Drawing Skin in Procreate - How to Paint Skin in 5 Steps | Celine D. | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Drawing Skin in Procreate - How to Paint Skin in 5 Steps

teacher avatar Celine D., Digital Fantasy Artist

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What are Blend Modes


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Reference and Sketch


    • 5.

      Step I and II: Base and Shading


    • 6.

      Step III: Blushing


    • 7.

      Step IV: Deeper Shadows


    • 8.

      Part V: Highlights and Adjustments


    • 9.

      Alternative Style Example: Anime


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts and Class Project


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

If you’re new to Procreate or digital art and want to learn how to paint skin, this class is for you!

In this class you will learn:

- A simple way to paint skin in 5 steps

- Basic use of the Multiply and Overlay Blend Modes

- How to apply these steps to your Art Style

In this class we’ll be going over the entire process of painting skin in Procreate, seeing how the different steps can come together, while working in different layers for each.

You’ll be completing a blending exercise and hear the basics of Multiply and Overlay to help prepare your to give a whole character a try. From the basic skin tone to adding the final highlighst, it’s all demonstrated for you to follow along with. The exercise template, reference, and my favorite blending brush is available under resources.

Even if you are using a different drawing software or devise, you can learn from these exercises and methods, as they translate well to e.g. Photoshop and pc.

Although starting my digital art journey in Photoshop, once I got my first taste of Procreate I’ve never looked back. I use layers and blend modes all the time in my work, as I create fantasy portraits and magical settings.

Music from


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Celine D.

Digital Fantasy Artist

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Celine. And digital fantasy artists from Denmark drawing faces and thereby skin can be daunting. So in this class, I'm going to teach you how to paint skin in procreate, in a few simple steps that can be used with any drawing style. We'll be using different blend modes to use the digital medium to our advantage and try to make drawing skin a little less intimidating. You'll be completing a blending exercise, a feel for the Blend Modes before moving to an actual face for the main project. Both a template for the exercise and a reference and face sketch for the project will be in the resource section along with my favorite blending brush available for you to use. If you want classes on sketching phases, painting portraits, or how to find the right colors digitally. You can have a look at all the classes I have on my profile. I'm working on building up a variety of subjects for all levels. Without further ado, get out, iPad, fire up, Procreate, and let's get started. 2. What are Blend Modes: If you're new to Procreate or digital art in general, you may be thinking, what about our blend modes and what can I use them for? As the name suggests, the blend most determined how layer's blend with the layers beneath them. There are many to choose from and play around with. But for today we'll be focusing on multiply an overly assets. The ones I find the most useful for beginners ever new layer is set to normal by default, meaning they cover up what is under them completely. If you lay down an opaque layer of color. Multiply. On the other hand, we act with the layers, multiplying the color you're painting with two the colors underneath. This means that you can darken areas without loosens the definition you are already done with shading. Works much in the same way, but depends on how light or dark a color you use. If you use a dark color, it darkens and can be used for shading, but with a light color, it lightens. I find it useful for brushing and adding life to skin without losing definition. Now for the reason we're using thin Mozart painting skin and thereby people or characters can be really complicated due to all the complex shapes of anatomy. But the process can be made a bit simpler and separated into different steps, but working in multiple layers and using blend modes. This way we can split our attention between shading to get whatever amount of realism you want. An adding variety to colors, always with the option of undoing or we're changing our minds with everything in separate layers. To show you what I mean, Let's get started with an exercise. 3. Exercise: Download the exercise template from the resource section and import it into an A4 canvas in Procreate. Here we have a sphere to color along with spaces to swap the colors we'll be using. Each sugar also has a letter that shows what blend mode each layer should be. Make a new layer. And in the first circle, swatch your base skin color. Swatch, a warm brown for the shading color, reddish brown for the brush, and a bluish purple for the shadows, and light yellow for the highlight. These are the colors we'll be using to shade a whole face later on. Now make a new layer on top of the template. Set it a clipping mask, so we won't draw outside of the shape and keep the blend mode on the default normal. Then fill in the circle with the base color. Select the shading color and make a new clipping mask set to the Blend Mode, multiply the smear with this color, and use the smudge tool to blend it out. The point of this layer is to get the so-called shape and made it look three-dimensional. In a new clipping mask set to the blend mode, only. Use a blushing color to make variation to the color of both the base and shading. Effective way to add life and burying color without having to worry about the initial blend. The next clipping mask we set to multiply and use to purpose blue color to darken the very deepest shadows. This goes at the very bottom of the sphere where there would be no light. This adds another layer of depth, the skin. In the final clipping mask, keep it set to normal and use the highlight color to make the shape pop. This helps contrast to shading and make this VL of 3D. Each layer adds a bit more dimension and live to the skin while giving us the option to return to each layer and change things should we want to. This makes it a beginner friendly technique with plenty of room for experimenting with your personal art style. Knees bent most can be used for all skin tones. So play around with that to get a feel of how the different blend modes affect the colors. The tricky thing about blend modes is that the color will appear different in the multiply overlay compared to the normal mode. But by playing around, you'll get a hang of it. Now let's move on. 4. Reference and Sketch: The reference I'll be using for this demonstration is the one that I used from a previous how to draw hair class. Make the project a little less intimidating. I'll be using the same sketch I made for the class so you guys can get it to and not worrying about starting from scratch. The fact that it already has hair will help make the whole thing look a little more put together in the end and help us adjust our values. You'll find both the reference and sketch in the resource section ready for you to download. 5. Step I and II: Base and Shading: Here we have the sketch. I went ahead and filled in eyebrows, eyes, and lips to go with the hair so we only need to focus on the skin. Below everything else. I make a layer called base skin color, which is where we'll start pick the base skin color of the palette on the top and fill in the face and neck. This is easy since this is the bottom layer and thereby can't overlap anything else. For lighter skin, look for basis in the light pinks, orange or yellow on the desaturated end. Now make a new layer on top of the base, on image shading and make it a clipping mask to the base layer. And keep the blend mode set to multiply. Pick the brown shading color, and use this to shade according to your personal art style. I went for a realistic look, using the reference as my guide, but it's also making it out to you. If you need help with shading realistic face anatomy, you can have a look at microscale portrait class that'll help you out. Good tip for knowing where to shade is to make your reference grayscale by removing saturation. This way, you only have to focus on where to make things darker without worrying about the color. This is one of the advantages, are working on the skin in different layers and blend modes like this. I blend in a mixture of using the pen pressure of the brush by using the smudge tool. How smooth or rough you blend, It's up to you and your preferred style. I also had the eraser set to the same brush since you can use it to carve out details that has been **** and blending. Erasing in the shading layers does not affect the base color. So everything can be if you mess up. You also don't have to worry too much about the specific college choice by painting skin this way. Since we can go into each separate layer and change or adjust the colors at will. This takes out some of the fear of messing up something that can feel really complicated. This shading layer is what lays a foundation of shape and the face of your character. And it doesn't matter how realistic or cartoony draw shade to the point where you are happy with the shape and dimension of the face. And then we're ready to move on to the next step. 6. Step III: Blushing: Make a new layer called blushing, set to clipping mask on top of the shading and set the blend mode to overlay. Pick the brushing color of the palate and start working this in wherever you want, some warmth and color variation to the face. If you draw my style, this might only be the cheeks, but in my reference, this pink to various parts of the face like the forehead, nose, and chin. I lay down the color roughly and then smooth it out. It this much tool. The color might look dark on the palette, but on the lighter parts of the face becomes a crushed lighter to set the blend mode. The same goes for this layer. You can erase if you need to, return to add or take away later. If you regret the color choice. Along the way, you can go into adjustments and shift the hue for this layer only, which can be very useful. In short, there's plenty of room for trial and error with this method. If you're going for realistic look and pay attention to your reference to see small variation of color in the face and where to place them. If you want more interesting lighting scheme with colored lights, for instance, you can add even more layers like this with different colors set to the overlay blend mode. But for today we'll be sticking to the basics. Where the shading brought shape to the face, the blushing drinks life, even if it's not the most drastic difference. Now we can move on to the deeper shadows. 7. Step IV: Deeper Shadows: To add even more dimension, make a new clipping mask and set it to multiply. Pick the dark bluish purple from the palette and place it where the shadows are harshest. This is usually on the opposite side of the light source, like honor the hair, and under the chin. This is again a subtle difference that you will need an all styles. But for realism, it helps bring out darker values and thereby dimensions. Since we already put down the basic shooting in a previous layer, is little simpler to place down this darker color, since the shading hint guide us, we're going to put it in very bad pictures or different art styles. You might not even need this darker shadows. But the option is there for the taking. Now we're ready to move onto highlights. 8. Part V: Highlights and Adjustments: In a new clipping mask, you can set the blend mode to screen, which will lighten what he's beneath. But I prefer to have set to normal. This way, I can choose to completely cover spots in highlights, no matter the shading beneath. But ultimately the church is up to you to find a highlight color for regular warm light. They pick the base skin color and choose a lighter color and shift the hue towards the yellow. Placeless wherever the face catches the light the most, like the forehead, tips of the nose and talk with the cheekbone. I also use a small brush to cover details around in the eyes and the sudden skin folds there to help make them stand out. Adding highlight is the other side to the coin, like adding shading and shadows as the lighter color make the features protrude and the darker corners retract. This all helps to bring out damage. And in the end, I also like you to him varying pen pressure to help us subtle highlights along with the smudge tool. Even if the layers on their own don't make a huge difference together, that really do. At this point, we can go back into the different layers with their appropriate colors to make some final adjustments. For instance, if an area looks too rough, other back into the shading layer and printed some more with the smudge tool. As mentioned previously, we're going for the basics today. But if you want a more exciting lighting scheme or your reference shows different color variations to the skin. You can make more overly layers and at different colors in. But for now, this project is done. 9. Alternative Style Example: Anime: Here we have the same approach to drawing skin bone in the character in a simpler animal style. This style has less shading over all, but the blend modes can be used in exact same way. A lot of anime has simple shell shading, but I prefer it to blend things a little more. But these layers work for shelter adding to. Even in more animated styles, having very issuing in the shadows can make a difference. And I choose a slightly lighter color for the shadows that would add some color without being too harsh. You can choose to paint scheme this way, no matter what odd style resonate with you. 10. Final Thoughts and Class Project: Now we've been over how to draw skin in procreate with a few effective steps. Now it's your turn. The class project for today is to compute the blending exercise and have a go at creating the sketch I provided. But remember how you shade is up to personal preference to use the blend modes to get the result that looks best to you. The exercise template and sketch is available for you in the resource section along with the blending brush or useful entirety of this class. Thank you for taking this class on my profile, I have other Procreate classes that you might like, such as how to paint portraits in grayscale, how to draw hair, and how to pick and mixed colors. If we wanted to see more of my personal ad, you can find me on Instagram at a leader theater art, or have a look at my Etsy shop. Have fun creating and bye for now.