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Blowing a Kiss

Discussion in 'Step by Step' started by Big John 1945, May 13, 2017.


  1. Big John 1945

    Big John 1945 Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    I thought I would try another SBS about color. My last three portraits were in black and white which I thoroughly enjoyed doing because you just fill your airbrush with black paint and start painting. No colors to mix, no switching of colors,no constantly cleaning your AB between colors, well you get the idea.

    I haveto admit that I am terrible at matching colors to my reference photo. A challenging color portrait may have up to twenty different colors. If it takes me between 4 and 10 tries to match a color, along with cleaning between samples, I have many hours a day just mixing all the colors before I can start painting. Another problem that I have is when I mix white with any transparent paint to create an opaque color, it seem the color looses a lot of its vibrance. Doing a portrait in all transparent colors is like playing with fire, pull the trigger too hard on your AB and you are too dark with no way to remove your paint without causing texture. There has got to be a better way.


    Here is what I did. I created a skin tone tool.
    IMG_1101.jpg
    I masked off squares about 1 ¼ “x 1 ¼ “ and decided I would build most of my colors using Wicked Detail Driscoll Tone. For example the top left color is Driscoll Tone right out of the bottle sprayed at 100% coverage. The top right color is (6) Driscoll Tone (1) Illustration Red violet sprayed at 100% coverage. The third color on the left is (6) Driscoll Tone (1) Illustration Violet sprayed at 100% coverage. The third color on the right is (6) Driscoll Tone (1) Violet sprayed at 20% coverage.

    Near the bottom of my tool, the seventh color down on the left is Illustration Burnt umber sprayed at 20%. The seventh color down on the right is (1) Burnt Umber (1) red violet sprayed at 20% coverage.

    Once I completed all my squares, I cut square holes out of the middle so that I can lay my chart over the reference picture to start the matching process. Low and behold, many of the matches were already done with no further mixing and some I knew would match just by blend spraying.


    Am I still playing with fire using these transparents, yes I am but in order to get that vibrance in the portrait, I feel that it is a controlled fire burn that I am willing to chance.


    So let's try a color portrait using my skin tone tool. In fact let's try a portrait of a person “of color” which I have never attempted before. In this photo, I have blocked in the black areas of the eyes just as you would normally. On her left eye I have feathered out the black, added some eye lashes and added a black ring around the iris. I have added cobalt blue to the iris, scratched and erased in some texture and then sprayed vermilion. I know there will be highlites around this eye so I sprayed around the area with (1) Driscoll Tone (1) Illustration yelow.
    IMG_1076.jpg

    In this photo I have completed her right eye using the cobolt blue and vermilion. The eye is out of focus on purpose and it will become evident why as the painting progresses. I have also roughly blocked in some areas where her hair will fall.
    IMG_1078.jpg

    Here I have added some skin tone highlites, Placing my skin tone tool over the reference picture I found a perfect match for the highlite (6) Driscoll Tone (1) Illustration Violet. The darker area of her face and nose was a perfect match to (6) Driscoll Tone (1) IllustrationMagenta
    IMG_1083.jpg

    Again adding a new color to her nose area and her checkbone area below her left eye. Color tool says,

    (6)Driscoll Tone (4) Illustration Burnt Umber. Started adding texture with an erasure to the bridge of her nose as well as around her left eye.
    IMG_1085.jpg

    This photo started out as a disaster. I added the darker portions of her nose and left cheek using (6) Driscoll Tone (1) Illustration Sepia. I then filled in the background behind her right cheek with black. I masked off the right hand side of her face and sprayed the dark skin tone at about 40% coverage. I oversprayed that same area with cobalt blue and a touch of vermilion. When I removed the masking the PORTRAIT LOOKED HORRIBLE!! Because of the masking I couldn't see my contrast and I had added too much transparent cobalt blue. Way to dark. BURNED BY THE FIRE OF USING TRANSPARENTS!

    I had to create an opaque color by mixing in white paint with the Driscoll Tone and Sepia. The only good thing was that this was a shadow area and I could lose that vibrancy I was trying to attain. PORTRAIT SAVED.
    IMG_1092.jpg
    Finished up her lips and completed the shaded areas. I chose not to match the color of her lips to the reference photo. I felt the color was too orange or someone had a flashlight next to her mouth. I took some artistic liberties to soften that blown kiss.
    IMG_1098.jpg

    The last photo is a comparison to the reference. Hope this helps someone who has had the same difficulties with mixing and matching colors. Constructive criticism and advice welcome.
    IMG_1107.jpg

    IMG_1111.jpg

    Blair synthetic paper,Createx wicked and illustration paint, Iwata cm-sb
    Kamil, basepaint, doc1 and 4 others like this.
  2. MarcosD

    MarcosD Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Nice painting BJ!!


    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk
    Big John 1945 likes this.
  3. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Very cool!! Great painting, and great demonstrationof mixing colors!
  4. Big John 1945

    Big John 1945 Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Thank you Meeshel, I hope it was not too long winded.
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  5. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Not long winded at all! It was perfect!
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  6. Micha der Wolf

    Micha der Wolf Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Cool method of color matching. Nice painting!
    Big John 1945 likes this.
  7. Big John 1945

    Big John 1945 Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Thank you Micha
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  8. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Great work and SBS John Thank's:thumbsup::thumbsup:
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