The colors that give realism to works of art are the most difficult to achieve and, at the same time, those that add value to artistic creations. Making custom tones is a skill to be found in any painter, whether professional or amateur. In this sense, skin tones allow an artist to evolve in their work and improve their creations’ level of detail. How many such colors are there? How can you recreate yourself with tempera and acrylics? Here, we want to help you and give you all the necessary recommendations so that you know how to make skin color.
How to make skin color?
If you want to obtain a realistic flesh color, you must first be clear about the hue you are looking for. Human skin comes in many, many shades, but it can be boiled down to three: light, medium, and dark skin tones.
Light skin color
You need to try several colors to get these shades. You should have yellow, blue, magenta and white. Its corresponding mix will depend on the degree of clarity you want to obtain.
Medium skin color
These flesh-colored shades have more color variety. Therefore, you will need to make more combinations to get them. You will have to have the previous colors at your disposal (blue, white, yellow and magenta) and add natural sienna (comparable to earth color) and dark ocher (halfway between yellow and orange).
Dark skin color
As in the previous cases, you will have to experiment with various combinations and have dark ocher, yellow, magenta, natural sienna and violet. The more exact the blends, the more realistic your skin tones will be.
To make nude in this tonality, you must mix the colors separately: on the one hand, the natural sienna and the dark ocher, and on the other, the magenta and yellow in the same quantities. Later, you will have to join the resulting tones and add the violet to a darker color.
How to make skin color with tempera?
Due to the multitude of tones and combinations necessary, obtaining the skin color you are looking for is usually more complex than obtaining other colors. For this reason, we give you some recommendations so that you know how to make skin color with tempera:
- You must have all the necessary paints to make the skin color. Depending on the shade you are looking for, the mix will vary, but keep yellow, magenta, dark ocher, natural sienna, blue, white and purple on hand.
- The essential colors are magenta and yellow. In all the combinations and mixtures you make, they must be present. For softer tones, also bet on blue and white; For medium tones, opt for dark ocher and natural sienna. To darken the flesh color, you will need to add purple.
- Combine the magenta and yellow in equal amounts to get an orange color. Clean the brush with water every time you change the paint, so you don’t spoil the mixture.
- If you want to make a very dark flesh color, consider using black paint in very small doses. If you exceed the amounts, it will be impossible for you to achieve the tone you want.
- Always use magenta and yellow to balance the mixes in case you are not satisfied with the tests performed. It will always be easier to improve the combinations from these two paints since they are based on skin color.
- Something very important that you must bear before making any mixture is that the colors must be pure. Ensure that the colors are not contaminated by others so that it does not affect any of the combinations and, consequently, the final result of the elaboration.
How to make skin color with acrylics?
The best way to achieve the skin color you want is to experiment. Varying the combinations and using more one color than another will give your flesh color cold, warm, dark or lighter tones. If you want to know how to make skin color with oil paints or acrylic paints, you will need:
- Magenta paint.
- For light tones, white paint.
- Ocher yellow paint.
- Ultramarine blue and violet paint.
- Containers to make different mixtures until achieving the desired result.
- Palettes and brushes with which to make the different combinations.
- To get the flesh color with acrylics, you should also make a mixture based on the color magenta and yellow. From this base, you should add white for lighter tones; blue to make it more balanced and violet to darken the color.
If you want the skin tone to appear cooler, add a larger amount of light blue. If you want to give your skin color a tan, warm or sunlit quality, you can increase the amount of yellow used and add shades of carmine red or garnet.