Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flesh Tones

Flesh Tones

Alia El-Bermani:

In one of the previous posts I mentioned the colors I place on my palette, but I didn't say how I mix them. As a reminder, here are the usual colors on my palette in the order placed counter clockwise on my palette (note this time my white is different from the Flemish White previously mentioned, and unless otherwise noted, all colors are manufactured by Old Holland):

Lead White with Mica (purchased from Robert Doak),
Green Earth,
Lead Tin Yellow, (Robert Doak)
Yellow Ochre,
Raw Sienna,
Burnt Sienna,
Manganese Violet,
Raw Umber,
Burnt Umber,
Cobalt Blue

(occasionally I will add Cad-Red Medium, Olive Green, or Vine Black)

So off to the mixing... I use a palette knife to pre-mix my flesh tone starting with a mid-color-value. That approximately consists of 1 part Raw Sienna, 1 part Yellow Ochre, 1/2 to 1/4 part Burnt Sienna (depending on the ruddiness of the model). Without cleaning my knife I then start making tints of this by adding white to separate pools of this mid mixture. I also then add Green Earth to this mid mixture to aid in neutralizing some areas (bottom left mixture). I then clean off my knife and start my shades. Again, using the mid mixture, I add about 1 part Manganese Violet (for warm shadow masses), then the next puddle is that plus about 1/2 part Raw Umber. The next puddle is that mixture plus a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue and then the last puddle is that mix plus white. This also gives me a cooler neutralizer which doesn't affect value in the mid to light areas (as much as if I were to use the darkest puddle). These pre-mixed puddles act as a starting point. Once I get into the painting, I often add colors to these mixes using my brush. I find having these puddles at the ready speeds up my process greatly. It also gives the painting good color unity. The Lead-Tin Yellow is a really strong beast but is a clean yellow which I can add a tiny amount to my light flesh tones if needed. I use Vermillion in the same way.

And voila... now go to it and see what you can do!

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