|Skin Tone Study 01: Evan Rachel Wood under warm lighting (left) and daylight (right)|
|Skin Tone Study 02: Emilia Clarke under overcast lighting (left) and daylight (right)|
For my coloured pencil portrait drawings, I'm doing skin tone studies to find out the right mix of hues to achieve the fairly light skin tones that both actresses have. It involves the use of both oil-based and wax-based artist grade coloured pencils namely Faber-Castell Polychromos, Derwent Coloursoft and Prismacolor Premier. For these studies, I've started incorporating green hues into the mix as strong green undertones can be visibly seen in both actresses' facial skin tones. Whether this natural green undertone is more prominent due to specific makeup and set lighting I can't really say. But it's worth noting green foundation has always been used by the old masters to depict realistic skin tones.
|Derwent Coloursoft wax-based coloured pencils and Faber-Castell Polychromos oil-based ones|
|Light skin tone swatches with Coloursoft and Polychromos pencils|
|Prismacolor Premier wax-based coloured pencils - 24 pieces portrait set|
|A skin tone bar using Prismacolor Premier pencils (based on a tutorial by artist Ann Kullberg)|
For the time being most of my coloured pencil portraits will be drawn on the Strathmore Colored Pencil paper and perhaps the Daler Rowney Fine Grain Heavyweight paper if I decide to use solvents with the oil- and wax-based pencils. Eventually I would want to switch to the Strathmore 400 series Bristol Smooth and Rising Stonehenge papers respectively. Not yet though as both are too expensive for the initial practice sessions. But future graphite portraits will likely be on smooth Bristol paper from now on as I feel I have put enough practice in to earn the right to use higher quality papers.
|For now most of my colour portraits will be drawn on Strathmore's Colored Pencil paper|
The close study of skin tones in portrait drawing has re-opened my eyes on how varied the human skin tone actually is. However, it remains to be seen if seeing skin tones from a different perspective will also translate into better skin tones for my miniature painting projects. Based on my experience so far, coloured pencils are a more translucent medium than acrylic paints although similar effects can be gained in the later through glazing. I haven't painted a large enough scale miniature - at least in the amount of surface area dedicated to skin tones ... and the Hulk doesn't count - to warrant doing green acrylic glazes on the skin tones. That remains the case for my two ongoing projects below.
|Skin Tone Study 03: Karen Fukuhara (left) and Jerome Flynn (right)|
|Nocturna Models resin figurines: Soum 13 Moons (left) and The Crusader (right)|
If you've ever wondered why I take so long to finish my miniature painting projects, well, here's one reason amongst the many. I tend to do lots of skin tone swatches to determine the most appropriate skin colour for the miniature project in question. Granted such swatches don't account for the wet blending, feathering and layering effects of acrylic paint on primer but it does provide a fairly accurate guideline on hues that closely resemble the painting's subject matter.
|Vallejo Model Color acrylic paints under consideration for a female Japanese skin tone|
|Skin tone swatches of possible hues to be used as a female Japanese skin tone|
|Vallejo Model Color acrylic paints under consideration for a male Caucasian/Mediterranean skin tone|
|Skin tone swatches of possible hues to be used as a male Caucasian/Mediterranean skin tone|
Complicating matters is the use of cool or warm shadows which depends on the predominant skin tone hue. At this stage of my research. it's highly likely I'll use cool shadows for both Katana and Bronn (see above) to counter their fairly warm skin tone in general. Regardless on the hues used, one thing for certain is that I will be using Vallejo Model Color paints exclusively to paint their skin.
And in case you were wondering just what is Westworld all about, do check out the trailer above. I leave you with my two favourite lines/phrases from the Westworld series so far, both incidentally uttered by another character Bernard Lowe to Dolores Abernathy i.e. "Step into analysis, please" and "Limit your emotional affect, please". Simple yet meaningful words in globally trying times.