I’m still amazed that painting every day is such a learning process. Some days of course aren’t great and/or they don’t yield great results, but other days I try things and learn so much, make so much progress – regardless of what the final result is. I guess when you create every day, you’re picking up where you left off, it’s a continuous thing. If I have a thought to try a different color for the skin or leave more white paper or whatever, I remember it the next day. When you paint only here and there – you’re practically starting over every time, instead of building on the previous day.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been very mindful of trying to capture highlights and shadows. And since I started working in the beach theme I’ve been thinking a lot about skin tones and the shadows on the skin. I was very happy with the results of the skin of the little girl. I mixed yellow ochre and permanent rose and then mixed in white gouache. The white gouache adds a creaminess that I like. For the shadows of the skin tone I mixed in a little franch ultramarine. When I can, I add the compliment of a color to achieve the shadow instead of black. I was happy with the results. 😀
Halfway through my first lesson and I’ve learned a lot so far! Here are the key things:
- Skin color is a mixture of many colors. You don’t pick a tube and say this will be the color. For the demonstration I’m following, I started out using a Yellow, a Rose and Cobalt Blue.
- Work wet with light washes. I first painted a wash of the yellow and then added the rose to it. In certain spots I dropped in the Blue.
- One of the most important things I learned was – soften the edges! Whenever I added a “shadow area” I would soften the edges. This was one of my main mistakes in the past. I would paint a shadow area, not soften the edges and the result would be blotchy looking skin.
- Painting skin is a gradual build up of colors. Before, I would paint the face a solid and then try to add in the shadows.
I am excited about my progress so far! Watching TV last night, I was noticing the shadows that make up the face.
My “lesson” is from “Realistic Watercolor Portraits: How to Paint a Variety of Ages and Skin Tones,” by Suzanna Winton. I picked one of her demonstrations and I’m following along, trying to recreate it.
Here are my steps:
His face looks like a rainbow.
The “crevices” aren’t black shadows.
Even the lips have soft edges and are made up of different colors.