what colors to mix skin tone for water color

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New York, NY, USA 10002
    Posts
    883
    Thanks
    800
    Thanked 306 Times in 212 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Post what colors to mix skin tone for water color

    i tried to paint skin tone with water color and mixed raw sienna with white and carmine (reddish color) and i can't seem to get a good color it seems pale but the result does look like human skin a bit..

    what colors to mix for skin tone for water coloring? lets say a caucasian skin color with no light shining.

    i read somewhere that tells you to use red color but i saw a video somewhere with a painting of someone with not too much red on it and has some yellow color in it but probably from light.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,378
    Thanks
    669
    Thanked 538 Times in 296 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    You're on the right track. I'd use either a very dilute red or yellow to get the skin tone. Maybe even both for an orange hue.

    If I were going for a very white person with no coloration from lighting (i.e. Irish person indoors, white lighting), I'd start with a very pale red and see how that turns out.

    Imagine a pale colored peach, that's pretty much what you're aiming for.

    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    2,083
    Thanks
    323
    Thanked 968 Times in 519 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Almost any warm slightly greyish color can make a convincing human flesh tone. It's all about color relationship. I'd be very careful of relying on color formulas because they are going to stop you from thinking and reacting the way you should be.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    528
    Thanks
    409
    Thanked 215 Times in 141 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If you're working with watercolor on watercolor paper, put away the white paint and don't mix it with anything. Your brightest white is the paper and the translucency of your color is going to allow it to shine through. From what I've seen, you can either do it in glazes of shadow colors (greens, purples) and flesh tone (crimson and sepia brown with yellow) or make a big wash of already pre-mixed flesh tone colors - minus the white - and use that as a first glaze before adding in shadow hues.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    533
    Thanks
    1,432
    Thanked 188 Times in 115 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by J Wilson View Post
    Almost any warm slightly greyish color can make a convincing human flesh tone. It's all about color relationship. I'd be very careful of relying on color formulas because they are going to stop you from thinking and reacting the way you should be.
    I would agree with what J Wilson has said, you don't want to find one formula for skintone and stick with it... where is the fun in that anyway?
    I asked my watercolour teacher the exact same question, and he wouldn't give me an answer, only "Experiment, and find out which work colours best,". He basically wanted me to find out things by myself, so I didn't fall into the trap of following a formula. There are so many different ways to make skintones, just experiment and see what results you can come up with

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,675 Times in 5,021 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Yes, classical watercolor technique avoids white paint, building up colors with transparent washes. Try using burnt sienna as your base, and modifying it with other colors as needed. Start with very light washes and build things up gradually.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    699
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 173 Times in 120 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hmmm. I think when I'm mixing skin tones, I generally use Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, and a slight amount of Ultramarine Blue, heavily diluted. That gives a pretty good mix, and light washes will generally look close to a pale skin tone.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    116
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    ....

    I had the exact same problem and still do at the best of times. The best way to battle it is to buy yourself a sketchbook that can take watercolour and do swatch after swatch. Fill it full of them and always write down the colours you're using and figure out a way of giving yourself an idea of how much of the colour is used. Go to a hobby store that has an art department, you can usually find some on sale or in the clearance section. I picked up a Canson All-Media sketchbook with 90lb Cold Pressed watercolour paper for just a couple of bucks. The trick I've learn't with watercolour is 'if at first you don't succeed, try and try again.'

    oh and try using earth tones like sienna's and ochres and such

    good luck

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,008
    Thanks
    175
    Thanked 697 Times in 292 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    With no light shining eeeverything would be black

    In all seriousness- you'll probably need a yellow, a red, and a neutralizer- a blue or a black . Dilute with water instead of using white (pretty much what Viridis said, though you can use other pigments). You'll need to experiment with the proportions of each pigment and water, based on the exact pigments you choose and your desired outcome. But- as J Wilson said, it all depends on the relationships in the picture.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,762
    Thanks
    2,682
    Thanked 5,955 Times in 2,397 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Dont get too caught up in thinking skin tones are a set formula; look at this Scott burdick
    http://www.scottburdick.com/2002scott32.htm

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to dpaint For This Useful Post:


  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    2,364
    Thanks
    796
    Thanked 1,273 Times in 887 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Well, being a lurker of all things briggsy@ashtons, I'm trying to get out of the formula mindset as well.

    But, from The Watercolor Painter's Pocket Palette, by Moira Clinch:

    Main Color Mixture
    1. Alizarin Crimson
    2. Raw Sienna

    Highlight Mixtures show main color plus
    3. Lemon yellow
    4. Cadmium yellow
    5. Cadmium red

    Shadow mixtures show main color plus
    6. Cobalt blue
    7. Paynes gray
    8. Viridian

    Alizarin Crimson is probably close to "Carmine" though people like Bruce MacEvoy will tell you to avoid Alizarin Crimson in favor of something that's more lightfast.

    And, below is an experiment I did in my SB with Windsor & Newton Cotman Colors: Light Red and Sepia.

    Looks like it would make a nice flesh tone. . .

    what colors to mix skin tone for water color

    Last edited by Kamber Parrk; April 9th, 2011 at 12:32 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Kamber Parrk For This Useful Post:

    Vay

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Posts
    1,084
    Thanks
    506
    Thanked 631 Times in 355 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    White paint makes things look pasty and bleh and you want nice, vivid colors. The above palette that Kamber Parrk posted is a good start and I also agree with the advice that:

    There is no set formula for mixing skin tones and choosing an appropriate mix for skin tones is largely affected by color relationships.

    I don't usually use the same mixture while painting skin but my most common used paints are Raw and Burnt Sienna, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red and Yellow, and Cobalt Blue. Pay attention to the temperature of the paint as well...for example if I want to lighten and cool down a mixture I would add Lemon Yellow instead of Cadmium Yellow.

    You can also use transparent colors to add glazes to dry paint. Permanent Rose works very well for this.

    And that's all I know!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    2,364
    Thanks
    796
    Thanked 1,273 Times in 887 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Oops!

    I should clarify. In the Clinch list above, 3, 4, and 5, and 6, 7, and 8 are single ALTERNATIVE additions! (If you mix all three of each together, you're just going to get a god-awful mess!)

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    North'n Ironed
    Posts
    683
    Thanks
    117
    Thanked 172 Times in 122 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Anid Maro View Post
    If I were going for a very white person with no coloration from lighting (i.e. Irish person indoors, white lighting)
    Sure an' albinos are always coddin' us about whether we've seen a ghost, so they are, so they are.

    ...which is only my opinion.
    Sketchbook Deviations
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    2,597
    Thanks
    106
    Thanked 1,494 Times in 744 Posts
    Follows
    1
    Following
    0
    It's helpful to remember that white people aren't white, we're clear. There's only one skin pigment and we don't have very much of it. So things like blood vessels show through.

    It's also why our babies and old people often look so gnarly.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kansas city, MO
    Posts
    1,167
    Thanks
    1,423
    Thanked 867 Times in 333 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Brown!
    Oh wait you mean white people skin tone?

    Jay's CA.org Sketchbook:
    Jay's Conceptart.org sketchbook

    Check out my portfolio:
    http://jasonrossart.carbonmade.com

    Check out my blog:
    http://mind2pixels.blogspot.com

    "Practice" DOES NOT make perfect...
    "Perfect Practice" makes perfect...
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Jason Ross For This Useful Post:


  21. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,905 Times in 2,546 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    How timely: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/ Check today's post (Thursday, April 14).

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:

    Vay

  23. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New York, NY, USA 10002
    Posts
    883
    Thanks
    800
    Thanked 306 Times in 212 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I posted this topic years ago. Still, thanks for the new replies. I haven't been painting too much recently because my room is very messy and there is no room to wet my watercolor paper unless I want to have a wet floor.

    Last edited by Vay; April 14th, 2011 at 10:59 PM.
    My Sketchbook

    Twinkle, twinkle little star
    I don't wonder what you are
    For by spectroscopic ken
    I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  24. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,905 Times in 2,546 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Oh yeah...I see now it was resurrected from ancient times!

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  25. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    2,105
    Thanks
    113
    Thanked 515 Times in 187 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thats a terrible excuse not to paint!

    [url=http://galleryonefone.blogspot.com[/url] This would be my gallery in Sweden

    This would be my Pleine Air blog
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  26. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New York, NY, USA 10002
    Posts
    883
    Thanks
    800
    Thanked 306 Times in 212 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by timpaatkins View Post
    Thats a terrible excuse not to paint!
    I know it is, but people commented on my sketchbook that I need to be better at rendering, so I decided to use that excuse as well to do more pencil renderings.

    My Sketchbook

    Twinkle, twinkle little star
    I don't wonder what you are
    For by spectroscopic ken
    I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  27. #22
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,675 Times in 5,021 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Maybe you should use it as an excuse to clean your room.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  28. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New York, NY, USA 10002
    Posts
    883
    Thanks
    800
    Thanked 306 Times in 212 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Maybe you should use it as an excuse to clean your room.
    No place to put the extra stuff. I made myself a custom drawing table by slanting a big folding table, which is in my room. I have a big air conditioner (not the ones on the windows) in front of my closet. Then I have a giant printer, two guitars, one amplifier, and tons of books. I have a cabinet/table and another giant computer desk of comparable size. And my room is about 8 foot by 8 foot. My mom also likes to use my room as a storage facility so my closet don't belong to me and because we live in an apartment with a family of 5 :p.

    I am going to install more shelves for my books though, so I am actually going to paint on stretched paper once those books are off the floors and tables; however, I am right now already painting some stuff without having to wet my paper and stretching it. I also need to make some kind of stretching board to prevent water from seeping off and into the cracks between the wooden floor tiles in my room, so it doesn't get wet and start to warp and inflate like from the last time I tried to paint wet on wet.

    Last edited by Vay; April 15th, 2011 at 01:47 PM.
    My Sketchbook

    Twinkle, twinkle little star
    I don't wonder what you are
    For by spectroscopic ken
    I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 1

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook