Properties of Color

Properties of Color

The three main properties of color are Hue, Intensity, and Value.

Hue refers to the color of something, meaning that when we speak of green (for instance) and it’s greeness we are referring to the Hue.

Intensity refers to the saturation or “vibrancy” of a color. In the graph below you can see how Intensity can differ in a color. Intensity of a color can be changed in a few different ways.

1: Adding white to a color will lighten it and also diminish it’s intensity. Adding white to a color is commonly referred to as tinting the color.

2: Adding black to a color will also diminish it’s intensity. This is commonly reffered to as a Shade.

3: Adding a mixture of grey to a color will dimish its intensity. Grey is often employed instead of using white and black (independently) as it can  allow the value of the color to stay close to the original and avoid making a color too dark, or too light.

4: Adding a compimentary color will diminish the intensity. If you don’t know about complimentary color then please check out Color Theory Basics.

Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. This was also covered in Color Theory Basics, as well as Creating Value Scales in Color.

Now that we know the three basic properties of color we can move on to some principles of color. Think of the properties of color as the skeleton of what makes a color what it is. But there’s a lot more to color than just it’s measurable attributes! Colors talk to each other and operate as a community. It is nearly impossible to experience a single color all by its self. So that’s the first hurdle you need to get over in beginning to understand color theory. Every color is effected by the colors around it.

But that’s not all! As we discussed in the introductory lesson (Intro to Color Theory) color is also based on subjective considerations as well. For instance, some color is used symbolically such as a bride wearing white at a wedding. This was originally done to show purity. On the other hand Black is generally symbolically worn at funerals. Green is worn for St Patricks day. Red and Green are the colors of Christmas. Orange the color for Halloween. But again, it is important to reiterate that these colors are just common for the culture I come from. Perhaps someone is reading this in Tehran or New Delhi. They will notice that they too have their own ceremonial colors that differ from mine (please comment any ceremonial colors distinct to your culture below!).  So remember that colors can also be used symbolically.

Another consideration is that there are real measurable frequencies and wavelengths for color. These are measured in Terahertz and Nanometres. In this graph you can see the measurable frequencies and wavelengths in the primary and secondary colors.

A very creative artist who had a strong proclivity towards scientific inquiry could surely make some interesting paintings based solely of the physical attributes of color and this measuring system. However, the vast majority of artists will be looking at different properties and principles of color in order to craft their works and the realism (or lack thereof) and mood they wish to transmit to the viewer.

There’s one element of color I’ve been hiding from you thus far. And that is that color exists in two different ways. Color exists as pure sunlight which can be broken up by using a prism and these colors have their own properties, and through artificial means such as pigments, dyes, chemical concoctions, nature, and paint. Now the tricky part we need to reconcile is that without light we obviously can’t see colors. So in the full scheme of things we need sunlight (which holds its own spectrum of color) to shine down from the sky, hit an object on earth, bounce off the object, and into our eyes, where it’s sensed by light sensitive cells, at which point it is transmitted and processed by our brain, and then in our brain it relays the relevant information and associates it with words, feelings, or emotions. “Yes, the ocean is blue. Beautiful”

But it doesn’t stop there. Our brains also have a propensity to try and make sense of the world, and as painters we must walk the line of dealing with illusion. After all, a canvas is a flat two dimensional object and we want to create an illusion of depth, form, and emotion, on a flat surface.  So we must be aware of the properties of color if we want to have a full set of tools to create the illusions we want to on the canvas.

In the following frames we will be looking at some of the properties of color in sunlight. And some of the properties of color as they pertain to how the brain tries to make sense of them.

In 1676 Sir Isaac Newton used a prism to separate and analyze a spectrum of colors. He could see that by analyzing sunlight one could see all of the hues besides purple. We have the same group of colors  in the first image above. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet. Now, if we take these colors,  and mix them, we will get white. Remember we’re talking about sunlight here! Obviously these colors react differently when they are in a physical form such as paint.

So why do we get white when we mix colors of light, and get brown when we mix paints? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. Light works in a strange way so take a second to absorb what I’m about to tell you. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, and Violet all make up the full spectrum of colors in sunlight. Now, lets say we take one of these colors out, for instance Yellow. So we are left with Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet. What color do we end up with? The answer is that we get the compliment of the color which we removed from the spectrum, so in this case of removing yellow from the spectrum we get violet. Since you all know your color wheels and complimentary colors by now it is quite easy to answer this question time and time again. If we isolate blue we get orange. Isolate Red and we get Green. Think of it like this, by taking out red we are still dealing with Yellow and Blue. Mix yellow and Blue, and surprise! It’s green. The compliment of red.

Properties of color

Now that you’re probably ready to start pulling your hair out let me try to explain why this is.  Our eyes can’t see the  individual hues when combined in the full spectrum . So what you probably were thinking is that things that are red are red because they are absorbing the red part of the spectrum of colors right? Wrong! 😀 A red apple is red because it can absorb every color but red! So when we see a red apple it is absorbing  Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, and Violet. It’s reflecting the red color of the spectrum because all of the other colors are absorbed! So what happens when we shine a green light on a red apple? The apple will appear black since there is no red present to be reflected and all the colors are absorbed.

Take a look at the image below. Here I have illuminated this strange furry green ball with a red lamp.  The result is obvious. The ball absorbs most all of the red light and doesn’t have any green light to reflect the “greeness” of the ball. This causes the ball to look black and not green.

So far we’ve spoke a lot about the different properties of color. We have physical properties of color (which are measurable), we have symbolic properties of color, we understand how the properties of color are different for light and paint. In the next lesson  I will speak about the elephant in the room. Our brains, and how they process colors. No, this won’t be another section about emotion or symbolism. In this section it is more scientific as well as a trip into an area of science which still hasn’t concluded just why our brains process color the way that they do.

Assessing your progress

You’ve now come to the end of a long journey, but it’s one that is just beginning. At this point I
would like for your to go back to the drawings you made in Lesson 3 “Creating your baseline”
and redraw them again. I am confident that if you have dedicated time and passion in this
course you will see an improvement that you didn’t even expect. This is the first installment
of three books which I have planned about painting. In the next we get away from the theory
and will begin to go further into edges, paint application, glazing, and other technical aspects
concerning paint. Please stay tuned at painting-course.com to see all the newest and latest
assignments and updates on the new “semester” coming. As I said previously what you have
just finished represents about 1 year of foundation level in college in painting. I intend to
continue on making this opencourse work free online as I believe there are too many books
which teach only technique, and no theory. So now that you’ve got a good grasp on theory it’s
time to start having fun, and getting messy with paint!
Final Assignment: Coming Full Circle
Redo your previous Baseline drawings and compare and look at areas you need to improve,
and other areas which you feel to sharpen up your skills. But don’t be too hard on yourself! Look
at all the progress you’ve made and realize that the more you practice at this point, the better
you will be. You’ve started the journey! Great work!

We’ve come a long way in this course so far. We’ve gone from drawing our hands and learning about basic forms to learning about color theory and finally making our first painting of the four major forms with black and white acrylic paint.   . When I say “Learning to paint” this isn’t something that can just be learned with one quick lesson. There aren’t really any tricks or shortcuts. If you want to learn to paint you must dedicate yourself to it, and treat it as a discipline. You will improve with each painting you make.  What I’ve outlined in the previous lessons is a foundation which will translate towards painterly thinking.

Upon completing the previous lessons you should now posses a skill set. Think of it as a certain set of skills which you are trying to master. There are analogies that could be made to a variety of other activities which need discipline in order to excel at.  I compare painting to music a lot: but in this case I believe the philosophy you should develop towards learning to paint should be closer akin to a student of martial arts. It’s a body and mind duality. Both your dexterity needs to be improved in order to manipulate the brush in a deft manner, but also your mind needs to learn how to stay out of the way and stop naming the things  you are drawing or painting.  If you really want to learn to paint you can’t just read about it, you need to do it, make mistakes, and then do it over, and over, and over again.

Perhaps you understood how to mix color harmonies very quickly, but are still worried about your drawing skills.  These are important factors to consider and if you are truly dedicated to learning to paint then you should begin to address the skills at which you feel the weakest. Below in the Report Card you’ll see a list of skills I’ve tried to teach so far. After each skill I want you to grade yourself on how you are performing at this point. Be honest, no one else will see them. Your weak areas simply need more attention. The problems can be addressed by redoing lessons you don’t feel confident in.

Learn To Paint

If you want you can print it out and hang it up on your wall to remind yourself what things you want to improve.  You should always remember that you are learning a new skill for yourself, and that nothing should stop you from persuing your dreams. If Learning to Paint is a life long dream then it can’t hurt to jump in and try! Personally I feel it is best to show your friends and the world your work immediately (I even have a lesson dedicated to creating a personal blog of your art work), but if this isn’t your style, then so be it. Don’t show anyone your paintings until you are ready to do so, just don’t discount your abilities.

I know this is beginning to sound like some sort of motivational speech. But I include self evaluation as an actual Lesson because it is important to be able to self evaluate if you want to continue to learn how to paint better throughout the years.  Learning to paint isn’t about one lesson showing you how to “shade” , it’s the culmination of many lessons and years of work.  The next lesson in this course will involve your first real painting where you’ll have your first opportunity to bring everything that we’ve worked on so far into one painting.  This is the reason why I want you to take inventory of your current skills before we proceed.  We’re still working on basic ideas and techniques but as we begin to combine them things start to get more complicated pretty fast.

Drawing Form

Drawing Form

Lesson 8

Now that we have got a good grasp of line, and the importance of varying our lines in our drawing we are going to continue on to another huge element of drawing/painting. That important element is form.  Correctly understanding form will give your paintings/drawings more depth. Traditionally schools have taught students to look for four key forms. These are The Cube, The Cylinder, The Sphere,  and variations and combinations of these forms.

cube

<a href="http://painting-course.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/cylinders acheter viagra andorre.jpg”>cylinders

drawing-form

Using combinations of these three basic forms can enable to draw virtually anything on the planet. It is no mistake that all of the 3D animation software available on the market utilizes these three forms. So why is this important for drawing and painting? So far we’ve been examining what we can see with our own eyes and trying to duplicate it, however, we must remember that we are trying to render the 3 dimensional world onto a 2 dimensional surface. These common forms are like letters which create words. To put it simply our brains know how to read these forms when we see them.

Amazon.com Widgets

I want you to start seeing everything as if it were transparent in an attempt to better understand the underlying form which holds it all together. For hundreds of years people in figure drawing classes will often stand up and look at both sides of the model which they are drawing. They do this because they want to see how the whole form works together.  The angle from which you look at a subject is important, and as an artist you want to gather as much information as possible about the subject you are drawing. That means thinking about what you can’t see, as well as can see. Keep your edges soft and rounded. We don’t want anyone to get hurt if your creature runs into them.

Drawing #15 Industrial Drawing of an animal

For this drawing I want you to find a picture of an animal, and draw it only using these basic forms. Think of yourself as if you are making a schematic drawing.  You want to make a detailed blueprint of this animal because you are going to put it into a rocketship and blast it off to a foreign planet. Where no one knows what a French Bulldog (or the animal of your choice) looks like. 😉

This lesson is especially great for those interested in pursuing a career in 3d animation. Most people don’t realize, but all those characters in all of those big budget animation films start off with a sketch. That’s right. Good old fashioned pen and paper.

You may take up to 2 hours to complete this drawing. Make it as detailed as possible.

french-bulldog-drawing

Symbols of Drawing

Symbols of Drawing

Lesson 5

Negating and Identifying Powerful Symbols

Drawing #8 Find an image of anyone. Could be a famous person, could be a relative. Doesn’t matter who. But try to find an image that is at least is decently lit. You are going to stare at this image for three minutes. Trying to take in every little detail you can. Then, after three minutes is up I want you to put the photo away and draw the person from memory. You have 20 minutes. You may begin.

STOP! You must complete drawing #8 before you go any further.

Stop_sign_us

We are surrounded by symbols in this day and age. We may even react to them without knowing. A red octagonal sign means “Stop!” all over the world. Other basic symbols tell us where the elevator is or where to run in case of fire. The most common type of symbol we see in every day life is something called a pictogram. In the pictogram below it is very easy to understand that this is a washroom for both women, men, and handicapped accessible.

614px-Washroom_pictogram_sign_with_braille

While these types of symbols can be great for communicating basic messages they cause big problems for drawings. Here’s one of the most important things to remember in this entire course. If you want to learn how to draw you have to stop thinking about what it “is” that you are drawing, and instead think of what you are drawing as a giant puzzle of shapes, shadows, and lines. So, if you’re drawing an elephant, don’t think of the trunk as a trunk, but instead the elephant trunk is just an abstract mass of shadow and line. This is what it means to start “seeing” like an artist.

African_Elephant_Trunk

Let’s look at an example of a student’s work who also did the “Drawing from Memory” assignment. In the first image we see the original image the student was working from.

old-man

Symbols of Drawing

In the memory drawing we get a good feeling for how the student makes certain features of the face. It is important to identify these symbols for “eyes” and “nose” so we can catch them when they sneak into places that we don’t want. Everyone has a certain sets of symbols they use to construct drawings (especially portraits). Later on we can use these symbols to our benefit, so we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water. But for now we need to identify what our habits are, and what symbols we use. This way we can stop using symbols for “eyes” and “noses” and start to really look at the shadow shapes present which give the illusion of an eye or a nose.

Drawing #9 “Drawing A Portrait from a Photo” (Sideways)

For this drawing you are going to be drawing from the image that you memorized for your first drawing. But as always, there’s a twist. We really want to stop your brain from naming everything it’s drawing so you will be drawing the portrait on it’s side. No, you don’t have to stand on your head, instead just turn the image on its side (see example below). For the shading you will be making simple left to right marks. Imagine that you are drawing the way a printer prints. Your pencil makes a simple left to write mark every time it sees an area of shadow. And yes, you may look at the source image.

sideways-head

You can touch up a few small lines indicating direction in the end but try to keep most of the lines moving in the same direction. You have up to an hour for this drawing so take your time. Once finished compare the drawings side by side and it will be obvious what symbols you generally use. Now that they’ve been identified they can be quarantined and perhaps we’ll use them later, but generally, they are just left-overs from what someone told you when you were 14 years old. Forget about them and push forward, you still have to learn all about form, line, value, shape, space, texture, and color. Your old symbols probably won’t be of much help. In fact they are generally the biggest stumbling block for older students to overcome. Learn to draw seeing shadow and light shapes.

old-man-drawing-med

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Finding Inspiration and Documenting it in Your Blog or Your Sketchbook.

Lesson 2


This is an optional fist assignment just because I don’t want someone’s access to the Internet to effect their ability to use this book . Those who can’t make a blog will instead keep a sketchbook that also includes writing, and inspiration.

Now for those of you who have regular access to the Internet, and own a digital camera or scanner, you will be creating a blog. Relax, it’s not as hard as you think. I’m a big proponent of blogging your work because I think it is an excellent way of making a time line of your inspirations as well as your progress. Many of you may be terrified by the idea of creating and maintaining a blog because you don’t think of yourself as tech savvy. Trust me, if you can check email, you can create and maintain a blog. Instead of hitting “send” you will be hitting “publish”. I’ve also included a step by step at the end of this chapter for those who are completely new to the Internet as well.

In this lesson I want you to start researching and becoming familiar with what drawings and paintings you really love. If you don’t know where to start just go to wikipedia.com and type in “20th century art” (or whatever century you’re interested in) . If you already know about a movement of art (say impressionism, or surrealism) that you are interested in then search for pages about that. If you are lucky enough to live in a city with a big beautiful museum then by all means go! Most public libraries also have a gorgeous selection of art books. I’ve also included a list of interesting artists from all over the artistic spectrum available at painting-course.com/artists . So you have no excuse. Start finding out what art you are drawn to the most.

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Now that I’ve given you the “what” to do, I’m going to tell you the “why”. One terrible idea which has seeped into many people’s minds over the years is that it is bad to try and emulate someone elses art. Every semester I have another student who loves a certain type of art or artist but thinks it would be bad to try and emulate that persons style. As if they should just find their own style on their own. Let me tell you something. Just about every single great artist over the centuries looked up to someone else. Historically speaking previously students would apprentice with a master painter, they would try their best to learn all of their teachers techniques and they did countless hours of repetitive drawings and paintings. I’m not saying that your end goal should be to paint just as your idol, i’m saying that if you first emulate the paintings which you love the most, then you will naturally create your own style and vision as you become more confident.

Think of it this way. Im sure Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan had their respective idols they watched growing up. In classical music we don’t say someone isn’t a musician because they are playing someone elses music. In fact concert pianists are playing note for note what’s right in front of them. It’s their interpretation and technical abilities which makes them unique. You need to start thinking about painting and drawing in the same way.

In previous years one would have a sketchbook of thoughts, images, and sketches of inspiration. Today with the advent of blogs, it is much easier to categorize your interests and inspirations. Remember, this isn’t a course about just “learning how to cross hatch” , this is a course designed with the intention of getting you to create work that you are proud of. Work that says something about you and your interests. So the first step in that is to get interested in some of the art around you now! Also don’t be afraid to really hate something. You can appreciate art, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

  1. Ok, you’ve convinced me. So how do I make a blog?

The first thing you’ve got to decide is what you want your blog to be called. This can be more difficult than you think.

If you want your name to come up in google searches I suggest just using your first and last name as your domain name, such as www.jeremiahpalecek.blogspot.com (that was my first blog). If you have a common name and the address is not available then try using a hyphen, or dot between your first and last name. If you have a ridiculously common name you can also try something like XxJohnSmithxX or JohnSmith64.

If you want to create a more visionary name for your blog the first thing you will be doing is creating a mind map. A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. As you can see in the illustration below I’ve started with the central key word “painting blog” and from that I’ve brainstormed a bunch of words and ideas associated with painting. There’s “descriptions of paint” (flake, chip, burnt, canvas, drip, slop, wet, gooey) “Materials” (ink, acrylic, oil, brush, pencil, gesso) “Famous Artists” (Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Van Gogh ) “Art I like” (Dutch Landscapes, Surrealism, Dada, Impressionism) and the final category “cool names” (spark, antiquity, ancient, glisten, robot, dust, space) I did this mindmap in 5 minutes and now I can just start combining the keywords I generated to come up with cool website names such as PencilSpark, DadaDust, RobotSlop, AncientFlake, or GooeyVanGogh. It’s that easy. Once you’ve got a name that hits you and you think “yeah, that’s sounds cool” go with it. You’ve just created a new online identity. You can post anonymously there if you are shy about your work, but trust me, as your blog begins to fill with content you will want to be more closely associated with it. It will be a sneak peak into your artistic inspirations and personal progress. After you’ve got a few finished pieces up you can print out your blog name on business cards and give it to friends. They’ll check back to see your progess. Trust me.

mind-map

Now that you’ve got a Domain Name* you’ve got to choose where you want your blog to be hosted. The best way to describe what “hosting” means is to compare it to parasites. Sorry. When a parasite infects an animal, the carrier is called the host. The host is the person carrying the parasite, on the internet, the host is the computer which hosts your data. Sometimes people forget that the internet isn’t some sort of ethereal netherworld. Every piece of data you look at when you are looking at a webpage is physically located on a computer somewhere. This generally costs money. However there are a lot of internet companies which will give you all the space that you will ever need for free. Amazing, isn’t it. Google’s Blogger.Com are the biggest however there are literally thousands of different websites giving away free blogs. I suggest looking at wordpress.com , blogger.com, tumblr.com , typepad.com , and livejournal.com.

The drawback of using a free site is that your Domain Name will include their’s as well. So that’s why you see addresses with .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com . It’s because those companies are giving away storage space for free. If you’re a little more tech saavy I suggest you look around at various blogging sites and choose which one you like the most. There are benefits and drawbacks of each. For this course I will be using wordpress as the default since it is the most widespread, sophisticated, and free blogging application available. It was also created by a large community of nerds for no profit. Which is pretty cool so they’re always the good guys to support.

*Domain Name refers to the name of the address you type into a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox). For instance Google’s Domain Name is Google.com , My personal Blog Domain Name is Jersus.com

For those completely new to the internet I’ve created the following tutorial.

Once you get to any of these sites there will be extremely simple instructions to get you going. At Blogger.Com there is a big orange button that says “Create a Blog” , On wordpress.com there is a similar orange button which says “sign up now”. They are all pretty similar and most all of the blogging sites you go to will be screaming for your attention with a giant “CLICK ME!” button.

I am a big fan of wordpress personally so I’ll take you through the following step by step on how to get a blog up and running on wordpress within minutes.

First go to wordpress.com . You there? ok. Cool. See that big orange button that says “sign up now”. Click that.

start-a-blog

Now you get to this page. Fill in your information . Check that you’ve read the terms and conditions. Make sure “gimme a blog! (like username.wordpress.com)” is selected. And know that your username can be different than the website name. So you can just use your first name, or admin as your Username. Click Next.

get-your

robot-is-yours

Here you type in what name you will want for your web address. As you can see it put my Username in there as the default Blog Domain name. But you can change this and write in the name which you brainstormed using the mindmaps. You can also change the Blog Title to anything you want. If you want people to find your blog when they google your real name then put your real name in the Blog Title, for instance my Blog Title at Nerdkore.Com is “Original Oil Paintings by Jeremiah Palecek.”. If you wish you can put something more creative such as. RobotSlop’s Painting Paradise. Whatever you want. Just have the Blog Title say something about you! Then choose the language you will be blogging in. Choose whether or not you want your blog to appear in search engines (google, yahoo, msn, etc.). Then click Signup. and BOOM! It’s yours!

is-yours

Click on login, and it will take you to https://robotslop.wordpress.com/wp-login.php . This is the address you will use every time you want to login to your “control panel” (which you will see in a moment) .

login

Type in your Username and your Password, Click Log In, and the Control Panel page will open up.

control-panel

This is where you can control all of the information which will be posted to your blog. It may look complicated but you’ll only need to know a few places I’ll highlight which will get you up and blogging in seconds. Do you see where it says “New Post” on the top left corner. Click it.

dashh

That takes you to the page where you will compose your “post”. Think of a post as an entry in a journal. Type in a name for your first post.

new-posty

Then I want you to go where it says “upload/insert” (detail below)

upload

And click on the rectangular icon. (You’ll notice if you hover your cursor over it, it will say “upload image”.) This window will pop up.

Click on Select Files. And you’ll get a window popping up. Navigate to the folder which holds your images. This is the same as attaching an image or file to an email. Pick the file you wish to upload. And click “Open”.

add-image

The file will upload to wordpress’ server and you’ll see this window.

add-image-window

You can customize the alignment, and sizing if you wish. Now click “Insert Into Post” (bottom left). As you can see the image has been uploaded underneath your Title. You can click inside the rectangle and type some text under the image now. Then hit “Publish” which is located in the right sidebar.

publish

And that’s it. You’ve just published your first post with an image to the internet for all to see. Click on “View post” and you can see how the page is presented online. If you wish to change the look of your page you can click on “Appearance” (left sidebar) and further customize the look.

There you go. You’re a blogger now. So start archiving images of what inspires you, and let’s get down to the real business of learning how to draw, and then of course learning how to paint! This website is going to serve as your diary of progress.

For a list of previous students’ blogs please go to painting-course.com/blogs . To have your blog added to the list please email me and I’ll be happy to add it.

Go to Lesson 3 – Start Drawing!

Learn How to Draw and Paint: Start Today!

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Welcome to Painting-Course.Com. Here you will find lessons, exercises, and assignments to improve your painting and drawing abilities. Painting-Course.Com is 100% free Open Coursework online. You start when you want, and complete assignments, drawing, paintings at your own pace. Please take a tour through the different lessons and see what interests you. If you are ready to start learning how to paint and draw then click “Get Started Now!” in the upper left hand corner of the page. Get your sketchbook ready and let’s jump in!

The entire group of lessons are meant to be done in order and follow the same format of a year long course (or two semesters of work). If you’re willing to put in the time and energy that is required I would say that this course is the equivalent of a good foundation year at any respectable university. I studied at The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, The Glasgow School of Art, and finished at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I currently teach Drawing for Design, Visual Culture, and Fine Art Reflective Case Study in Prague, Czech Republic.

How to Mix Flesh Tones

How to Mix Flesh Tones

In this painting video tutorial I go through the process of how to mix a good base flesh tone using only red, yellow, a touch of blue and white.  Many artists will buy pre-mixed flesh or skin tones in the tube. Here is a simple way that you can learn how to mix your own flesh tones. This awards you a greater variety of possibilities as there are a vast array of skin tones and colors present in all of the people in the world.

The basics outlined in the video above are as follows. You want to start by mixing red and yellow to get an orange color. Once your orange is mixed your going to dab in just a bit of blue to take down the intensity of the color. Now you should have what resembles a dirty orange. Now clean your brush and make another pile of paint  next to your dirty yellow of white. Slowly add the orange to the white (it is important not to add white to your pile of dirty orange). Now you can see that you can create an entire value scale of skin tones increasing in lightness just by adding white. If you want to darken the color you can add more red and blue to the color. If your color gets too violet then simply add some more yellow.

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