Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hawaiian WIP.....

There is so much more to the flesh tone color than the crayon you find in your box of Crayolas.  In addition, there are so many different kinds of skin tones in the diverse world we live.  The challenge in watercolor is achieving the right mix of paint to get the right tone without making it look flat and lifeless.  

Hawaiian WIP.....kind of sounds like a tropical drink!  I could definitely use one of those right now.  I'm currently working on a commissioned piece of a Hawaiian dancer.  After laying down a light wash of aureolin yellow over most of the painting, I decided to work on the dancer's flesh tones.  After doing a bit of a refresher on painting skin, I decided on a mix of cadmium red light, cobalt blue, and quinacridone gold.  I built the facial features with two layers of this mix and added touches of cobalt blue to accentuate darker values.  A touch of alizarin crimson was added to the cheeks for some warmth.  At this point, the darkest shadows, eyes, eyebrows, and mouth are yet to be completed to make it pop.

My next challenge will be tackling this beautiful girl's long, black locks (hair).  Black is such a taboo color in watercolor.  Not only will the color itself prove to be a challenge, but keeping the hair from overtaking the piece and looking more like a wig is going to keep me on my toes.  Suggestions, tips, and comments are welcomed.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to find me on facebook!


  1. waiting for her to come out...
    all the best...

  2. Just don't use black in the black hair, Gretchen - get out your darkest pigments and use those, letting them blend and merge in the hair and it will work. This is looking great so far! At first, I thought you were in Hawaii :)

  3. Looking good so far!
    In printing blacks are made of blue and brown - so maybe lay in some of those colours and fingers crossed you get an interesting black xx



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