Skin tones! Everyone struggles with finding just the right “recipe” for skin tones right? Well, there is no one recipe for skin tones because skin is not one color! That is why you will find suggestions on basic skin tones but these are just that – basics to add to. You want a good basic skin tone recipe that you can adjust for each individual portrait, but there is no one basic skin tone because a person’s skin is unique to that individual. You must study this and start to be able to see the underlying colors of their skin to determine where to begin.
That said – here is my basic palette. There are other colors I sometimes need to use but mostly this is my basic palette.
Titanium White = Naples Yellow = Yellow Ochre – Raw Umber – Burnt Umber -Burnt Sienna – Cadmium Orange – Cadmium Red Medium – Alizarin Crimson – Transparent Red Iron Oxide – Prussian Blue – Ultramarine Blue – Cerulean Blue – Paynes Gray.
Usually when you see someone’s palette they show you the colors straight from the tube of paint. I have chosen you mix in titanium white with each color so that you can see what that color looks like diluted. This way you get a better sense of the real color.
My Advanced Palette
All of the colors in the palettes below are diluted with Titanium White.
A starter basic skin tone mix would be:
Cadmium Orange + either yellow + either blue + white. You then adjust this mix up or down in value using more white or more yellow. You can warm it up with burnt sienna or cool it off with some raw umber. I am planning on making a video to demonstrate this.