Digital Artist

How to create a skin colour palette

Tips & Tutorials
April Madden

Improve your portrait paintings by ensuring you get the perfect hues for your skin

Achieving the desired skin colour is a really tricky process when creating portraits, but here’s a quick trick for assembling a basic palette that you can refer to time and time again.

Choose a midtone

Choosing a midtone will depend on the light source you plan. For standard scenes, it’s safest to go with a typical beige.

Highlights and shadows

When picking highlights and shadows, remember that their hue should differ from the hue of your midtone.

Enrich your palette

After you have chosen the highlight and shadow colours, eye drop them. With those colours selected, apply some strokes on top.

Finalise colour choices

Review all the colours you created and choose the boldest combinations that strongly differ from each other.