Tag Archives: oil painting

[Video] 5 Tips for a Better Skin Color Palette

5 tips for better skin color palette header by Chris Legaspi
Skin color is one of my favorite things to paint.  It’s also one of the most requested topics I’ve encountered. The burning question I hear over and over again from students, friends and artists is: “How can I make a good skin color palette?”

Many artists and students struggle with skin color and rightfully so. Color is an incredibly complex animal that is difficult to control and must be handled with care. This is especially true when trying to paint skin color that feels “real”.  Even though color is tough, painting skin can be a lot of fun if you have the right information and the right strategies.

These 5 tips are my thoughts and ideas on the topic of skin color. These tips and strategies I’ve learned through hard earned experience and years of intensive study on color, along with hundreds of hours of painting practice.

Instead of giving you formulas or pre-made skin color palettes, my goal is to teach you how to see color and then show you a process for making your own skin color palette for any situation.

There are 3 main parts to this article. In Part 1, I’ll examine the properties of skin color, or at least how I see skin color at this stage in my painting career. This section will examine what I see when I observe skin and how I simplify the complexity of skin color.

In Part 2, I’ll explore the 5 Tips for mixing and painting better skin color. These are the techniques and strategies that I personally use when I paint.

In Part 3, there are 2 detailed step-by-step painting demonstrations. The first is a study of light skinned male. The second demo is of a dark skinned african female.

A condensed video form of this article , including the first painting demonstration is below.

The second, 1 hour painting demonstration of an African female portrait is available for free on my Private School newsletter page. See image below for the finished painting demonstration.

skin color palette african demo-final

To watch the full 1 hour painting demonstration and get access to even more exclusive content. Simply enter your email below to join.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the 5 Tips and both painting demos, scroll down to read the full article…

PART1 – Properties of Skin Color

Property #1 – Red, Yellow, Blue

There is no such thing as a “skin” color. Skin color is essentially a combination of all 3 primaries: red, yellow and blue. That’s right. Red plus yellow plus blue. Sounds obvious and oversimplified, but allow me to elaborate.

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Head Painting Workshop @ Art Center College of Design

art center logo

Art Center is one of the top art schools in the country. They are primarily a design school, but they have tremendous Fine Art, Illustration and Entertainment Art programs.

Students have the opportunity to draw and paint a live model at the many figure drawing and painting workshops they organize. These workshops are often led by a professional artist in the industry. The paintings below are from 2 previous workshops I ran this month at Art Center.

alla prima head painting by chris legaspi

“All Prima 10/18/14″, 8″x10”, oil on canvas. From the Saturday night painting workshop, October 18th, 2014.

alla prima head painting by Chris Legaspi

 “John Whipple Alla-prima”, 8″x10″, oil on canvas. From the Saturday Head Painting workshop, October 4th, 2014.

I want to thank Charles Hu (founder of 3 Kicks Art Sudio) for the opportunity. I look forward to teaching more and working with students at Art Center.

30 Day Challenge: Animated Movie Stills

The purpose of this challenge was to copy Animated movie stills for 30 consecutive days.  This challenge was completed during the same time period as the 30 day plein-air challenge.  Needless to say, this was a month of tremendous growth.

The intent behind this exercise was to study the color, design and composition from two of my favorite Animated movies, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots.  Of course I’m a little biased to Puss in Boots because of Nathan Fowkes, who was the lead color stylist for the film, and was also my painting teacher.  In fact, I have to credit Nathan for inspiring me to do this challenge. He always credits his color skills to hours of consistent master studies.

I’ve also described my thought processes, color choices, material choices and general tips below for those who may want to take this challenge themselves. Scroll down to read more about the insights and lessons learned during this month of intensive color studies.

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Take the ’30 Day Plein-air Oil Painting Challenge’

Last month, I was able to oil paint at least once a day for 30 consecutive days. Once I knew I had the right resources and systems to be able to paint everyday, I was confident that I could take on a 30 day plein-air (outdoor) oil painting challenge.  The image below is a snapshot of my outdoor paintings from the last 30 days.

I also show my outdoor painting set-up, and how I was able to complete the challenge. If you want to learn how to do it for yourself, scroll down to read more.

“30 day plein-air challenge”, began Sep. 11th, 2012.

 

– How to Take the 30-day Plein-air Challenge –

 

Plein-air and landscape painting in oils is not easy. The challenges of the medium, travel time and unfavorable weather conditions can make outdoor painting even more difficult. Despite the effort, the benefits of being out in nature and gaining expertise in color is invaluable. In fact, it was this need and desire to improve my color skills that motivated me to commit to painting everyday. To begin the challenge, I had to first assemble the right tools.

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Steve Huston Workshop Review – March 2010

After waiting years for a chance to study in-depth with legendary Artist and teacher, Steve Huston, I finally headed to the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art (LAAFA) to take part in Steve’s annual workshop. This workshop was a 5 day intensive focused on drawing and painting the figure. Although it was taught as a figuartive class, I learned so much more. I learned about art, myself and how Steve, aka “The Man” thinks, plans and executes his renowned gallery work.

The event was held at LAAFA in Van Nuys, California, from March 24-28th. This is a breakdown of the class each day and my thoughts going through the workshop.

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