnoangel! What I'm missing when I look at this portrait are any cool colors---particularly some lovely versions of blues, no matter how low in intensity! What I see are mainly lighter and darker warms---and you might be very delighted to see the effects that some cools will have. Sometimes they will add a dimension that can give some significant form which will 'take some of the pressure off' of the work the shadows need to do.
The 'blues' would be playing off of one major plane, in almost all 'normal' cases of lighting situation. Deborah shared two really good sources for you to check out. Look for those 'blues' in their works.
Also---look for any reflected lights in the shadow area. If you are painting this from a photo, photos toooo often close up the more shadowed areas and just go too dark, loosing any natural color that is living within the shadows and the play of light. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}