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7 Videos (27m)
    • Introduction

    • Materials

    • Making Creative Color Choices

    • Color Combinations for Realistic Skin Tones

    • Gradient Practice: Mixing and Blending Colors

    • Sphere Activity

    • Final Demo

66 students are watching this class

About This Class


In my experience, one of the most difficult things to color in any medium is skin tone, whether it's light or dark skin. And for many, watercolor is already a difficult medium to control. In this class, I’ll show you the different color combinations and techniques I use, as well as take you through my methods for mixing, blending, and layering colors, shading and highlighting, and controlling the flow of color.

Everyone is welcome, of course, but if you don't feel confident in your portrait drawing skills, I recommend taking my previous Skillshare classes on illustrating faces, as this is not a portrait drawing class and focuses solely on painting skin tones. 

My hope is that by the end of this lesson, you’ll gain the understanding you'll need to come up with your own color combinations for skin tones, and overall, feel more confident in your ability to create realistically colored portraits.

123 of 126 students recommendSee All

This was a wonderful class! I loved Melissa's advice and I look forward to trying her drawing classes, as well.
Great class for learning more about painting with darker skin tones.
I paint portraits in oil color and have been wanting to learn how to do it in watercolor. Melissa's class explains in thoroughly and concisely.
Brenda Reeves

Artist and Writer





Melissa Lee Shaw

allow yourself to fail before you succeed

Hi! My name's Melissa (Missa) Lee Shaw, and I'm an illustrator and watercolor painter from Northern California. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, and it's all I've ever really wanted to do. I started teaching myself how to draw digitally in 2010 when I got my first tablet, and since then I've had a growing fascination with the digital art world. It's pretty rad. I graduated from California State University of Sacramento with a BA in Studio Art and a focus in the Electro...

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