So I’ve had a bunch of people at some point ask me what colors I use for skin, and I figured I would post it on here, because this method honestly saved my ass in ap.

So this is my skin color palette, which I automatically use. I almost always use myself as a reference so this works for me, alternative colors can be added for different skin tones. (Not shown is PC 940 and PC 914 which are light yellows used explicitly for the edges of highlights in extreme lighting situations).

Never never put down white to lighten your skin tones, unless you’re creating shine marks or making a highlight on toned paper, it washes out and tends to plasticize the skin.

Warm skin bases are easily made with a light layer of Peach over Beige- light peach oftentimes has the same problem with white. Layer in the order of beige, peach, rosy beige, clay rose, dark brown, and dark umber. It’s okay to let the colors show underneath each other sometimes, it lends depth to skin. Don’t shade uniformly!! Skin is not flat, it’s stretched over muscles and bones, there are always shapes to contour.

Henna exists to flesh out your shadows. Lightly penciling out henna on the edge of your brown shadows makes them look fleshy, instead of hard. Rosy beige makes things vaguely cloudy when used over dark browns- use this to your advantage and use it for the little pieces of illuminated skin in shadows.

Don’t use black unless an explicitly black shadow is laying across the skin. It doesn’t blend with other colors without getting gross and ugly, and you’ll have a hard time making the shadow look like shadowed skin rather than a black mass on top of your skin.

Cloud blue is very useful for hands, in the places where the veins are close to the skin, or in adding eerie effects in highlights and light spots. There are so many colors in skin, don’t limit yourself to standard colors that make your skin appear flat. Purples and reds are more useful than you’d think.

I’m not sure how useful this is, I’m just a student who found these things out by trial and error myself, and I hope someone can take something from this. (I think all of these colors came from Prismacolor’s portraiture set)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s