Painter’s Corner brought to you by Blue Table Painting
Featuring BTP artist Karin

Painting skin can be a simple process;  a wash or a focused drybrush.   Or it can be many many layers, not unlike actual human skin.  A little-known fact is that multiple layers of paint can be subtly translucent with light penetrating to the deeper layers and reflecting back out.  The human eye and mind do not consciously pick this up, but it can be a pleasing effect.

See the video version here

Fig. 01—set up your station nice and tight.

Fig. 02—the colors you need (Vallejo Royal Purple, Mahogany Brown, Flat Flesh, Pale Flesh and Warlord Purple)

1) Start with a base layer of black or rust primer.  Then put on some purple of all things, a pretty solid layer.  This will be subtly present as the other layers go on, not only in the deep areas as a shadow but subtly as a reflection from a deeper layer.

2) Then you will put on an only slightly lighter layer of a warm brown, such as Vallejo Mahogany Brown.   This is the base color that will work with the successive layers of warm fleshtones.

3) Next is a mix of flat flesh and your base brown, a mid-tone.  Then after this a layer of straight up flat flesh.  At this point you are mindful of how the light would strike this figure from above.  You are forcing shadowing and perspective by highlighting only the most prominent areas of the face—the brow, nose, cheekbones and chin.

4)  In a surprising twist you will then put on a very thin, watery wash of warlord purple.  This will really stain the flesh a bright purple color.  Not unlike real skin you are creating partly translucent layers that will show up subtly as the light strikes it, penetrates to deeper layers then comes back out to the eye of the observer.

5) To finish it up, you will repeat step 3 and then work it up to Pale Flesh.  By this time your model will have at least seven layers on it.  What you see here as a finished work is just a rough sketch of the very realistic and organic feel you can get to your skintones with that sort of effort.

Thanks for tuning in and be sure to check out our work on

Fig. 03—the finished face

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...