Adding Skin Colors with Watercolors

Basic Coat Skin Coloring

For a moment make your hand into a very tight fist … hold that position for a few seconds … now open your hand and note the coloring of your finger tips. If you have pale skin (European) you will see that the color of your finger tips is a pale yellowish color. If you have a medium skin (Asian, Mid-Eastern, Native American) coloring your finger tips will be a yellowish-orange. Dark skin (African) will show up as a pale orange-red tone. This is the true color of pigment in the layers of your skin. The tight fist forces the blood away from the fingers letting you see just the skin color.

All skin colors fall within the yellow-orange to orange-red range. The variations of wonderful colors that the human species comes in will be created from this mix. There are no true “pink”, “red”, “yellow”, “brown”, or “black” colorings … We all have skin that falls into the orange range and the variations depend on the amount of yellow or red added to that orange hue.

Basic Skin Coloring Over The Body Structures

So we start with a yellow or yellowish-orange skin, as in this project’s example, and lay that color over each body structure:

  • Skin (yellow) over Bone (Whitish Blue) = pale yellow-gray tone
  • Skin (Yellow) over Muscle (Red-brown) = pale orange-brown tone
  • Skin (yellow) over Blood Veins (Dark Blue) = medium green-brown tone
  • Skin (Yellow) over Capillary Areas (Red) = medium orange tone

For other skin tones simply substitute the appropriate skin base color then add each tone for the body structure:

  • Medium skin (yellowish-orange) over Bone (Whitish-blue) = med. orange-gray
  • Dark skin (orange-red) over Bone (Whitish-blue) = med. red-gray tone

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