In this easy painting tutorial, you’ll learn how easy it is to mix and make skin or flesh tones with basic acrylic paints.
If you’ve read my other tutorials you’ll know I’m a big believer in mixing your own paints with the colors you have on hand, and this tutorial will take you through a making/mixing versatile skin colors/tones. This will come in handy if you’re planning on painting portraits in the future.
Together, we also made a swatch of different skin colors, and they learned that ALL skin colors are made out of the same 4 basic colors, just in different ratios.
Lets start by going over the basics on how to make skin colors with acrylic paints…
How To Make Skin Color with Paint
Making skin tones is quite basic when it comes to painting. All skin colors are made out of 4 basic colors: red, blue, yellow, and white. The only difference between different skin tones is the ratios of each color.
Mix equal parts red, blue, and yellow paint
After mixing you should get a beautiful rich dark brown color. This will be your base for every skin tone you want to create.
Note: If your color ends up more greenish than brown, add in more red into your mix. Some blues can be very overpowering and need a bit of red to counteract it.
To make it easier to visualize each color, I started a skin tone swatch on some white paper. That way the kids and I could match it against our arms to gauge the tone with every new mix we made.
To darken add tiny amounts of red/blue to the mix and experiment. To lighten the color add tiny amounts of white/yellow to the mix.
To refine the skin color even further and to match your skin color very closely you might have to add in more red/yellow into the mix depending on what undertones your skin has. Try playing around with the colors and make paint each one on your swatch. Place your arm or hand by the colors as you make them to see when you mixed the perfect color.
How to make this painting with your own hands!
To make the hand shapes, we simply traced our own hands- it was fun to do! (See below for the full tutorial).
- -Primary Red Yellow paint
- -Primary Blue Yellow paint
- -Primary Yellow paint
- -White paint
- -Jar of clean water
- -Pallette (or paper plate)
- Trace your hand or child's hands onto the canvas using a pencil, you can make your hands form a shape of a heart if you like.
- Use your red, blue, yellow, and white to mix your skin color as close as you can. Please see the instructions above for details on how to mix skin color paint.
- Once you have your skin color mixed, use your flat brush to paint one of the hands.
- Next, use another skin color tone you came up with with the skin tone mixing activity and paint the second hand
- Mix some red with white to make a bright pink and paint in the middle heart shape.
- For the background take some other interesting skin color combinations you came up on your swatch and paint them in layers/borders around the hands until all the white on your canvas is covered, and you're done!
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BENICCI Paint Brush Set of 16 – 15 Different Shapes + 1 Flat Brush – with Pallete Knife and Sponge – Nylon Hair and Ergonomic Non Slip Matte Silver Handles - with Standable Organizing Case & Tin Box
PHOENIX Pre Stretched Canvas for Painting - 8x10 Inch / 10 Pack - 5/8 Inch Profile of Super Value Pack for Oil & Acrylic Paint
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 32-oz jar, Titanium White
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Primary Yellow
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Primary Red
Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Primary Blue