WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Learning Center > Color Theory and Mixing
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Closed Thread  
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-13-2009, 10:57 PM
denyalle's Avatar
denyalle denyalle is offline
Senior Member
North-West Minneapolis
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 157
 
Hails from United States
What colors do you mix for lips?

I've been trying and failing at mixing the right colors to get the lips for a male dancer in one of my paintings and I've never really tried to paint a man before, women's lips are a whole heck of a lot easier because you can just give them lipstick.

If anyone has any thoughts I would greatly appreciate it!
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-14-2009, 02:03 AM
nit-wit's Avatar
nit-wit nit-wit is offline
Veteran Member
Yorkshire
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 751
 
Hails from England
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

In a recent portrait of a woman - I wanted naturalistic lips without lip stick - I've used vermillion, a touch of naples yellow, white and terre verte. And finally a glaze of Michael Harding's crimson lake so thin it's nearly not there - achieved by putting on and then wiping/pulling off with a blending brush. The first mix creates a greyish flesh - but the vermillion burns through to give a living quality - same way as blood brings life to flesh, due to transluscent skin. And variations of this mix allow for tonal modelling. The transparent terre verte is used to grey the mix up. But because of its weak tint strength, there is a need to use proportionally more (lots more). It's also useful for glazing, again greying up 'over red' parts. And occasionally overt greeness can be utilized. The crimson lake is very 'lip sticky' but when applied in such a thin glaze it just gives an extra blush of 'blood'.

Final glaze of ivory black + burnt umber to finish modelling and light effect - be careful with such colours as they can make flesh tones look dirty and even give female subjects appearance of facial hair if applied crudely.

Just happens to be some of my favourite painting recently.

Some would recommend a hint of blue - which is where alizarin crimson comes in - but I never use this pigment anymore. It's so obvious when used and now so notorious - but one of the most beautiful if you can bare it.

I recommend looking at photographs of film stars - never without makeup - for colour schemes. There's been a recent trend for naturalistic lips. So see professional lighting and make up for clues on how to subtly enhance a face with 'naturalistic' make up - men too.


Andrew

Last edited by nit-wit : 05-14-2009 at 02:31 AM.
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-14-2009, 08:43 AM
Einion's Avatar
Einion Einion is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 10,631
 
Hails from Hong Kong
Hi, first off what medium are you painting in?

Are you working from a reference? If you are could you post it and we can look at the colours and given input on how you might mix them.

If you're not using a reference I would recommend finding some with colouring you like and going from there, rather than trying to paint from imagination where we tend to aim for colours that are overly chromatic - too red or too pink commonly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denyalle
I've been trying and failing at mixing the right colors to get the lips for a male dancer in one of my paintings...
I presume you're looking to mix the colour directly, rather than use layering?

Einion
__________________
Do you know if your colour is off in hue, value, chroma... or all three?


Colour Theory & Mixing forum WetCanvas Glossary Search Tips Advanced Search Acrylics forum Acrylics - Information Kiosk
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-17-2009, 02:27 PM
denyalle's Avatar
denyalle denyalle is offline
Senior Member
North-West Minneapolis
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 157
 
Hails from United States
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

I would like to be able to mix the color, but I'm trying the layering as well. I'm only starting to get the hang of layering now. Couldn't understand what my art teacher meant by it in high school - didn't really explain it very well! I'm just dumb at painting.

The medium I'm using is acrylics
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2009, 09:22 AM
LarrySeiler's Avatar
LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is online now
A WC! Legend
NE Wisconsin Nicolet National Forest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 35,150
 
Hails from United States
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

squint your eyes...forget they are lips. Paint a nose no different than a river's stream.

See the color, the value...the shape, put it down and trust the eyes of the viewer to put it together and recognize, "here, we have the lips of a male dancer"

If you seek a formulaic answer for lips....you will need one for hair, ears...the tip of ears, the nose...eyebrows and everything else.

Denyalle...I am an art instructor as well...and unfortunately, over the years the philosophy of art has changed so many times in the public schools in an effort to argue to keep the arts. "We need the arts because its been proven that _________" fill in the blank. That art will increase scores in math? Art needs to be restored to having value as art...and in my cynical opinion, math, the sciences are important to bring greater understanding to art.

So, we have teachers that came in during what was called the Discipline Based Art Education years...and Outcome Base...and it came to be believed it would be better if such teachers did not themselves make art as artists. This, because whoa...such artists as teachers might bring their own biases and prejudices into the classroom and interfere with the creativity of the students.

As long as teachers are human beings...they are bound to bring their biases into the World Government classes, into the sciences on and on...

Unfortunately...the logic that you wouldn't hire a math teacher that couldn't even do the math properly to balance his own check book was considered, and we have art teachers that can't draw...can't paint. Their value was to be that they are facilitators...like a ring master at a circus who simply directs attention to an activity.

It took time for education to recover...and then came Performance Based Art Education philosophy that kept Art History, Art Criticism and Aesthetics of DBAE...but demanded that the teacher should know how to create art with an aim toward excellence. Knowing that excellence is NOT an accident.

Thing is...all these philosophies have happened just in my time teaching, so you have a broad pool of art instructors still teaching. Sounds like you had a facilitator....

I teach K-12...and dang, from as early as kindergarden on, I teach about basic color mixing, warm colors...cool colors, and the most difficult for students to remember is how to mix brown!

If you just take red...yellow...a touch of blue (like an ultramarine blue, not phthalo) plus white...you would do well to play with mixing them. Browns...like flesh tones vary so easy, and one "brown" just like one flesh tone is not just one color.

If you add more yellow to the mix you have a warmer brown...add white a warmer tan. If you add more red...a redder brown, and so forth. Same with flesh tones.

I like using Naples Yellow...a bit of scarlet red (acrylic version), white... and some viridian (green).

Green is a complementary to red...(its opposite on the color wheel)...and a touch of green keeps the red in the flesh tone under control.

But...you have to play with these things so that they become second nature and you scare away the boogey man! Light isn't a constant, and the nature of light isn't a constant. So long as light changes, color and values will change.

Play with the paint...it'll come....
__________________
Larry Seiler- Signature Member IPAP
"My Painting From Life" blog
Main website!
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-28-2009, 10:44 AM
llawrence llawrence is offline
Lord of the Arts
East of Eden
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,802
 
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

It's fallen out of favor lately, but there's just nothing like rose madder for this. Work up the forms with vermilion/cad red and yellow ochre, wait for it to dry and put a thin glaze of rose madder over it, it's as beautiful and lifelike as it can be.
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-06-2009, 07:09 PM
budigart budigart is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 239
 
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

Look closely at lips on real people. Men's lips, you will discover, are more purple than red. Not just purple out of a tube. If you'll play around with ivory black, a good alizarin, and perhaps, for the lower lip, a little venetian red mixed in, you can achieve some nice male lips. Of course, you'll have to do some tweaking . . . a touch more white, venetian, alizarin . . . maybe a smidge of one of the umbers. But, I repeat, men's lips will run from dull red to reddish purple. Find a guy who understands your not crazy when you stare at him, and stare away. As for women's lips . . . you're right . . . they are usually lipstick red, but notice that, as with men's liips, the top lip is usually darker than the lower lip (generally from light falling from above).
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:47 AM
Patrick1's Avatar
Patrick1 Patrick1 is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Canada
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,129
 
Hails from Canada
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

Quote:
Men's lips, you will discover, are more purple than red.
I just sampled about 7 faces that came up on google image search, and all the lips (male and female, white and black) had a hue that ranged between middle red and orange-red; none even close to purple in hue. But the purplish look is caused by that red or orangish-red color being greyed and/or darkened. You can see this clearly by taking a red paint and adding a neutral grey in various increments to make several steps. Ironically, some of the most purplish-looking lips I sampled, which were black/african, were more orange in hue (i.e. less purplish) than most others...their purplish appearance a result of them being grayer and darker than the others.
__________________
Modern awful daubs totally sacrifice all undefined paint properties in favor of aniline chroma race. ~author unknown
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:04 AM
budigart budigart is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 239
 
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

Re-read my post . . . I suggested you look at real people.

The problem with photos is that both film, and the newer digital cameras, clump values and interpolate hue/chroma. If it can't see these things clearly, it will simply read it as "dark."

Again, look ar real people. Study enough of a variety of them (tall, fat, short, caucasion, Hispanic, oriental, etc) to get firmly in mind an average lip color. Again, without lipstick, most will range in the red/purples. Again, not purple out of a tube, but usually more gentle and warmer red/purple. Or, call it pink/purple. My point is, with the exception of a gussied-up woman with fresh lipstick, you'll see this . . . especially if you look at real people.

If you're working from photos, and it sound like you are, your paintings will start looking more real if you will paint real lips. Get seme friends or family mambers to hold still long enough for you to do several dozen lip studies. You will begin to see this color.
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-07-2009, 02:35 PM
Patrick1's Avatar
Patrick1 Patrick1 is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Canada
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,129
 
Hails from Canada
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

Since you're insisting that my observations about lip color are invalid if they are from digital photos (a dubious assertion, but that's another issue), what if I've made the same color observations from life? Using the paint colors I have available, I got an almost perfect match for my own overall/average lip color by mixing Pyrrole Red Light or Cadmium Red Medium + Neutral Grey Value 5 which was lightened with some white.

Even though you can arrive at the same final lip color via many different paint combinations (including the recipe you suggest), my lip color matching exercise tells you about lip color in real life with a decent degree of precision and it agrees with the sampling of digital photos; peoples' natural lip color is generally some hue of red (ranging from orange-red to deep red), grayed to some degree, and lightened/darkened to some degree. In other words, overwhelmingly closer to red than purple, despite its appearance. If you're saying that lips look purple, or at least purplish, especially in comparision to the surrounding skin color, I totally agree. But you haven't made that all-important distinction.
__________________
Modern awful daubs totally sacrifice all undefined paint properties in favor of aniline chroma race. ~author unknown
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-07-2009, 03:14 PM
budigart budigart is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 239
 
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

I thought I had. Your recipe is extremely close to the one I use to make "lip-purple" . . . a cool to true red with a little black mixed in. Neutral 5 contains black and white.
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-08-2009, 07:43 AM
Einion's Avatar
Einion Einion is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 10,631
 
Hails from Hong Kong
Quote:
Originally Posted by budigart
Look closely at lips on real people. Men's lips, you will discover, are more purple than red. Not just purple out of a tube.
Can you show that in some way? That runs directly counter to my observations.

I suspect part of the problem will be individual ideas on the dividing line between red and purple but the hue of lips is generally far closer to Red than to Violet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
...their purplish appearance a result of them being grayer and darker than the others.


Einion
__________________
Do you know if your colour is off in hue, value, chroma... or all three?


Colour Theory & Mixing forum WetCanvas Glossary Search Tips Advanced Search Acrylics forum Acrylics - Information Kiosk
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-08-2009, 08:43 AM
budigart budigart is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 239
 
Re: What colors do you mix for lips?

Yes, I think you are right . . . red purple or pink purple, but I believe I said that, too (pink purple). I keep saying not purple out of a tube such as those dark blue purples. Perhaps I should have said reddish or pinkish with a little blue or ivory black (and some white, of course). The only "purple" lips I've seen are on Goth Girls. I think it's the word "purple" that is causing problems. And then, there is the problem associated with the color of light, either from outside light such as at sunset, or from the colored lights of, say, a night club, in which case lips might apprear in various colors. But, in ordinary light, I see un-lipsticked lips on the cooler-reddish side with the upper lip being darker than the lower since light generally falls from above.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:39 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.