Fun with Skin Tones

New layout! I’ve wanted to have more items in my sidebar for awhile, so I decided to change my theme. The darker background helps bring out the colors in my art, as well. Enjoy!

After almost going cross-eyed trying to paint the pattern on the middle dress, which is blown out in the reference photo, I decided to give it a rest and move on to painting the model’s skin.

started defining flesh tones a bit more

started defining flesh tones a bit more

When I started painting the face of the model on the far right, I discovered that the color I mixed was overly yellow-green. She looked like a lizard for awhile! Rather than paint over her face again I decided to add some purple to the mix (the complement of yellow) to tone it down. I really like the effect it had.

close-up of faces

close-up of faces

The outlines around the faces exist because I needed to shrink their faces a bit, especially the middle model. Those lines will get filled in with more of the background color later. I attempted to reshape the eyes a bit more when painting the skin, as well. For shading, rather than using black I tried to use neutrals built from colors in the face. For example, since the middle model’s skin has a lot of red in it, I used green to shade it, giving the illusion of depth. The darker shadows you see above are more of a blue-orange mix. Those two colors tend to make the best neutral dark color, very organic-looking instead of a flat black.

also did lip color

also did lip color

I finally got to paint their bright lips in as well! That part was fun. Purples and pinks, so bright and luscious! I’m happy with the colors in their skin and I’m glad that I experimented with some brights (pinks, purples, yellows, even some greens). I think I may need to push the shadows a bit further but I’m going to let the paint sit for awhile first. After that, I’ll be just about ready to start painting the hair (more candy bright colors!).

While I was facebooking last night, a friend of mine who does photography posted this article, entitled You Are Not a Misery Sponge. I’ve been struggling a bit lately and decided to give it a read; though the blog is aimed at wedding photography, the article easily applies to anyone in a creative profession. It urges the reader to push forward with their art and trust their instincts.

You are not a door mat. You are not hired to be stomped on, stepped on, or smashed down. You are there for your vision. For what you see that no one else can. … – you’re there, because you believe in something. Because you feel something. Because you know a secret little something about just what a picture can be.

The last paragraph of the article resonates with me the most.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if not a single soul in the universe understands why you do things the way you do. Even yourself. What you need is what you need. There is no time to live in other people’s worlds on other people’s schedules. You’ll have no choice. But don’t let go of it without a fight. Not when it takes you away from your creative space. Not when it stops you from being you. Do not soak up the misery. Do not soak up the doubts of the world around you. Assert yourself and find ways to keep everything else at bay. There are only so many weekends in life. Cherish them, and don’t keep putting your life on hold until the Saturdays run out.

It’s simple really; I just want to do art, to paint, to draw, to sing, to use my hands… it’s something within me, almost spiritual, that I need to do to be happy. It doesn’t matter why, it’s just what I do, and I will chase it and fight for it with everything I have.

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