Watercolor Skin Tone Practice
I swatched several different skin tone blends before painting in the figure of my current work in progress, hoping I wouldn’t make the skin too blotchy, as seems the case with most of my watercolor skin tone efforts. Alas… I still overworked the paint and it’s still blotchy. I think I keep trying to treat watercolor like digital painting, and then I push too far and overwork it. Blah. More blending practice is necessary!
Before starting, I watched a “Watercolor Portraits for Beginners” video on YouTube. It helped with picking out some initial tubes of paint: sepia, burnt sienna, and a dark violet. Then I began adding other warmer colors – and eventually mixed my own violet by combining permanent Alizarian crimson with Grecian blue and lamp black.
I would really like to deep-dive in watercolor pigments and understand the qualities and differences of the major colors. A while back I read The Alchemy of Paint, and while it was more about alchemy than painting (mostly mysticism and the philosopher’s stone, 10/10 would recommend the book), it did discuss pigment recipes (albeit medieval times pigments, not modern watercolors). That kind of history appeals to me – I like going down rabbit holes of research, learning how things are put together. ^_^
The right page above is from December – one of my Christmas gifts from family was an Ohuhu skin tone marker set. I still have some face sketches in the corner to finish, but that shall have to wait for a future post.
I’m hoping the top layer of ink outlines helps bring the painting together, especially the details of the face. I’m not quite ready to ink yet – I want to deepen shadows on the chemise just a bit, plus the background shadows/shadow under the figure. I am still tempted to add a layer of colored pencil shading but…no, that might not layer in the way I want, becoming waxy and oddly textured. Maybe I can test on a scrap piece of paper before deciding? I am also so tempted to put shimmery gold paint on the wall’s gold trim and her gold slippers, but it would probably clash with the rest of the painting. I could test that out too…
I’m very happy with how the painting of chemise turned out – I went so much faster, letting the water flow and blend. It helps it’s a bigger surface area – less worry about messing up the shape of the face or hands.
Finished a little earlier tonight – 9pm, yay! Gonna go see if Ricky is up for some Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
‘Til next time!