Learn how easy it is to make skin color paint in acrylics and your own skin color mixing chart.
In this easy painting tutorial, you’ll learn how easy it is to mix and make skin color paint flesh tones with acrylics.
If you’ve read my other learn to paint tutorials you’ll know I’m a big believer in mixing your own paints. And in this post you’ll learn the 4 basic colour you need to make any skin tone.
To practice making different skin tones we’ll do a fun exercise and make a paint swatch with a goal of finding a tone to match your own skin. This activity alone can also be an excellent learning activity to do with kids to teach them the basics of colour mixing.
You”ll then use what you’ve learned and make a hands/heart painting ( tracing your own hands right on canvas!), in the step by step tutorial below.
Lets start by going over the basics on how to make skin color paint in acrylics!
How To Make Skin Color 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, create a skin color mixing chart on some some white paper. That way you can match it against you hand/arms to gauge the tone with every new mix we made.
To darken the color 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.
Place your arm or hand by the colors as you make them to see when you’ve mixed a color that matches your skin.
How to make this painting with your own hands!
To make the hand shapes, simply trace your own hands- it’s 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 skin color mixing chart 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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Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 32-oz jar, Titanium White
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Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint, 4-oz tube, Primary Blue