John Howard Sanden Pro-Mix Portrait Oil Colors

Skin Tone Pallet: (caucasian)
Mixing Your pallet for your figure painting or portrait

Skin tone palletThe Figure Painting Pallet:
Most people who paint the figure have their own unique pallet. Usually it's a pallet that has evolved over years and is always in flux, but everyone must start somewhere. One of the greatest hurdles to overcome when getting into painting is selecting your pallet. This tutorial is perfect for anyone just getting into figure painting, However if you are already an experienced painter and you'd like to try something new this tutorial will help you as well. In the beginning the best way to acclimate yourself to painting is to limit your options. The pallet in this tutorial is considered a limited pallet; however there are very few things that this pallet can not achieve. Painting Caucasian skin consists of a mix of reds and yellows that are neutralized with grays. For our pallet here we will mix a base skin tone, then a red skin tone and a yellow skin tone. To knock back the vibrancy of these colors in certain places we will use a gradation of gray. Finally we will mix our darks by mixing our base skin tone with Raw Umber and Burnt Umber.

Mixing the base skin tone for your figure paintingMixing the Base Skin Tone:
The Base skin tone is considered the average skin tone of your subject. This color and all these 3 color ranges we are mixing will vary depending on the natural skin tone of your subject. Start out with a daub of Yellow Ochre and add vermillion in small amounts. Remember that Vermillion is rather strong so in this mix you will use much more Yellow Ochre. Next we will knock that orange color down by adding its compliment Ultramarine Blue; if your color goes too gray or brown you used too much Ultramarine. The use of Ultramarine is to knock down the intensity- not to destroy the color entirely. After adding Ultramarine Blue mix yourself a graduation of that color using a mix of Titanium White and Flake white (50/50 mix). Flake white holds color much better than Titanium white. Titanium white tends to make your colors more chalky. This gradation will be your base tone gradation.

Next we will mix our red and yellow tone gradations.

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