Monday, October 4, 2010

Mixing Flesh colors part one.

     Hello my friends. I am so glad to be here again.  Today we start learning how to mix up flesh colors to paint with. I am having to do this in two parts. In the next blog, I will have pictures to take you step by step through the process that I explain today. But first, lets talk about cool stuff. Below is a new painting I did for the writer of over 80 books, Author Charlee Boyett-Compo.  She is also the president and founder of a Fantasy Writers Association  with over 450 members.  She commissioned this piece for a series of her books based on Reapers in the old west.  This one is called "Reapers Justice." I hope you enjoy.
       This one was done with Corel Painter.  The next Painting I show you will be an oil painting, featuring actress Suzi Lorainne.  I showed you the pencil work on it a few weeks ago. I have to work on it here and there between commissions. I have a few days to see if I can get it finished up before I have to tackle my next assignment.
      To be honest with you, I am a bit surprised at all the attention and work I have been getting these last months.  A canadian magazine is coming out this week I believe and it has a 12 page interview with me. I don't know if it is going to be online on not, but I will give you the address if you want to order a copy. I feel like this is the best interview to date, and just last week I had 2 other on-line magazines approach me. One wants to do and interview, and the other a "Feature" on me.  I have lost count of all the interviews I have done in the last 12 months, but I am sure it is at least a dozen. I believe that all the new work is coming to me because of the interviews in print, radio and film. I just know I am thankful and appreciate all the folks out there that took me in and supported all my work.
     As soon as I finish up the next commission, which will take about 3 days and should be on the blog next weekend, I am going to build me a nice shelve system for the studio to store all the art, Masonite, and art pads.  That will free up the studio some more. It's funny as heck, when I first started my studio down in the dungeon I thought I would have why more space than I could ever need. LOL. Now I am doing things to conserve space, because it  has grown that much and that fast.
      Here is part one of two about mixing fleshtones.....
      When mixing flesh colors these are the colors you will need for acrylic and oil paints. I don’t think it will work for watercolor, but I have never tried.  In acrylic Mix 1 part Burnt Sienna, ½ yellow ochre, and 1/6 sap green.  In oils, Mix  1 part yellow ochre, about 2/3 Indian red, and ¼th sap green.   Now you have your main color. Also put a separate amount of yellow ochre and sap green, red, and orange to the side.
  Next, mix your Lightener.  Start with white, and then add a touch of orange.  Mix it to it’s the color of a light orange sherbet.  Then use this mix to create values of your flesh tones, by mixing it with your base flesh color. Breaking it down to a good value scale. Make at least 6 values with it based on the 3 to 8 values that we talked about in a recent blog. If you got the mix right, you will be able to put your hand beside it, and see that the  mix looks real compared to your flesh, unless you have a very dark tan.
   As you paint, remember that the flesh has warm and cold spots.  Cold spots are where the flesh is thin over the body, like the side of the nose, the eye sockets, the back of hands  and so on.  In the cold spots you would want to add a little more sap green or blue to the paint.  In warm spots you would add more orange or red. Soft fleshy spots would have more yellow ochre.
   Never use Black paint except in a black and white painting, which I encourage you to do as often as you can. For working in color  make you blacks by mixing one part Crimson, ½ thalo green, and ½ brunt umber or use alizarine crimson, indian yellow and ultramarine blue in equal amounts.  
   If you’re wanting to paint a black person, start with sap green as the whole, then 1/3rd yellow ochre and 1/3rd Indian red. Keep alizarin crimson and yellow ochre to the side.
     Now this is the basic formula, but it alters according to the light source.  Lets say you have fire light as you light source, then you would orange to the mix, and then of course you have you reflective light, or back light as some people call it.
   If your using oils, paint in each of the values of color of the flesh side by side first. Light to dark, then to your reflective lighting, then once it is all in place, blend each with a dry brush.  This way your values and colors will stay pure instead of muddy.
      If your gonna be working with the flesh tones for more than two days, buy some clove oil. (this is something you want to keep around anyways if you paint in oils)  put 2 drops of it in the main mix  for the flesh before you break down it down into your values.  Also add a couple of drops to your dark mixture, but do not add any to the sherbet mix.  If you have painted in oils, you know that the dark colors will dry much faster than the light.
   When I paint, I use linseed oil and  Liquin as my mediums.  I tried making a mixture of  2/3 Liquid mixture and 1/3rd linseed oil,, but that takes to long to dry.  I painted in Acrylics for about 25 years, so I work fast.  So what I do now is put a thin layer of Liquid over the areas I feel can paint that day, and then use Linseed oil for my medium. If I am in a big hurry, I use Liquid as the medium as well, then by the next morning, what I painted the day before is dry.  The reason I don’t like to use Liquid as my medium is because once it is mixed with paint on your pallet, it will dry them as well.
      A easy way to keep your brushes clean and soft is this, have a little odorless turpentine  in a small container  next to you, and a small container of that orange cleaner.
     Next week, part Two and new work from yours truly. Until then, much love.  "May the Darkness Comfort you"

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