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  #1  
Old 18-02-07, 02:47 AM
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Default Painting skin tones

I would like some advice about this because I am having some trouble retaining freshness in skin tones. What pigments do people find best and how do they go about applying them. I'm ending up with a bit of a pancake makeup effect. Glazing sometimes corrects it quite well, but not always. Maybe I'm adding too much white pigment.

jeff
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Old 18-02-07, 07:19 AM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Basically it's white, red and a touch of yellow. C'mon everybody, tell me how wrong I am.
Add blue or green for shadow. Some folks like to paint th grisaille in green and allow the green to show through for shadow. I usually do a grisaille. I was told once by an artist, "Oh yeah. Paint it twice and get paid once." In the past I have done the grisaille in ET and finished with oil glazes.
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Old 18-02-07, 01:41 PM
miss pixel miss pixel is offline
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Default skin tones

Hi I am no expert on ET painting techniques but I have experience with oil and other types of painting. Are you painting from life, photo or imagination? as I am sure you know each of these brings its own version of 'real' colour relationships. If you find that your colours are looking dull or 'chalky' this could be because you are creating a lot of lighter colour tones together without including brighter or darker areas amongst them. Bright (1-3 pure colours mixed together without white) and dark ( darker pure colours mixed with ochres, yellows etc) tones placed next to light areas can help to prevent the painting becoming 'lifeless'. Are you using a feed colour which you pass all the other colours through first to harmonise the painting?
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Old 18-02-07, 03:48 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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I paint differently all the time, but I have had some success with this method: I paint a grisaille in burnt umber, a gorgeous color and nice and transparent. Sometimes I go over that with a little green. Then I paint over it in mixes of zinc white -- which is very transparent and makes the brown look blue in the shadows -- mixed with various reds and yellows. If it gets too blue I layer on more burnt umber. When I need a very white highlight, I will use a small amount of titanium white.

Transparent and translucent layers help avoid a chalky appearance.
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Old 19-02-07, 10:29 AM
sabine sabine is offline
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THANK YOU Alexandra for sharing this :grin:
It's really usefull to get to know the properties of each pigment...

On one of the websites of the painters members of the society (don't remember the name - amazing realistic portraits in a medieval spirit) there is a stunning demonstration of a portrait making, with green and reddish undertones, then white (?) layers on it and it gives a translucent result...

I tried it a little but still don't master it

I had more success the other way round: I paint the face with mixes of white and a little yellow ocre (more ocre for the darkers parts)+ some "terre verte" (green earth?)

then translucent layers with (very very little and very diluted) english red+ yellow ocre+ terre verte + burnt sienna for the shadows

not too much paint, not to mainy layers (or very very thin ones) I thinks thats the way to go for not getting chalky

Good luck :-)

Sabine
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Old 19-02-07, 02:50 PM
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These are very good contributions and I'm grateful to you all. I will have to take time digesting them all. I tend mainly to paint from photo or imagination. ET is not particularly good for life painting I think though. I have been trying to move closer to the traditional ET style using grisaille but I think I'm getting conflict with the more opaque oil painting approach that I might be more familiar with.
If I'm using a feed colour it would probably have to be burnt sienna.
I'm also having trouble with some movement of lower paint layers. Would this be indicative of too little or too much medium, or something else?
Bert, you said that you finished with oil glazing. Is that because it is too hard to do ET glazing - because that is what I've been trying to do and sometimes it works and sometimes it makes a shambles.

jeff
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Old 19-02-07, 04:01 PM
sabine sabine is offline
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For your layers problems: I don't know! I had the same kind of problems with pure ET it drove me crazy :oops:
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Old 19-02-07, 08:18 PM
Alexandra van Cruyningen Alexandra van Cruyningen is offline
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For what it is worth; I paint my first layers with terre verte and verdaccio in the shadows, I go over it with white to lose the stripes. Next I use a beautiful colour called ocra calda d'Italia from Zecchi's in Florence to deepen shadow tones and finally I go over this with fleshtones. Sometimes I leave the painting pure egg tempera or I finish with oil glazes. At my website is a description under the heading Technique.
As for paint layers lifting; It could be the absorbent or not so absorbent ground, or the amount of egg yolk and water. Also I do not get over a just painted area immediately, I let it dry first. I think Sabine is referring to Fred Wessel's website.
Greetings, Alex.
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Old 19-02-07, 09:29 PM
maplebrush maplebrush is offline
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I'm new to et (as a slew of you already know) but in other venues it has always helped me to understnad why an individual is the color that they are. We all have blood, both oxygenated (red) and onoxygenated (blue). we all have a varying level of carotine (yellowish orangish) and have a lot of various levels of melanin. This can vary day to day in the same individual.

I have found that burnt umber is perfect for the melanin component. Yellow ochre works well for the carotine component and alizaron crimson is a great compromise between oxygenated and unoxygenated blood and is very useful for the average, healthy looking individual in a warm light. If you are going for that bluish, anemic look of some of the classic Dutch painters, you may want to use some prussian blue instead.

As for shadows,it depends on the light source and skin tone. A strong sunlight might give shadows of a purple cast, indoor incandescent gives more green (especially in lighter skin colors). Should your model have the weekend my son just had (the stomach flu) slate grey might be a good subtle variant (oh, and forget the alizarian crimson. <grin>)

-M
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Old 20-02-07, 01:34 AM
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STP member Fred Wessel does beautiful portraits He has a demo that describes his method for skin tones. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/f.wessel/techsteps.html
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