EASY method how to Mix 3 Skin tones in acrylic painting Quick Quest


Hi I’m Cinnamon Cooney, I’m the Art Sherpa, and in today’s quick quest, I’m gonna talk about how to mix three very easy skin tones, so that when you’re painting along with me in tutorials, you can paint your figures to reflect a sense of beauty that is closer to your heart and your reality. These are gonna be easy, they’re gonna be direct I’m gonna unlock a lot of stuff for you, that you might not have heard before so get your paint, get your brushes, get a pallette knife, and come back and meet me at the easel right now We’re gonna do fast skin tones. So let’s start with the first skin tone that I’m gonna show you today, which is a fair skin tone You’ve seen me do this a little bit before on my channel but I’m gonna give you a couple more tips to make you even more successful, in your arting let’s go to the pallette and check this out So I have Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, and Quinacridone Magenta so basically what you’re looking at is white, kinda a yellow, and a red. One of the things that you can do to help you get a good skin tone when you’re painting, is to mix a master recipe which just means, that you’re going to create the basis of your skin tone in a slightly larger quantity, so that you can highlight or add shadows very easily without changing skin tones during the mix. Now you’ll notice I took about one of the Quinacridone… one little pearl of quinacridone over to at least 2-3 little pearls… I’ll have to add a little more Yellow Ochre, because I got a little more quinacridone on my knife but I’m just trying to make kind of a warm peach right here. is what I’m looking for Keep in mind that these are three very recipes and artists might collect a hundred skin tone recipes as they’re painting. Now the next skin tone I can add here, is I need to have a bit of a shadow and a good way to make a shadow is with Burnt Umber, and a little bit of Ultramarine Blue You don’t need a lot of it, at all and I’m gonna take a little of my Ultramarine Blue and mix that with some of my Burnt Umber and now I have this ready to create shadows and then the next thing that you can like on an easy skin tone recipe, Is a highight, and I have some Nikel or Naples Yellow here any really light yellow is what you’re looking for, if all you have is Cad Yellow light, or Cad Yellow, it will work and I’m gonna take just a smidge can you see that smidge? and I’m gonna add that to my white. because I don’t want to just put necessarily straight white in my skin tone recipe so now, I have these three values I can pull out my brush, and I’m gonna get let’s pick a fun one , I’m excited about today I will take this Number 6 Bright I’m using a synthetic bristle brush that’s not gonna hold a lot of water , it’s not gonna get too much water going and I’m gonna start the basis of my skin tone so I’m gonna take a little of this master recipe and add my highlight to it, to lighten my skin tone I’ll do that, until I get a color that I feel I like, and you can see that we’re definitely in that skin tone range so I’m gonna jut paint this in I have pre-sketched in these figures for you, so you can see me doing the three values in skin tones and I’m going to go ahead and paint this all in Now again, keep in mind, that artists can maintain hundreds of skin tone recipes that they tend to paint and this does not represent in any way, the diversity that we as human beings have, but this gives you a starting place so that you can talk more accurately in your art, about the things that are important to you right? so I’m gonna paint her whole body, with this basis right here just to give this the first layer and you can see this is quite light, I relate to this as a very fair person, who sunburns from the moon ya know, what this is I don’t necessarily like to work from the tube of paint like, to buy a skin tone tube of paint because I feel like people don’t have even skin tones they are not like a plastic Barbie doll, ya know different parts of our bodies are exposed to more weather and more sunlight, we have areas that have more blood flow than others and that really impacts ya know, our skin. So it’s just ridiculous to think that we’re just completely one anything right? Once I have this value here, what I can do is I can get a little of my lowlight, look at that this is my shadow and I can come and add under the jaw or anywhere I need to have a shadow this easy, easy shadow, that way I’m not struggling I’m not just adding black to my skin tone because if I just added the color black to my skin tone, it would gray it out and in fact, I don’t actually think I’ve ever even really added black that often to a skin tone mixture I’m just creating a little shadow here Just showing you how working from this fair recipe and I’m gonna need some glazing liquid this is Acrylic GlazingLiquid Gloss (by Golden) and it helps slow down the drying time of my paint it can also help me blend and glaze so it’s a really good tool to have in the studio you can just use water it’s all fine but you’ll notice, like right here, where I’ve got this, that way I can kinda create a nice, more subtle blend around my figure and then if I wanted to have a little bit of a rosier color it’s really easy for me to get my … whatever your skin tone mixture is… it’s really easy then to go to your red, to pick up a little blushing so you can super easily create a blush this is gonna work, ya know, on any, any of the girls that we teach on the channel So, you can take them to that next level Glaze that out a little bit… I’m just showing you how you can do this this also, works incredibly well ya know, just anywhere you’re painting a figure and you’re just really new and you’re like, “I just don’t really know about the skin tone thing” right? See how she’s starting to have a little bit of a blush to her? and another thing that I can do, is I can also use I’m gonna get even a little more of the yellow the yellow and the white to easily show sunlight or highlights it just makes short and easy work to figure painting and gives me a basis … to start thinking about these things even though I might be new… in a better way So let’s, do our next girl and I’ll show you a medium skin tone All right,, I’m ready to mix my next skin tone value I think you’re gonna really like it the colors are gonna change up a little bit, but many of the principles that I just showed you will still apply here. Let’s go to the color pallette and see what we’re gonna do next. Now you can see this has changed up a little bit I have Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cad Orange, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and again Naples Yellow and Titanium white and my glazing liquid, so that I get nice flow Now, I’m gonna go ahead and mix out my base recipe So, the biggest amount of paint that I’m gonna pull out is, of course my Raw Sienna, and then I’m gonna take my Yellow Ochre and make a nice mix there and you’re gonna see that I’m getting a nice golden color but I’m missing my red… right, we have blood, we have circulation, so I need something to warm that up a little bit I’m gonna take, actually surprisingly enough, the Cad Orange over here Isn’t that interesting? It might not be something that you were thinking of you might have gone for red, and again, in some formulations, depending on, if somebody has a blue undertone to their skin, people can have purple undertones, or green Hundreds of skin tone recipes is in no way exaggerating. This is just three simple ones you could do to get started So there’s our base, master recipe let’s mix that highlight again, all right.. a little of our soft light Naples Yellow into our white I don’t really in general like putting just straight Titanium White in to lighten a skin … it just… it can really make it look grayed out and washed out so adding that little bit of yellow to warm this up, I think it is super helpful Let’s offload that off the pallette really well and then of course, this base graying recipe look, some recipes will call for a purple, some will call for just a blue, right this is just one that you know you can do throughout three different values and I’m just kind of almost doing a one to one on the Burnt Umber to the Ultramarine, so now I have enough paint, to paint my figure it’s not gonna be drying out and changing on me so that I can’t get the mix again I’m gonna take a little of my little highlight out but not too much because I still want a pretty rich skin tone let’s come in here and you can see this is just a warmer, richer skintone just coming in here, and you can see that this is darker than this. These are both from the same mix so all I’m saying to you here, right, is if you don’t add any of the highlight to the master recipe, than you can have a fairly rich skin tone but if you add white to the master recipe, it will lighten a lot. So, in each skin tone that I’m showing you , believe it or not, there’s a lot of value changes that you can get for each one I’m just kinda coming around her ear here so, if I were to get back into this, where we have this highlight, and highlight here just don’t want to gray this out just bring this around… see that see the different possibilities that each of these recipes even as simple as they are, give you ya know, and start to see your subjects and really start looking at people You want to observe how uneven their skin is and that that’s beautiful I think that’s something, that because of the cosmetic industry having such an investment in evening out our skin tone is that we really really start to think that an even skin tone is what we’re looking for when in actuality, if you start being very observational that it’s an uneven skin tone that’s quite beautiful it’s the freckles or it’s the kinda ruddiness around a nose, where it gets real red these things are actually what makes the beauty weirdly it’s our imperfections and it’s something that you’ll see more and more as you paint um, ya know… and you’ll find people can have a lot of opinions on the subject really really want to impose those opinions on you and what I’m gonna say is, you need to paint what your inner reflection of beauty is not the world’s and you need to respond to what your inner reflection of beauty is not the world’s so I’m putting this in, this is very nice against this dress notice how this is still pretty warm and not washed out I think this is something that troubles a lot of new artists and even some experienced artists is getting these base recipes in ya know, obviously in portraiture, you spend a lot more time working at that and painting that in let’s get our shadow in so, I’m gonna wipe my brush off and I’m going to bring a little of my graying color over to my skin tone here… see that right there, it doesn’t take a lot and I’m gonna come and add this shadow under my jawline let’s go around our ear get my glazing liquid really helps me blend ya know, water does this too, but I really like it the other reason why it’s nice, to mix up your skin tones in larger batches, is so that you can do very … …when you do get ready to do portraiture, having these mixed up so you can just work on values and not be worrying about micro-mixes is is incredibly helpful Micro-mixes, is that kinda little mixing of a bit of paint, mixing of a bit of paint, mixing of a bit of paint gonna add a shadow right here and you’ve just gotta be careful ya know, ya know, if you want to add a little sunny highlight it’s pretty easy to do you can even, at this point, I think you can even sometimes come in with just the Yellow Ochre and the Naples create a little sunlight on the shoulder so a lot of people might go for white, but I think here sometimes it’s better to avoid that, and lighten the value perhaps in another way We’re just gonna do a little bit right here Cheek, interesting maybe I’ll get a little of my Cad Orange, just a touch I’m gonna get a little glaze, right here add some color isn’t that fun? and maybe not what you were thinking or expected but what you’re trying to do, is paint ya know isn’t that nice how the yellow just does that all right, so we have a nice middle range here I’m gonna make sure, one of the things that can happen is that, ya know you want to make sure that your paint is rich, and not streaky so, like, it got a little bit there, and I want to add a little more of the base recipe right here, Then come back with like, just the base recipe maybe add that … you see how it suddenly starts giving you possibilities in your painting, also how having the pre-mixture allows you to work out values even on a simple figure that make your painting look better now see, I’m getting into painting, is what I’m doing So, we’ve gotta move onto the next skin color, but hopefully, this is giving you some thoughts some perspectives on some different ways that you can paint let’s do our final skin tone all right, let’s do our last and darkest skin tone, and there’s a lot that I have to say here so if this is where you’re focusing, come along, this is gonna be a revelation for you I’ve got some stuff you might not have ever heard before So over here, you’re going to see Burnt Umber, Cadmium Orange, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna Ultramarine Blue, and I’ve included a cool red, this is Alizirin Crimson hue I definitely want to keep using my glazing medium and I have Naples Yellow you’ll notice that I’m refraining from putting out any white and I have a very good reason for that When you’re adding white to a very rich and dark skin tone it takes the skin so gray, as to make the skin appear lifeless and ashey and therefore, it will never, ever read true and I think this is the foundation why sometimes artists have a harder time with darker skin tones because all the basic formulations that you see, kinda pivot around the idea that you’re lightening with a white. But here, we’re not going to now, I’m gonna pull out at least one of my Burnt Umber and I’m gonna get some of my Burnt Sienna, and I’m gonna start making this rich base value this is gonna be a warmer skin tone, this isn’t gonna be cool, so if you were looking to make a cooler dark skin tone, it won’t do as well there but I think you’re gonna be surprised at how nice this actually is, right, so we’re getting that now I’ve got to warm this up a little bit, guess what I’m gonna take, I’m gonna take Cad Orange beautiful, isn’t it? All right, so we have a great base I don’t believe that this can just be achieved with a tube of paint ya know,, I think getting in here and mixing that with a pallette knife that’s a big deal and makes for a much better basic skin tone now this time, because I have my Burnt Umber over here, I’m gonna go with my Alizirin Crimson and my Ultramarine Blue and this is where my shadow is going to come from see that? gorgeous, right? Leaving me some Alizirin Crimson if I need to create a blush somewhere in the skin This, is how I’m gonna highlight I am not gonna be using white highlight so the first thing I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna paint in my base skin tone if you’ve been trying to paint darker skin tones and really been struggling, this whole part here will be almost a revelation as you go through it I know it was for me and I think you’re gonna find it very, very freeing and you’re gonna start getting some good results if you have not before and again, just one skin tone recipe there are many, many skin tone recipes that artists have and if you were to, say, think of about like portrait artists, really famous world famous portrait artists, well those recipes are a big deal oftentimes, they keep them very secret one of my very favorite portraits on earth, was done with three colors looks like it was painted with thirty I am always stunned when I see it, and I always find it humbling when I see that I’m just pulling this out here now, one of the things that you’ll run into as a painter when you’re painting darker, deeper, warmer skin tones is browns can have a tendency to be a titch streaky right? and transparent this is something that you’re challenged by but there are a couple of tricks to this you can do an underpainting base first right? like an acrylic color ground can help with that or just knowing that in this case,, you are really really going to need to get away with layers my fair skin I don’t need as many layers but here, I will the darker my skin tone is notice that I am refraining from using any white or any black just bringing the arm through here, because I think I sketched it through here touch that up later and perfect that for the next what we’re just gonna generally say, arm goes through there we don’t want to I just want you to see how the paint is laying down for me ya know, understand that yes, the browns can be get my glazing medium out to improve my flow the other issue, to glazing medium here, is again it causes the paint to be even more transparent, so yes it improves my flow, but I’m gonna need a couple coats all right, here we go some nice work happening here we’re just not afraid to put our paint down that’s what’s gonna be our major, major goal now I need a little light so I’m gonna take my graying color, look at this look at what this does, totally different than what you might have expected I’m gonna put this shadow down little too much paint on there wipe my brush off, whenever your brush has too much paint, just wipe it off see now my shadow sometimes when we’re new to painting the temptation is to use black to create the shadow you can do that that is not always the right choice here, make sure your paint is good and dry because sometimes when you’re using glazing medium it can actually fight you on the drying time and make your job just significantly harder then you might have wanted it to be so I’m just trying to run a nice shadow here, and I need to put a little shadow under under the arm a shadow under the dress there’s just a lot you can do and when you have the right kind of bases, it gets easier to do I’m gonna show you a couple of things about highlighting I’m gonna rinse this out so my first highlight that I can do is just with my Yellow Ochre and this basic recipe I want to create a highlight,, that’s how I’m gonna do it right there and this is gonna make a big difference in even your simple paintings whatever simple paintings that you have, to not just put the white in the paint, or the black in the paint but to use yellows, like Yellow Ochre, to create the feeling of light on skin see how different that is? got a little too much on my brush there I got a little too excited … it happens Ya know, you’re just creating a lighter value and because the master recipe has Ochre in it ya know, give a highlight to the ear, you can come right up here on top of the head See? You can see how this then, just isn’t graying out the skin in any way if you really, really had to, you’ve got your Naples Yellow Right? Just a little bit of Naples Yellow to say there’s a very, very, what if there’s a very strong highlight right there you could do that and it’s still less graying to the figure and then the other thing you could do, if you want to create a blush is you bring a little of this crimson to your master recipe look at that, isn’t that beautiful? it’s just a gorgeous color and you can easily come and create a really healthy, rosy glow even across the shoulders here’s a little rosy glow getting that second layer of skin tones in again, on the browns, I generally find it’s a bit of a longer paint for me, because of the transparency of the paint unless I’m doing an Acrylic Color Ground but at the beginning level, you’re just trying to paint along,, and maybe customize some of these tutorials to ya know, reflect your world a little more and your sense of beauty mine is big Ya know it is big there we are Just making sure this arm is come back into my shadow … it’s fun I can get into this and be at this forever it’s like … even though these are simple, every layer adds something to what I’m doing and once I got over what was making my paintings not work for me it was really fun then, to change these things up ya know, and hopefully this kind of illuminates some of what the artists are talking about, when they’re talking about master skin tone recipes, how you create different values in figures, and it’s really not just about taking the same skin tone recipe, and lightening and darkening it, but it’s thinking about all those little variables within all of us and trying to represent that in the paint I hope this has opened your mind I hope this has made this a little bit easier in your art journey I hope you enjoyed your quick Quest and I’m gonna see you at the easel really soon Okay, bye-bye (Closing Music)

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