Watercolor Techniques to Paint Skin Tones | Muy Artistico | Skillshare

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Watercolor Techniques to Paint Skin Tones

teacher avatar Muy Artistico

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (2h 18m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Watercolors techniques

    • 4. Underpainting

    • 5. Creating light skin tones

    • 6. Creating mid skin tones

    • 7. Creating light dark tones

    • 8. Creating skin tones with primary colors

    • 9. Color zones of the face

    • 10. Warm-Up

    • 11. Polaroid - Light Skin & Blue Underpainting

    • 12. Polaroid - Mid Skin & Green Underpainting

    • 13. Polaroid - Dark Skin & Purple Underpainting

    • 14. Portrait exercise

    • 15. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Hello there! I’m Adriana and I want to give you a welcome to “Watercolor techniques to paint skin tones”. I’m a huge fan of colors so over the years I develop a way to paint skin tones that allows me to take the most out of my palette and that I think it brings such a wonderful look to my paintings.

And now I want to share it with you, so in this class, I cover topics like underpainting, color mixing and the color zones of the face.

You can apply these tips and techniques to any skin but in this class, I focused and applied the exercises to the face. And I know, painting a face can be intimidating and that's is why a big part of the class is me sharing 3 different activities for you to choose based on your skill and the time you want to invest practicing the techniques of this class.

Also, I share a bunch of printables and resources to help you tackle the exercises. However, for this class, it's a good idea to have some previous experience regarding how to use watercolors.

I had a great time creating this class and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. So let’s start painting!

If you want to continue learning how to paint portraits watch this class:

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1. Trailer: Hi, my name is [inaudible] , and on one side I am a graphic designer and illustrator living in Spain, and on the other side I help creative people like you. We're not driving carrier because I truly believe that you deserve to make a living out of your passion. Speaking about passions, I am a huge fan of colors. You might be thinking why is she speaking about colors to paint skin tones, if I can paint it using one or two colors. The truth is, you can, but as a color enthusiasm, I can tell you that you need to understand how colors behave and how to mix it can help you improve a lot your paintings and make them look more interesting. That is why in these SkillsShare in class, I am going to share with you the tips and techniques, especially regarding colors that I take into account when I paint skin tones using watercolor. This class is divided into two parts. The first part cover topics like using under painting, color mixing and the color songs of the faith. I know it sounds boring, but trust me, those are the concepts that will help you obtain these results. In the second part, I will share three different exercises for you to choose based on your skills and the time you want to invest, putting into practice what you learned. I don't want you to feel intimidated by this topic. Also don't get overwhelmed by the length of this class. Half of the class is me sharing how I did each exercise, where the first exercise is about the experiment with colors, it is fun and fast activity that can be absolutely starting point if you are a beginner. The second exercise is about painting a portion of the face twice, one with under painting and the other without it. The last exercise I proposed to practice, it will suit you if you have more experience because he's about painting a portrait with at least two different skin tones. I will also share a bunch of intervals in the resources area to make it easy for you to tackle each activity. I had a great time creating this class and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do, as we complete it. 2. Supplies: For this class, we are going to use watercolor paper. I am going to use these too. The one that I am currently using for my exercise and for practice is the Strathmore watercolor pad just because I love the format. One of the things you should keep in mind when you choose a watercolor paper is its weight. In this case, both are 300 grams. That means they are heavy papers, so they resist more paint and the water than a thinner paper that tends to block holes really fast. Another thing to take into account is if it's cold press or hot press paper. Cold press paper has a little bit of texture as you can see here. While hot press paper has a smooth surface that works perfectly for details. That is why I am going to use this pad for my final project. Now, let's talk about watercolors. I'm going to use my Winsor & Newton Cotman and Sennelier watercolors pan set, which I combine in here because I recently moved to Spain and I have to reduce the number of things that could brought with me. Later on I will tell you the specific colors that I used to mix each type of a skin tone. In addition, I will use my Prima Marketing Watercolor pan set.The reason why I'm going to use it is to show how to mix a skin tones if you have a small color palette or you don't have the specific pigments that I am going to use. Regarding brushes, I am using the brand Aqualon of Royal and Langnickel. They are synthetic round brushes, and since almost everything I am going to paint is small, I will probably use the size zero and a number two or four. Choose the brush size that feels more comfortable for you. On the other hand, a tool that I recommend you to have and that I am going to be using in this class to explain how colors behave, is the color wheel. I will also use: a container with water, a ceramic bowl, a paper towel, or a sponge, an eraser, a Prismacolor Col-Erase. This one is carmine red, and a mechanical pencil, this one is an HB, and a blank sheet of paper and tracing paper to transfer the portrait to the watercolor paper. Keep in mind that even though I show you the brands that I commonly use, you don't need to use exactly the same. I just think it is interesting to know which materials each artist use. If you want share which materials you are going to be using, I will love to know. Okay, let's start. 3. Watercolors techniques: Before we dive deep into watercolor of skin tones, I want to make a brief summary of the basic techniques of watercolor that we are going to be using in this class so that any person, even I beginner can tackle the exercises. By the way, I use my mechanical pencil and a ruler to draw this worksheet and then I use the Prismacolor Col-Erase to draw the shapes. I am going to paint, but you don't need to do this it's just me being me. Then, I erase any pencil mark and to lighten what I drew, I use uneven ruler erase. Let's talk about transparencies first. In watercolor it's important to remember that it is a technique where you should apply semi-transparent layers of paint and for that we use water. The more water we use, the more transparent and lighter the color will be. For our first exercise, we are going to paint a small value scale of a color, which means we are going to create a dark alley and to mix values of one color. I grab some water with my brush and then I grab color to put it on my palette. Even though I'm mixing the darkest value here, which means it's my most concentrated mixture and less transparent one, I always need to add at least a little bit of water to be able to use the watercolor. To create lighter values, I am going to add more water gradually to my mix until I reach the lighter value, which is also the most transparent one. That is how you get four values of the same color and as I mentioned before, this is a small scale. You can create more values between them. I am going to do the same but with another color. Now let's talk about gradients. To paint gradients, we have to do the same thing we did in the transparency exercise. The important thing here to get a smooth transition is to add more paint while the last paint you apply is still wet. Now to paint the gradient from one color to another, I use the same technique only that instead of adding water, I am going to add color gradually. I am going to paint each color here to have it as a reference for the gradient, I only need to blend it as we did with the paint gradient. Finally, we have the wet on dry and wet on wet technique. I use the wet on dry technique to paint details because with this technique, I have more control over the painting and the edges are clearly defined. It consists of applying the paint on dry paper or dry paint. Now, in the wet on wet technique, do apply the paint over the wet paper. It can be with water or paint. I use it to apply the first layers of the portrait because with this technique, the paint flows and you get blurred edges. I recommend you to practice these techniques as a warm up, especially if you are starting with watercolor and upload it to the project gallery. That's it. Now we can continue with the next lesson. 4. Underpainting: One of the things that will help you improve your paintings is to start with an underpainting, which is an initial layer of paint that serves as a base for the next layers of paint. Other paintings are often monochromatic and helps you define the value scale of the portrait, since when you use a single color, you can clearly see where the lights and the shadows should go. Let's do a quick review of what value is. Values are a range of tones that expand from the lightness to the darkness one. On a grayscale of one to ten, white has a value of one while black has a ten. In watercolor painting, we create the value scale range by mixing water with paint. As we saw earlier, the more water we add to the paint, the lighter the value will be. Conversely, the more paint we use in the mixture, the darker the value will be. Why is this so important? Because it establish the structure of the painting. By defining the lights and shadows, you create volume, which helps you to define the shapes. For this exercise, we are going to paint three cubes, as it is the easiest way to practice value in an object because each value is clearly defined. We are going to paint one cube in green, one in blue, and the other in purple, which are the three colors I commonly use for my under paintings. For light and mid-light tones, I tend to use blue or green, blue for a cooler skin and green for a more neutral or warmer one. For mid-tones towards dark skin tones, I use purple. I choose what color to use depending on the tone of the skin and whether the person is cold or warm base, since this layer of paint acts as an undertone. I am using the cube that I painted in grayscale as a reference. You can use the same. There, the light comes from the left, so we have the light value on top, the mid one upfront, and the darkest one on the right. Remember that your lightest value will be the less concentrated and your darkest value will be the more concentrated one. Here, either find the light and dark value first, which are the two extremes, to then create the mid value. I use a sheet of watercolor paper to test it and make sure the three colors are different between them. I'm going to paint the first and the last cube of each row. When you are painting one color side by side to avoid mixing, you have to wait for the first color you applied to dry, or leave a small margin between one and the other. That is what I did. You can also paint in a separate sheet of watercolor paper the three values that you just painted to test the color you are going to apply on the next step. Keep in mind that the paints I use and your paints are different. We are using different colors, and even if you use the same colors, they vary from one brand to another. When I choose what blue, green, or purple I am going to use, I select the one that is more light and warm base, because they are easier to neutralize. What I mean with easy, is that I don't need to add a lot of layers to neutralize it. You can do this exercise with all the greens, blues, and purples. You have to see which one works better. The ones that work for me are sonorous blue, fellow green lime, and the [inaudible] purple. Now that we did the underpainting and it is completely dry, the next step is to neutralize the color. For that, we need to know a little bit about color theory because we need to work with complimentary colors. The complimentary colors are those that are on opposite sides of the color wheel, and when you mix it, you get a neutral brown. For the green cube, I know that my next layer of paint should be a color that towards red, for the blue, I should use orange, and for the purple, I should apply a layer of yellow. I also know that yellow is lighter than the purple. I have to apply a quite concentrated mix to be able to cover the base color. I test the color on the watercolor paper that I used before, where I painted the three values to make sure that the mixture I created would work, and then I paint the second cube to have the reference of the color that I use and the third cube to see the result. When I apply this layer, I also vary the concentration of the paint because for the darkest value, you will need to add more paint to neutralize it. Don't worry if you see your underpainting through the color you are applying. If they are turning brown, you are in the right path. You just need to apply more layers. Something that I recommend, especially for the green and blue cube, it is to create your own red and orange mix. Instead, just apply a layer of red and orange direct from your palette. Although they are complimentary colors, there is a wide range of reds and oranges. Some red pigments have more yellows in it, some has a bit of blue. With the orange pigments, some have more red while others have more yellow. In the lesson of how to create a skin tones with the primary colors, I explained that you can create a skin tone using yellow, red, and blue, where yellow dominates the mixture while blue is used in a really small quantity. This concept applies here as well. Let's take the green as an example. Green is composed of yellow and blue. In my case, I use a yellowish green, but if you use a green that has more blue pigments in it, you will have to apply a layer of red orange to obtain a brown color at the end. Another way you can test your color and mixes is by doing a gradient of the underpainting and do another gradient on top with the complimentary color. That way, you not only see if they neutralize each other, but also how dark underpainting can be so that when you cover it with the complimentary color, it will not end up being too dark. Be careful with the blue pigments. It is common when mixing colors that contain more blue pigments with its complementary color, they turn in a [inaudible] mixture. That is something that, in this case, we want to avoid. If your under-paint has blue pigments, use a complimentary color with more yellow and red. That's it. Those are the first step that I take when I paint skin tones. After that, I continue on in the skin colors we are going to see on the next couple of lessons. I am going to do the same exercise on the sphere. The difference here, it is that the values are blended as it happens in portraits. I will be using the technique of wet on wet. The rest of the steps are the same as we did with the cubes. Now, I am going to use as a reference, the sphere that I painted on the left. Notice that the light seems white. Keep in mind that you have to leave there a blank space, not only without paint, but also without water, since in watercolor, our white is the paper. Gradually, I paint where the shadows are and blend it using my brush a little bit moist. I start to use this method when I find out that in Renaissance, they used to apply a similar technique to make frescoes paintings, and they call it Verdaccio. The difference is they use a brownish green, the product of mixing black, yellow, white, and sometimes a bit of blue. They use it to reduce the intensity of the reds since green and red are complementary so they neutralize. When the underpainting dry, I start applying the complimentary color and apply several layers to neutralize it completely. It is important that you always try to learn and experiment with new techniques and then apply the ones that work best for you in your own way. I encourage you to try this exercise. Maybe if you are new in painting, begin with the cubes, and then try the sphere. If you already have experience blending colors, you can start painting directly the spheres, or why not? Take some time and do both. I always find this type of exercise therapeutics. I hope to see what you achieve in the project gallery. 5. Creating light skin tones: Now we're going to talk about how to mix skin tones in watercolor. Another thing that will make your paint stand out, more interesting, and realistic is by applying different colors instead of just one. This is because the skin, as well as all the other things in the real world, are a mixture of various tints and tones. The color in the skin change because it has different layers and elements that compose it. It also change by the influence of the surrounding colors, lighting conditions, and reflective light. Instead of using a pure pigment, I created mixers to paint the skin tone. A powerful tool for that is the color mixing chart. Because you will realize that with a few colors you can create a larger palette and also have an organized visual guide of the colors your palette is capable of producing. We can also create a specific charts like this one I created for each type of a skin tone. Drawing these type of charts can take a lot of time. That is why in this class we are going to do a mini mixing chart. For that, I drew seven circles. The one in the center is for our base color. Which means it will be the color that we will be mixing with the other colors. The base color also resembles a real skin color. In theory, we could use that single color to paint the skin. But as I mentioned before, it is not recommended. For light skin tones, the base will be burnt sienna. We are going to mix it with raw umber, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, and ultramarine. In each circle we are going to paint the result of mixing our base color with each of the colors that I mentioned on equal parts as we are painting and mini-mixing chart. If we were painting the complete chart, we would make two more mixes. One using more of the base color, and another using less. Another thing is that I am going to make a concentrated mix for that. From that mixture, we are going to create two values. The mid one and the light one. We're going to paint them on the little squares. If it is possible, try to use every space on your pallet because we are going to use the remaining mixtures later on. Be especially careful with the ultramarine. In general, blues tends to dominate the mix. So use less quantity than you normally will use when mixing with other colors. Now that we completed our mini mixing chart for light skin tones, we can move on to the mid tone chart. 6. Creating mid skin tones: Here we are going to do the same thing that we did in the previous mixing chart. Just that in this case the base color is burnt umber. Instead of raw umber, we will use burnt sienna. Instead of lemon yellow, we will use raw sienna. Currently, I don't have raw sienna, so I will leave the space to make the mix in the future. Now let's move to the dark tones chart. 7. Creating light dark tones: Again, we are going to do the same thing that we have been doing. In this case, the base color is raw umber. Instead of raw sienna, we will use Prussian blue. Instead of raw sienna, we will use Naples yellow. I will leave the blank space for the Prussian blue because as with the raw sienna, I don't have it right now. I will paint it in the future. See you in the next lesson to show you how to create a skin tone using the primary colors. 8. Creating skin tones with primary colors: Now, if you don't have the colors that I used in the previous lessons, don't worry, you can create a skin tones with the primary colors. For that, I am going to grab my premium marketing set, because their colors don't have the commons commercial names. The point that I want to make in this lesson is that, you don't have to wait to have the perfect watercolor palette to start painting a skin tones. You can start painting a skin tones using three colors. For that, let me go back to Color theory. First, the color that most resembles the skin color is orange, so I have to mix yellow and red. As I mentioned before, the theory also tells me that when I mix a color with its complimentary, in this case, blue is the complimentary color of orange because they are opposite in the color wheel, it will help me reduce its saturation and create neutral tones like browns. The color that should always predominate in the mix is yellow. In general, while you add more red, you will obtain a mid a skin tone mix, and while you add more blue, your mix will turn into a dark skin tone. This applies to our concentrated mix because if I lighten the mix, I will be able to use it for a lighter skin tone. To lighten the color I use water. I don't use white for this because it makes the color looks opaque. What I want you to do is to go to the Resources area, and download the mixing chart that I made, and start mixing yellow, red, and blue as I mentioned. Test your mix in a sheet of watercolor paper to see which color of the mixing chart match to classify it into a light, a mid, or other skin tone. Write down which colors you use in case you have different yellows, reds, or blues, and remember that the ones that tend to work better are the ones with a warmer base. Also write down in what proportion did you mix it, so you can achieve them makes more easily in the future. Something important to keep in mind when you mix watercolor, it's that they usually dry lighter than when are wet. Make your mix a little darker than the color you want to get at the end. With this, we finish our mini mixing chart. Use the charts as a reference and not as a rule that you cannot break. For example, I can use any of these two colors to paint a mid a skin tone, or I can use this color by adding more water to paint a lighter skin tone. Again, I recommend you to do the whole mini chart with the colors you own, so you have an idea of the colors your palate is capable of producing. In the next lesson, I'm going to talk about the color psalms of the phase. 9. Color zones of the face: Finally, the last point I want to highlight are the color zones of the face, since all the exercise have to do with painting the face. As I mentioned before, the skin is composed of different layers and elements that make their color vary. On the face, we can identify three areas of colors. Starting with the forehead that tends to have more yellow tones because it has some superficial veins or muscles. From the eyes to the nose, it tends to have a reddish tone because it is an area with superficial veins that also carry oxygenated blood. While from the end of the nose to the chin, it tends to be a slightly bluish tone, especially in men, due to superficial follicles and veins that carry deoxygenated blood. By areas, it doesn't mean that we have to apply a yellowish stripe on the forehead and so on. It is just that each area has a quarter that predominates in the mix. This is something that it has to be applied in a very subtle way. I personally use it only if I want to add more realism to my painting, but in general, what I tend to do is to accentuate the red area, especially on the cheeks. We just finished the more technical part. You will find a principal worksheet template on the resources area, and I highly recommend you to take some time to fill it. On the next lesson, I am going to do a quick recap on the topics that I have covered along with the instructions for the first of the three exercise that I proposed, so that you select at least one to practice the techniques you saw in this class. 10. Warm-Up: Let's do a quick recap. This class was all about all the things that I take into account when I paint a skin tone. First, we get over the basic techniques of watercolor, creating transparencies, gradients, and applying the paint on wet and dry paper. We learned about other paintings to help us define the value of the object and set the undertone. Then we move to the colors I used to create each type of skin tone. I also explain how you can create a skin tone from the primary colors. Finally, as in all the exercise, I apply this skin color to a face. I explained that the face has three color zones and why it has those colors. At this point you have all the information you need to tackle or improve your skin tone painting. I'm going to share three exercise from the easiest one to the most complex one, to give you a frame on how you can approach or apply all the information that I just shared with you. You can do the three exercise or choose the one that most resonate with you and your needs at this moment. The first exercise, it is more like a warm up activity since the goal here is to experiment so you can learn how your paints behave and how they interact with each others. For example, how much blue you can apply in your underpainting to achieve a light skin tone. If you have different light greens, try them out to see which one works best and also, you can discover with which mix you like to paint the most. For this warm up we are going to paint many faces. I left a template in the resources area. That way, you don't need to worry about spending time drawing all the faces. Again, the idea is to experiment and obviously have fun. For the first column of faces, we are not going to apply any underpainting. For the second one, we're going to apply a blue underpainting, for the third one green and for the last one purple. To get the most out of this exercise, try to paint each face as different as possible and take note of what you did. You are able to replicate the ones you like the most in the future. Practice more the ones that were a challenge or simply discard those that do not work at all. I apply the underpainting in a very subtle way, but you can vary the intensity to obtain more diverse result. I apply the underpainting using the wet-on-dry technique. In case you need it, here is how I apply the underpainting as if the light came from one side. When the underpainting has dried, I start applying the skin tones. I use the remains of the mixes I did for our mini mixing chart, which I also have on hand in case I need it as a reference. The idea is to almost paint each face with a different mix. I usually use a piece of watercolor paper to test them mixes before applying it. What do you need to remember at this point is what you learn on the underpainting lesson. That is to work with complimentary colors. You don't need to completely neutralize the underpainting with the next layer of paint that you apply, like we did in the cubes exercise. There we were understanding how complimentary colors behave but when you paint or when painting skin tones, you will normally have to apply more layers to achieve a nice skin tone. Remember to work in layers. Let it dry and apply another layer on top in the areas you want to be darker. To darken the color little by little. At some points you will see me using my brush as an eraser at the center of the face. That technique it's called lifting. It is basically a way to remove the paint. I use it when I think I over painted the area and looks darker than I wanted it to be. All you need to do in this case when the paint is still wet, is use your brush, merely dry to absorb the paint. I really hope to see your warm up exercise in the project gallery and also know your conclusions of what you like and don't like to paint. What was easy and what was the challenge so that I can give you a personalized advice. As a major focus, here are the skin tones. I didn't paint the hair, I just use a black marker to draw it and for the eyes I use a watercolor and a white marker for the lights. For the lips, I use different tones of red. Feel free to paint the details as you want. 11. Polaroid - Light Skin & Blue Underpainting: When I created this class, I thought of having two options of exercise to apply the techniques we know on this course, but at some point I realized that there was a big gap between the experience you need to tackle the first exercise and the last one. Even if you do have the experience, painting two portraits takes time. With this exercise that I call it Mini Polaroid, I found a midpoint where I am going to paint a portion of the face for a light, a mid, and a dark skin tone. Also I thought it would be cool if I could share more tips on how I apply the techniques that we just learned. Painting a portion of the face will allow me to do that. As you see, I have three pieces of watercolor paper, in each piece, I drew a portion of the face twice to paint the first one with another painting and the second one without it. You can see the difference between applying the under painting technique with the color mixing technique or just the color mixing technique. For the light skin tone, I will use a blue on the painting, for the middle skin tone I will use green, and for the dark skin tone I will use purple. Let me explain a couple of things before I start painting. First, you can go to my Pinterest board I leave the link in the pre description that I have different photos that you can use for this exercise. If you do your own research, just remember to choose a good quality photo. That is to say a photo where you can see the details and that it isn't too dark. Then I crop it using my phone and I duplicate it, to turn it black and white. By adjusting it's saturation to minimal and duplicate again it to increase the contrast. I always refer to the first black and white photo to apply the under painting. The second I use it when they want to achieve a more realistic look because it allows me to see more clearly where most of the light and darkest tones are concentrated and in my tracing paper, in addition to trace the shape of the face, I also trace the shapes of some of those areas and when painting I can place my tracing paper on top and see if my shadows match. Then I transfer the drawing to the watercolor paper. For that, I use a separate sheet of paper that I have with graphite on it. Next with my red prisma color called erase pencil I redraw everything again. That is why you see the marks in red. I do this because that pencil color blends well with the watercolor and with the tones that I am using while with a graphite pencil, you end up with a great edge. Finally, I use an eraser most of the times I need to rule or erase to lighten the marks of the color pencil. Now let's move to how I apply the under painting. First, I'm going to start with the mid to worse light tones so that where I can add more color on the top of the areas that are darker later on and for the light areas, I just leave a blank space. I test the color on a sheet of water color paper to make sure it isn't too dark, another reason why I start with such a light or diluted layer of color is because I have to be careful of not over-paint my under painting. If I apply a dark color painting, I will end up needing to apply more skin tones on top and as a result, I will get a much darker skin tone than the one I was going to paint on the first place. Since this is a really pale skin, I apply the painting using the wet and dry technique to have more control over my painting. I have to wait to paint the neck because the chin is wet and I don't want both areas to blend. I keep painting the mid and dark areas of the face. After applying the shadow to the chin, I clean my brush and remove the excess of water and the use it moist to help me blend the color, on the areas where I want to darken the color first, I make sure they are dry to apply another layer of paint. If a really dark area I apply more concentrated paint. The last thing I did was to apply the under painting to the lips. With the other painting I prefer if it is possible to weigh from way to the next before applying the skin tones to make sure it is completely dry. I start adding layers of paint when the under painting seems to look between 50 percent and 75 percent, lighter than the black and white photo. If you want to those signs of under painting to stay at 50 percent percent. If you don't mind, or do you like to be able to see the under printing in some areas go up to 75 percent. Now regarding skin tones, I will use my mini mixing chart and my larger chart to select the colors that I am going to use for my first layer of skin tones. This is how I used to work, you will see that when you get used to your pints and the colors, they produce, you will little by little start using it less because you will know what colors to use to achieve the tones you want. Looking at my reference photo in my chart, it seems that the skin is a really watery mix of burnt sienna with more of raw umber, but I apply a blonder painting. As we know by now, I need to use something with orange to obtain a kind of brown. I will use a watering mix of burnt sienna and cadmium red. I uploaded those chart in the resources area so you can use it as a reference, but I recommend you to make your own and if you don't have to colors I'm using, use my charts as a reference to mix your colors as we saw in the lesson of how to create a skin tones using the primary colors. Again, I test the mix on a different paper and I start to apply light layers of color. I apply more layers or more concentrated mix on the darkest areas of my under painting painting. When you paint the lips, Following the direction of the wrinkles they have, and as I did with the other painting, I build up the color layer by layer. For small areas or for painting with more precision, I use a brush number 2, and for the rest, a number 4. Then, I use raw umber with burnt sienna to add a little bit of brown. The paint was looking too pale, so I decided to add a layer of cadmium yellow with cadmium red to be with the colors and make them look more like a skin tone. When I paint the skins, I always use my brush after drying it like a sponge. That way I avoid the marks that the flow of water left when it dries. I added alizarin crimson to add a little bit blush to the skin. For the lips I use cadmium red with a bit of alizarin crimson. I use the same mix to darken some areas. Now I continue with raw amber to give a brown look at some shadows that look red. I apply a red blush on the cheek using the wet on wet technique with Alizarin crimson. Finally, I add a final ledger that will help me unify all the colors that I applied. For that, I use Cajun yellow with a lot of water. Remember when you create a really diluted mix, dry your brush first and then wrap the mix to start painting. That way you ensure your brush is not holding an excess of water and paint. Since this is a light skin tone with a blue under painting where I already used a lot of oranges and reds, using Jell-O is my best choice because it will brighten my colors without darkening the whole paint too much. Even though is a ledger that I apply above all, I apply it one area at a time because some colors can be reactivated and I can end up spreading dark colors everywhere. Finally, I add more layers to darken some areas with burn amber and Alizarin crimson. This was the result. Now, I'm going to start painting the other side. In this case, I didn't apply an under painting, I can use directly the mix of burnt sienna and raw amber. That I mentioned before is the one that looks more similar to the color of the photo. As always, I apply very light layers of paint where the meat and dark tones are. For the lips, I am using a mix of Alizarin crimson and Cadmium red. Now I am applying a more concentrated mix of raw amber on the darkest areas of the face. I added burnt sienna to the mix that I use for the lips to paint the darkest area. When the paint that I apply to the shadows dry, I notice that I need to darken it more. So I am applying another layer of raw amber. Now I add to the mix burnt sienna to vivid the color of the shadows. I apply using the wet on wet technique some blush with Alizarin crimson. As the neck is dry, I can apply the mix with burnt sienna on the chin. I continue adding layers of paint on the shadow with burnt sienna and raw amber. To deepen the shadow of the nose, I add Ultramarine to my brown mix. I use a very watery mix of burnt sienna with raw amber to darken the lips. I repeat the same steps again. That's how it looks. When I finish painting the three minute Polaroid's, I am going to draw some conclusions, but for now, let's move to the mid-tone painting. 12. Polaroid - Mid Skin & Green Underpainting: For the mean skin tone, I took the same steps that I took before painting the lighter skin tone. For this photo, I think agreeing on their painting will works since it has a warm tone. Again, I define a mid tone and I started applying are really light layer of paint. I switched to a smaller brush to paint the details of the nose using a more concentrated mix. If I need to check the shape of the shadows, I take a look at the black and white photo to which I increase the contrast. Remember, if you want to obtain a similar look that might work with like layers of paint, little by little, add more color on the shadows areas, absorb the access of water or paint with your brush, and also use your brush to blend the paint. At this point, I paint the most relevant freckles, which are the ones that are bigger or located in a specific place that makes them stand out. I prefer to use my bigger brush to blend instead of the smaller one. Remember to add more layers of paint till the point you are 75 percent lighter than your black and white photo. Okay. Now to apply the skin tone, I check my mixing chart and the scheme looks like a mix of burnt umber with cadmium red. I am going to stay with those colors because they have their red tone I need to turn the painting into brown. I could also add a bit of alizarin crimson on the more witnessed areas. I'm going to start playing them burnt umber cadmium red. But first, I tested on a piece of watercolor paper. Here I accidentally went out of the margin, so I use my brush nose to erase the paint. Then I dry it with my paper towel to avoid the pigment from spreading into that area. Don't despair, this is a process where you need to build up layer after layer. So you are going to see the colors blue and green of your handout painting for a lot of time before it starts to transform into a more realistic skin tone. I usually mix a small portion of paint but you can mix more if you don't want to spend time mixing over and over again the same colors. For the lips, I am adding more Alizarin crimson and cadmium red because they look more reddish than the skin. I apply the brush with Alizarin crimson using the wet-on-wet technique. If I think I applied more paint than I wanted, I use my paper towel to absorb it all at once. I apply a layer of cadmium yellow on top because the scheme was looking too red. Now I am applying a mixture of raw umber and raw sienna to add more brown into the shadows. I apply more Alizarin crimson to the lips and another layer of cadmium yellow to the skin. I repeat the steps of applying brown sienna and brown umber over the shadows and a layer of cadmium yellow on top over and over again until I can't see the green areas. I paint the freckles using a brush number 0/20, with different mixes and different concentrations. I use my paper towel to lighten the freckles that I painted. This step is totally optional, its just that my reference photo seems to have make-up with a pearlescent highlight. I am applying a wipe Goldwater color on top of those areas. Here's the finished painting. In this case, I am going to start painting with a mix of brown umber with cadmium red, since as I mentioned earlier, it is the one that looks more similar to the skin of my reference photo. For the lips, I use burnt sienna with a mix of cadmium red with Alizarin crimson. For the darkest shadows, I used burnt umber with a lesser in crimson. Again, little by little I am adding a layer by layer. I mixed some burnt umber with ultramarine to darken the shadows, and I used that mixture along with the one I had prepared for the lips to paint its shadows. I applied a layer of cadmium yellow because the skin was looking too red. Now, I used burnt umber to darken the shadows. I waited for it to dry to apply a layer of cadmium red, and burnt umber. I changed to a smaller brush to paint the details. I paint the freckles as I did before just that this time I wanted to paint less. I mixed burnt sienna, burnt umber, and cadmium red to paint the shadows of the lips. I painted the blush using Alizarin crimson and I applied a final layer of cadmium yellow to unify all the colors. Finally, as I did before, I applied the white gold on the highlights, and so it looks. Now, let's move to the dark tone painting. 13. Polaroid - Dark Skin & Purple Underpainting: Before I start painting, the only step that we need to change is that instead of adding more contrast, I will increase the highlights to see the shapes of the highlights and shadows more clearly. I start to paint the under painting as we saw early. Purple is a good choice here because it's a darker skin tone. In some areas of the original photo you see, at the end of the shadows some yellow tones underneath, which is the color I'm going to use on top of my under painting. For the eyebrow, I use my smaller brush and I apply the paint following the shape of the hair. Then, I apply the yellow layer. Here I don't check the mixing chart, I always apply cadmium yellow because since is a darker skin, I can add more layers on top to transform the color to look more like my reference. Remember to apply the more concentrated mixture on top of the shadows, and more watery on the light areas. Then I apply Alizarin crimson with raw umber because for me it looks like the skin color of the reference. Then, I add more Alizarin crimson to the mix to darken it even more. I apply a watery layer of cadmium yellow to blend all the tones and make them look more vivid. For the eyebrow, I use raw umber. I am using ultramarine to darken some shadows. Now I add a layer of cadmium red to darken it more but also to avoid an opaque look. That tends to happen when you use ultramarine. My reference photo has a black eyeliner. I tend to avoid using pure black, so I'm going to add a bit of pink gray to my raw umber and use it on the areas that look black. I use the same mix but with more water to deep some shadows. Finally, I paint the lashes with a brush number zero as last 20. As I did in the midterm painting, I add a bit of the white gold goal on the highlight to give it a pearlescent look. Here is the final painting. For this painting, I am going to start painting with a raw umber since it's the base color for darker skin tones. After applying the second layer of raw umber, I add cadmium red to darken the shadows. I add Alizarin crimson too darken the color even more. I repeat these steps several times. Now I am applying a watery layer of Alizarin crimson to unify and give it a blush to the skin. I use raw umber with ultramarine to deepen the shadows. I apply it several times. Now, I am applying a layer of cadmium yellow because the colors look opaque. I also apply Alizarin crimson and cadmium red to help bring the colors to life. Again, I apply a mix with ultramarine to darken the shadows, and I added the white gold on the highlights. This is the final piece. Now, let's compare them. Here I have the three mini polaroids. For the light skin tone, I love both result. In this piece, In particular, it is where you can see more clearly the difference between applying both techniques instead of just one. Even though I love underpaintings, I will choose if I apply both techniques are not based on the result that I want to get at the end. I apply an underpainting if I want a realistic look, and I don't apply it if I want a more delicate look. I imagine this face surrounded by loose flowers, and I think it will look amazing. I imagine the other painting style using a more realistic or dramatic context. Also, if you look close to the face that has the underpainting, you will notice that in some areas you can see some traces of blue, and that is something that I personally love. Like when you see a painting from a far distance and you see just a color, but when you look closely, you can notice that the artists applied different colors that you wouldn't normally use, in this case to paint the skin tones. Of course, you can turn the paint without underpainting in a more realistic paint by adding the blue, green, or purple. But to do that, I prefer to start with an underpainting from the beginning. For the mid skin tone, I like how the highlights looks with the underpainting. But in general, I love both results. Again, I will apply an underpainting if I need a realistic look because it gives more deep to the paint. Finally, with the darker skin tone, I prefer to use another painting because the shadows look better, in my opinion, and in general, all the colors looks more vivid. First, keep in mind the result you want to achieve to see if you need to apply an underpainting or not. Next, you need to be very observant. Look at your painting and see which color is dominating. To start understanding what color do you need to add to balance your painting and make it look more like your reference or to achieve the result you are looking for? Let's say that in general, if I need to intensify the colors without darkening the painting, I apply a layer or several layers of yellows. If I need to intensify the colors and also darken a little bit the painting, I apply red. For a blushed look, I use a tone like Alizarin crimson. If my painting is looking too red, I will use some brown. If I want a really dark tone, I will apply blue. Something that helps me achieve a more accurate skin tone is by applying lying layers of paint. That gives me the opportunity to build a color little by little, and also adjust it or correct it by switching to another color if is needed. In the next lesson you will see as spit painting as a demo of how I paint an entire portrait using the techniques that I mentioned in this class. 14. Portrait exercise: If you have more experience, or you have the time to invest in the painting, I encourage you to apply the techniques you just learned into painting a portrait with at least two different skin tones. That doesn't mean that if you are a beginner, you should avoid this exercise. I think it will be awesome if you do it because that means that you are 100 percent committed to learn and improve, and the only way to do it is by practicing. But I highly recommend you to start first with the warm-up exercise first, then the Polaroid exercise to gain more practice and experience on how to use the watercolors before tackling the portrait. Okay, again, as I want you to focus only on the other painting and on the skin tone mixing, which are the central point of this class, if also the drawing phase is something that overwhelms you, or maybe you want to save time as I did with the other exercise, I suggest you to trace the image. Remember, that is just to practice the main topic of this class, and so I don't want you to feel that this is an obstacle to try the exercises. But as an illustrator, I recommend you, even as you are into our realistic drawing, to take some time to learn and practice the basics of drawings. For that, you can watch my mom's class. I will leave the link on the project description. The class, it is about how to draw the female face, and it is a good starting point if you want to understand the proportion of the face. In my case, to save time, I traced the general shapes into my tracing paper, and I adjust some features there because my painting style isn't in fact that realistic. As in the Polaroid exercise, I transfer the drawing to the watercolor paper using a different sheet of paper with graphite on it. Then I retrace it with my red Prismacolor Col-Erase to avoid gray edges. Finally, use an eraser to lighten the marks. You can find this image along with many others on my Pinterest board. I'll leave the link in the project description. Notice that here, I didn't trace the shapes of the shadows and highlights as I did on the Polaroid exercise. As I mentioned, I didn't want a super realistic look, so I turned the photo to black and white with my phone, and I'm using it as a reference to see the values better while I apply the underpainting. I am using purple for the dark skin tone and blue for the light skin tone because I want them to have a coal undertone. As always, I start with a really light layer of paint. Before it dries, I apply more paint on some areas of the shadows that allows the color to easily fade away, one of the advantages of the wet-on-wet technique. I do the same with the blue underpainting. I continue darkening the shadows, and I use a smaller brush with a more concentrated mix on the darkest and sharpest areas. When you have your underpainting ready, let it dry if you can 'til the next day, or at least for a couple of hours. Now, moving on to the skin colors, I apply a diluted layer of alizarin crimson with burnt sienna over the blue underpainting, and a yellow layer over the purple underpainting to neutralize as much as I can the underpainting. Now, I am looking at the original photo, and I decided to use Alizarin crimson with burnt umber as the main color for the dark skin tone, since from me, her skin has a reddish hue. For the light skin tone, I am applying burnt sienna on the shadows, but still looks blue. I continue applying the mix of Alizarin crimson with burnt sienna to darken the skin little by little. I add Alizarin crimson as a blush using the wet-on-wet technique. At this point, I realize that I like the pastel look that I was getting, and I decided to stay with those tones since they will look gray with the composition of stars and the moon that I have thought. I add more Alizarin crimson to the light skin tone to make it look pinker. To darken some shadows of the dark skin tone, I use raw umber with Alizarin crimson. When I am about to finish the painting, I add a final semi-transparent layer of color to unify the skin tone of each one. For the light skin tone, I use burnt sienna, and for the dark skin tone, I use cadmium yellow. So as I mentioned before, you have to be really observant to see which color is dominating your painting and which color is dominating in the reference photo or in the painting you imagined. To then apply the theory, we review. To go step-by-step, add in the colors that will help you achieve the result you are looking for. Now, I continue with the details to paint the base of the moon and the stars. I use watercolors, I add a layer of gold watercolors on each of them because I thought it will give it a look like stardust that will work with my concept. If you do this, just take into account that if the pearlescent color you are applying has a color, like the yellow gold I am applying, it will change a little bit the tone of the skin. So plan ahead if you are going to use it at the end. Because let's imagine if in this case, I have applied a thicker layer of cadmium yellow. When I apply the gold, the final tone will become too yellow for what I was looking for. I use gold and silver in to paint the details of the stars and the moon. Finally, I use a black color pencil to draw the hair and the lashes. [MUSIC] 15. Final Thoughts: Thanks for watching, I hope you had enjoyed the class. I will love to see your exercises into the project gallery because all this information that you just acquire only has the potential to become something really powerful and amazing if you just put it into practice. I share with you this approach because it is what works for me and the way I like to paint. But I couldn't have discovered without practice and experimentation. That is what will enrich your art. I encourage you to try and publish two activities, the worksheets and one of the three exercise that I proposed and make it simple. For example, for the following exercise, you don't need to paint the three different skin tones or painting each skin twice. I just did it because I wanted to show you the difference between each case. Adjust the exercise as you want to be able to do them, because I think you get the most out of this classes when you get personalized feedback. Remember to check the resources area and feel free to ask me any question in the community section, I will love to help you.This is my first Skillshare class, so leave a review if you can, that with your questions and projects, is what helps me improve my content and create better classes. Finally, if you like this class, you can follow me on the Skillshare to be alerted on my upcoming classes. Also, you can follow me on Instagram where I am going to share information about how to build a thriving career, and that's it. I hope to see you in my next class.