Fairy of the Spring Bloom Walkthrough Page 2

4. The Skin

Next, I jump to painting the skin since it is one of the lighter areas of the painting. I start out with a very basic peachy flesh color created by mixing Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber (see left). First, determine the direction of the light source and where it will most directly hit the skin. These areas are where you will leave the white of the paper showing through. Apply the bt. sienna/bt. umber mixture lightly all over, blending around the white areas.

Blending: The trick to smooth blending with watercolors is that you have to work fairly fast. Lay down a layer of paint, quickly clean your brush off, or even keep a separate brush for blending, and blot it on a paper towel so that it is just damp. Then drag the brush over the hard edge of the paint to sort of erase or soften the edge. Too much water on the brush will cause flooding and will bleeding into and ruin your wash. Always use a damp brush for smooth blending.

Continue this for all the skin. It may be necessary to do more than one layer, depending on how dark you want the skin. Let each layer dry before applying the next.

Next, I use a mixture of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. This can be mixed in any number of different ratios to create different colors. The first one I use is about 75% burnt sienna and 25% ultramarine blue (see #1 left). I use this as a mid-tone to build up the structure of and curves of the skin, such as the shape of the forehead, cheekbones,nose, etc...

The second mixture is 75% ultramarine blue and 25% burnt sienna (mixture #2 above left). This is used for shading and shadowing. The third mixture is a 50/50 mix of the 2 colors(see #3 above left). This gives you a really deep, almost black color to be used for deep shadows like inside nostrils, ears, under the chin, etc...

These next 2 steps really bring the skin tone some life. I add some yellow ochre to the skin in the highlighted areas, still trying to leave the most directly lit areas white. Then I add some reddish tints to her skin in her cheeks and in some of the mid-shadowed areas using alizarin crimson. By mid-shadow, I mean where the area changes from light to shadow, right in between (see right). That’s probably not what its really called, but that what I call it. 😉 The addition of these two colors really add a lot of life to her skin tone.