For Every Airbrush Artist!

Want to see more forum, less google ads ? Then register for free

Register

How to Blend Skin Tones..

Discussion in 'Colour Theory' started by airbrushtutor, Mar 25, 2012.


  1. airbrushtutor

    airbrushtutor Love Spreading Overseer Admin Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    1,926
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Here's a video showing the correct way to blend skin tones.
    This tutorial doesn't go into detail about how to mix the actual colors but does tell you what colors you'll need.
    The important things to take away from this video are:
    • Whenever color mixing in airbrushing - the golden rule for a vibrant color finish is never to mix black & white in the same color! This dirties the color making it appear muddy, dull and lack depth.
    • Build color artworks with opaque colors and only use transparents to shift these colors or brighten them.
    • Only paint a darker color, when it has 100% of it's child color underneath (Skin tone is the child of mid tone which is the child of shadow tone).
    • Generally for full color artworks you'll want to work in 3's as a minimum - this means using a base-tone, mid-tone and shadow-tone for different parts of an artwork. For example a typical portrait will have 9 colors: 3 for the skin, 3 for the hair, 3 for the lips. However, these rules can easily be broken when using transparents to shift colors and heavily depend on the colors of the artwork you're painting.

    And here's the link to the text tutorial:

    http://www.airbrushtutor.com/how-to-blend-color.php
    Vladimir likes this.
  2. Fire Brush

    Fire Brush Guest

    Beautifully explained! Thanks so much!
  3. eenasha

    eenasha Guest

    very good video!
  4. Max Chickens

    Max Chickens Guest

    great video mate....looking forward to trying it out...
  5. ferret

    ferret Guest

    Master yet another piece of invaluable info for us all .Thanx again
  6. Pauly

    Pauly Guest

    I enjoyed the newest video very much. For me, probably the most informative. So you are saying to do your skin tones, highlights and shadows as an under-painting with the Opaque mixture first, then go over it with the Transparent over top. Do you use the same shade as the lightest skin tone and building it up or are you doing it in stages as you did with the Opaque tones? I will be watching this particular video several more times. Great job. Thank you.
  7. Pauly

    Pauly Guest

    also... how would you make skin tones for people of African decent?
  8. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin SuperMod Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    17,238
    Likes Received:
    15,801
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Bloomington,Indiana
    Thanks for all you do . The fades I have ,the color mixing I have a hard time with, But I have not tried the little square spray out with a triangle cut into it, I have been spraying on the edge of the paper and holding it up to the reference pic, That may be why my skins tones are off at time.
  9. AndreZA

    AndreZA Love this place! Forum Supporter Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,145
    Likes Received:
    7,441
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Great work Mitch, thanks. This also shows how much more transparent paint you need to lay down for it to cover.

    Mr Micron, I use a single hole punch to make my opening in a piece of paper.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
    C0y0te likes this.
  10. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington)

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    1,506
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Elmswell,Suffolk,United Kingdom
    That's a superb vid you done there Mitch, I have learnt loads from that...how did you get the reference picture of my misses!!! ;)
  11. Malky

    Malky Guest

    What, you married my sister, and I wasn't even invited, and I was already angry when Mitch stuck his face between her "headlines"lol
  12. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington)

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    1,506
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Elmswell,Suffolk,United Kingdom
    Lol!! Sorry Malky it was a very low key affair...I think Mitch should give us one of his new t shirts for free so we drop the law suit!!
  13. airbrushtutor

    airbrushtutor Love Spreading Overseer Admin Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    1,926
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Darker skin tones can be mixed with more blue! I need to go alot more in depth with color mixing but that's the short answer.
    put less white into the orange mixture and add more blue.
    the amazing thing about color mixing is that you can literally mix ANY color! If it doesn't look exactly like the color then you haven't matched it.. with your own skin color - you can mix it so perfectly that when you place it on your skin and rub it - all you can see is that it's wet.
    Colors are extremely difficult to match and once again they just take practise and sometimes alot of wasted paint.

    You build up transparents the same as your opaques using the lighter colors first. But you can do entire artworks in transparents by starting with black and getting lighter... just to confuse you.

    Apologies for you sister Malky, girlfriend Kev... I should've gotten permission. appleopogies.

    Hey thanks for all the compliments by the way :) the color series should be alot more interesting than lines and dots!
  14. fer

    fer Guest

    Great vid on the skin color , took my a lot of time to get it close to my reference. Dont know if the brand of paint has an influence, the brand that i have is a box of Schmincke Aero color and has standerd 5 different colors of red and yellow.
  15. Darren

    Darren Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Great job on this latest video tutorial, really enjoyed this one and will watch again soon when i have my paint out!
  16. fer

    fer Guest

    Tried my skin color, but have to say that i find it difficult and had fast spotty when i brushed it
    View attachment 487
  17. AndreZA

    AndreZA Love this place! Forum Supporter Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,145
    Likes Received:
    7,441
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Mitch, you say never use black and white together unless you want grey. I was taught when painting that if you want to change the tone of a colour, you use grey (black and white). Not the same in airbrushing?
  18. airbrushtutor

    airbrushtutor Love Spreading Overseer Admin Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    1,926
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Excellent question andreza :) I was taught exactly the same- mix black and white first and get the tone, but what i learnt when we began commercial airbrushing was that people would respond to the brightness of the colors more so than the skill level of the artwork. I think the colors you choose are more important than the actual difficulty of the picture.
    I also found that you can mix any color without using tone. you substitue the blue for black. There's a huge difference when you mix black and white because the color becomes so dull.. you really have to go over with transparents to fix it.
    It's my way of doing things and what i strongly recommend to anyone else.
  19. TonySims

    TonySims Guest

    This was a great video. Skin tones have been a big problem for me. Thanks, can't wait to try this.
    airbrushtutor likes this.
  20. ferret

    ferret Guest

    Hi , all i just thought i would chuck my 2 pence worth in to the mix . When i first started using auto water based paint ,i would look for a formulation on the paint software which gave sometimes 9 variations Whoops !!!! which one do i use ??>???? . I always made a spray out card to check it out properly .The reason for this is that until sprayed out a lot of modern water based paints did not actually look like the colour shade tint you were trying to match .I then went to the manufactures colour lab for a training coarse which i have to say has been a life saver showing how to tint by eye etc .Like Mitch says about substituting blue for black we were taught only to use colours from the formulation we were trying to mix which would still adjust the shade and tone .This was an invaluable coarse and this type of thing would be great if some AB paint makers could do a dvd etc to help out painters new and old IMHO .
    airbrushtutor likes this.

Share This Page