Lost in translation study, advices on skin tones?

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    Lost in translation study, advices on skin tones?

    Here is a study I made yesterday. What do you think? Do you have a "recipe" to get nice, lively skin tones?

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    The recipe for lively skin tones is working from life, not a movie still.

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    If you're painting from a movie still - just concentrate on painting what you see. If there's not great skin tones in the still then unless you have a really good understanding of colour developed from painting life you're not really going to be able to inject anything interesting that isn't already there?

    If you get my point?

    I don't think your study is all that bad? I mean maybe the likenesses could be improved but if you were just concentrating on colour what's up? You got some greeny grey stuff happening... that's cool - I mean I'd do a master study of lepage - he's got grey, yellow, red, pink, brown, green going on in one face - that's pretty hard to do.

    Post the still?

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    The fun with skin is that it varies widely between persons, and because skin is reflective, it is influences heavily by its surroundings. So, to answer your question, there is no recipe for skin tones. On the other hand, painting skin is much more about colour harmony than about 'correct skin tones. So, as arenhaus pointed out, study from life and, my suggestion, play and have fun!

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Arenhaus beat me to it You really aren't going to see subtlety in skin tones from a photo -- particularly a movie still. Flesh looks a sort of even putty color on film.

    I'll be honest - I never really saw some of the colors in flesh that they told me about in school. Color is not my strong suit. But until you get a little variation in flesh tones, skin is apt to look flat and boring.

    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).
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    @arenhaus, eezacque, stoat: I wish I could but I only work on digital painting so I'm pretty stuck to my desk. ;-) I understand and value what you mean though. I don't know maybe the solution is using some reminder of the colors I saw and take a picture that I will enrich after.
    @lovingit: I'll try to post the original. As you mentioned, I've read that there are laways some unexpected colors in color skin so I was wondering if there are some general rules to decide which one to use (if you create the picture from scratch of course). or a least which one to avoid. But maybe I should try randoms colors and keep what will work.

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    Paint yourself with a mirror? But yeah... tough if you're digital - I'm surrounded by amazing scenery here in the Pyrenees but I don't have space to store an easel. I make an effort though to look as hard as I can whenever I'm out. I'll make mental notes of things like - oh the shadow there is really dark - but the shadow there is really light... why's that? hmmm... What colour is the shadow on the tree vs the car etc...

    You probably get the same kind of eye for colour if you paint still lifes though - things like eggs ahem... but also other still lifes with interesting tones. I think it'll all soak into your brain?

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    Get a mirror. I have a long 3/4 mirror that I bought for $10 that I stand on my desk next to the monitor. You might have to move things around or find a specific size that meets your requirements, but I'm sure you can figure something out if you're determined.

    You can also pick up other mediums for the purposes of study. Learning new mediums often gives you a broader understanding of your primary one (kind of like learning a new language or visiting another culture teaches you things about your own that you never noticed before). If you ever plan to paint things from life that you can't put on your desk, having a secondary medium that's portable will come in handy.

    Or you could ask someone very nicely to sit next to your computer for your while you paint them. Family members or friends that are fans of your work are usually more than happy to get a free portrait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Paint yourself with a mirror? But yeah... tough if you're digital - I'm surrounded by amazing scenery here in the Pyrenees but I don't have space to store an easel. I make an effort though to look as hard as I can whenever I'm out. I'll make mental notes of things like - oh the shadow there is really dark - but the shadow there is really light... why's that? hmmm... What colour is the shadow on the tree vs the car etc...

    You probably get the same kind of eye for colour if you paint still lifes though - things like eggs ahem... but also other still lifes with interesting tones. I think it'll all soak into your brain?
    ood conditions in
    Well, I'm the kind of guy that must DO things to completely understand and memorize them. The self portrait is a good idea though. I believe any painter (or aspiring painter) have to do this exercice on day or another. Problem is I don't like my face that much, lol! I'll give it a try I think and I'll sure will post it here.ortunate
    About the portability of digital painting I've recently discovered the cintiq ca do such a thing. It could be a solution for the fortunate ones although I have some doubts about the capacity to see the screen with a bright sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dierat View Post
    Get a mirror. I have a long 3/4 mirror that I bought for $10 that I stand on my desk next to the monitor. You might have to move things around or find a specific size that meets your requirements, but I'm sure you can figure something out if you're determined.

    You can also pick up other mediums for the purposes of study. Learning new mediums often gives you a broader understanding of your primary one (kind of like learning a new language or visiting another culture teaches you things about your own that you never noticed before). If you ever plan to paint things from life that you can't put on your desk, having a secondary medium that's portable will come in handy.

    Or you could ask someone very nicely to sit next to your computer for your while you paint them. Family members or friends that are fans of your work are usually more than happy to get a free portrait.
    Thanks Dierat, I think I'll do the autoportrait picture and maybe find a friend to be the model. This option never crossed my mind. Duh! BTW, I've noticed you haven't posted that much on DA recently. Did you leave to another site?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefRob View Post
    @arenhaus, eezacque, stoat: I wish I could but I only work on digital painting so I'm pretty stuck to my desk.
    Practice painting and drawing traditionally, then. Problem solved.

    Seriously, it is better to learn the fundamentals with real paint, not the screen. The principles you'll be learning are exactly the same, but the tools get in the way much less, and are portable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Practice painting and drawing traditionally, then. Problem solved.

    Seriously, it is better to learn the fundamentals with real paint, not the screen. The principles you'll be learning are exactly the same, but the tools get in the way much less, and are portable.
    Ha! Ha! I knew you'd say that! Traditionnal media-wise, I know I'll stick to pencil and nothing more. Buying and learning to use traditionnal painting doesn't attract me at all (even if I don't doubt I'd learn a bunch of stuffs from it). I'll post my (hopefully) improvements, portrait wise.

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    There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do life studies in digital, it's just a matter of re-arranging the work space. Granted, it's easier to do that with objects than with a mirror, but it's far from impossible.

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