Saturday, January 04, 2014
When I paint portraits, people sometimes ask what colours I use. I don't have a specific formula that I can provide, as it depends so much on the complexion of the individual. Most skin tones that I create are varying mixes of red, yellow, blue and white. I know that doesn't help if you're looking for specifics in terms of colour names and brands, but those colour choices change depending on the subject and what colours I have available.
For this portrait of my granddaughter I'm using cadmium red, yellow ochre and cadmium yellow, ultramarine blue, ultramarine violet,and titanium white. Brands are a mix of Utrecht, Kama Pigments and Winsor & Newton. I've added a small amount of Gamblin Radiant Turquoise and Radiant Red as well as Asphaltum in the darker shadows.
Each artist has her own favourite colour mixes and convenience colours in tubes that are to 'go to' when skin tones are needed. As my grand daughter is so pale, I may add a glaze to the shadow side once the oils are dry to give some warmth and depth. Of all the faces to paint, the ones that provide me with the most challenges are childrens faces. A child's head shape and softer facial features take subtle value changes to create form and accurate representation. Lots of measuring for accuracy is needed to keep a likeness.