Rendering Skin Tones

by e.lee caleca

View this excellent video by Kathryn Hagen on rendering skin tones. The video demonstrates the use of copic markers and talks about the benefits of stepping back from your work.

If you have never worked with paints, markers, gauche, or oil pencils, I don't recommend buying everything or anything in every color. Select three flesh tone colors in one or two of these mediums and practice with them. Everyone works differently and you may find you prefer one to another. All are acceptable mediums.

I prefer gauche for rendering skin tones partly because I prefer paint to pencils and markers. Gauche is a water based paint which renders a thick or thin color. Layers of color can be added for the desired result. Gauche has a very smooth nature and should be mixed with water to the consistency of thick or thin ink. I prefer to work on Bristol board which is a heavy paper with a smooth finish.  You can also work on watercolor paper or any thick paper designed for paint mediums.  As with any water based paint though, you can only go so far before your paper becomes saturated so you'll need to practice with this. You'll hear me say this often. Practice. If you're using pencils, use paper designed for pencils but don't use newspaper rag.  It's too thin and will rip.   Watch expert fashion illlustrator Kathryn Hagen, currently Fashion Chair at Woodbury College.