Step 1: Finding Reference

Step 2: Drawing Tips

Step 3: Painting Tips

  • Color sample your reference for dark values, mid-tones, and highlights from each light source for each local color.

  • This means there should be at least 9 samples for skin alone (3 tones times 3 light sources).

  • Build your skin in layers!

    1. Paint the shadows first, and focus on the shape of the skull.

    2. Next add mid-tones and focus on color variety.

    3. Next add highlights.  Be careful not to add too many highlights! Blend your mid-tones into your highlights so that you control how much bright values you use.

  • The natural skin tones in the face tend to be tinted slightly in thirds top to bottom: yellow forehead, red nose/cheeks, blue chin/neck.  These shifts are subtle, so don’t overdo it.  Also, glamour photos (Photoshopped) tend to reduce this natural color variety.

  • Remember to keep an adjustment layer on top to desaturate the painting to make sure you have a strong value range.