Figure Color Study

I’m back into the routine again after a great weekend and I figure I would get back up to speed with more figure painting but this time I focus on color study. The last few figure paintings the skin tones seemed wrong but I worked hard tonight to “figure” out what I was doing wrong.

I didn’t realize how much white I needed to use in the skin mixtures to get the correct hue. Not only that but I really had to work hard to keep each area of the skin pure and not muddy.

Figure Color Study
Figure Color Study

It’s interesting how some shadow areas will go towards green while other transition into a deep pink. The most exciting areas are when the shadow side of one body part comes close to the light side of another, like in the arm on the right. Here the shadows glow almost orange.

Figure Color Study, previous compare
Compare with previous figure study color

Here is a good comparative with one of the previous figure studies. I feel as though tonights painting has a more authentic skin color, the other looks much too orange.

Figure Color Study, black and white
Black and white

I’ve heard time and again that as long as my values are correct the color doesn’t matter as much and I can agree with that to an extent. The color combinations either have to be close to normals skin tone or fairly outlandish, but if they are in between it just doesn’t look correct.

Figure Color Study, black and white compare
Black and white compare

I think I did really good with the value of the figure color study, this comparison in black and white is really close, even with the blurry picture.

Figure Color Study, color test black and white
Color test black and white

Before I started the painting I did a few tests. I mixed up some small patches of skin tone on my palette and tried as hard as I could to match the transition from white, into pinks and reds and finally a warm grey. This helped tremendously for setting the course of the painting.

Figure Color Study, Setup

Here is the setup, I still have space for another figure on this sheet of paper so I think I’ll fill it tomorrow.

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