When it comes to painting portraits, there are as many different variations in skin tones as there are people. Because of this, there’s no single formula that will work for every portrait. Whether your subject is a child or an adult, a man or woman, has a darker or lighter complexion, etc., each variation can be more easily painted when based on principles that can help guide you rather than on formulas that can limit your results.


The two dominant principles that influence the overall look of skin tones are value and color. These two are often viewed as individual competitors, much like a boxing match, leaving an artist with the task of having to decide which one wins out in the end. On the other hand, learning how these two work together, much like a tag team, can expand your artistic toolbox and greatly help you to achieve the results that you’re looking for when painting skin tones.


I’ve included a special lesson on skin tone variations in my new Craftsy art class Paint Better Portraits: Realistic Skin Tones and share some of my own thoughts about deciding how to paint different ethnic, gender and age groups for portraits.


After receiving such a tremendous response to my last giveaway, I’ve decided to offer one more chance to win my upcoming Craftsy class for FREE before it goes live in just a couple of weeks! So, if you’re interested, be sure to enter the giveaway by this Sunday, March 8th. I’ll notify the winner next week and will be posting more information about the class once it becomes available. I’ll also be sending out an exclusive discount to those who subscribe to my blog. So, if you’re not already signed up, be sure to do so this week to take advantage of this opportunity.

Brian Neher Craftsy Paint Better Portraits Realistic Skin Tones