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Nancy From Life

by Shirley Roma Charlton
(Brisbane Australia)

1. I checked the model's veins. Nancy being a dark person has dark blue veins so this is the colour I paint under the skin in the cooler area;s like, eye socket,under the nose, under the chin under the neck. Then on purpose I will paint complimentary colours next to the cooler area's like orange in the cheek bone and red on the tip of the nose. The warmer area's are where the veins are close to the surface of the skin.
2. Only when the complimentary washes are dry do I paint the skin colour on top and with a darker model I was able to use Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna allowing the colors to mix on the paper hellping to create a fresh look. As it is very easy for portraits to be over worked.
3. I always paint a cast shadow over the white of the eye and the eyeball this is a lid shadow this stops the eyes from looking scared and stare like. The is a lot more to Portraits in watercolours like Cool and Warm colours and when to paint wet and when to have smooth edges even painting a wash under the hair so it does not look stuck on. So much to learn but remember NATURE LIFE is your best art Tutor. AND thanks Mary-Ann you are so good at the way you help and comment on everyones work.

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Jan 07, 2010

Thanks for your explanation of the process you use in painting portraits. So many students think that "flesh" color comes in a tube! Actually, I think there is one called Flesh, but I tell my students to toss it, and learn to mix their own because everyone's color is different. Skin has so many colors (AND, reflected light from surrounding color). I use green, purple, a Cadmium Red light, Cerulean Blue, and Yellow Ochre for light skins, and then Brown madder, Perylene Maroon and Sap Green, and perhaps Ultramarine Blue for dark skins. Of course any of these can be altered because of reflected light.

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