Skin Color Charts

 

The images below are from the book How to Paint Skin Tones by James Horton (ISBN 0-89134-670-8).  I believe it is currently out of print.  What follows below are links to the acrylic paint charts that show a dark and light value group for each of three basic divisions of human skin color:  pale, mid-toned and dark.  These are intended to be a jumping-off point to give a painter some idea of how various colors can be blended to create highlight, mid-tone and shadow colors.  It’s also worth considering to use some of the mid-toned blends as stronger shadows for pale skin color, and dark as shadows for mid-toned skin color; also, some of the pale blends as highlights for mid-toned skin color, and mid-toned for dark skin color.

 

The page on “Using the Charts” describes how each chart is set up and gives some general tips.

 

Using the Charts

Pale Skin – Shadows

Pale Skin – Highlighting

Mid-toned Skin – Shadows

Mid-toned Skin – Highlighting

Dark Skin – Shadows

Dark Skin – Highlighting

 

It’s worth noting that these are based on very traditional formulae and so they don’t make use of an excellent short-cut pigment:  unbleached (or “buff”) titanium.  This pigment is the basic color source for just about all “foundation” make-up because it is a greyed/neutral yellow.  This is one color that’s well worth considering for mixing skin colors.

 

I hope the charts are as useful for all of you as they have been for me.

 

:^)

 

Judith  

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judith@northwood.org

 

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

-Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

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