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brettdavis1991

Painting Mid-Dark Skin?

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Hi there, I'm painting some barbarian models that are very much inspired by Native American culture. The two skin tones I have experience painting are African skin and Caucasian skin. I'm looking for a more mid tone brown skin as seen here in this reference picture. 

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Any suggestions on how to achieve this? I'm mostly looking to use reaper or vallejo colors. Do any of the reaper skin triads match up with this tone? the ones I have now are the tanned, fair, and dark skin triads.

 

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I paint Meso-Americans in my Lost World.

Mixing Tanned Skin with a drop of Cinnamon Red ( Reaper).

Maybe this is useful?

 

Examples:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73699-achik-aztec-warrior-princess-by-glitterwolf/&tab=comments#comment-1526251

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/78733-aztec-jaguar-warrior-by-glitterwolf/&tab=comments#comment-1674665

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/74699-alsnia-77210-taniths-priestess-by-glitterwolf/

 

You can use a skin colour and mix it with a reddish brown till you get what you want.

Take a good look at pics from Native Americans, preferably real photos and study the colours in their faces.

 

Hope this is useful to you.

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Midtones I think can in a way be the easiest, if you have the right paints around. Why? Because you can play with the highlights and the shadows a lot more than darks and lights, and balance them better. 

 

@Glitterwolf has some good ideas. I'd elaborate on that. 

 

The tanned skin triad is the weakest of the skin color triads - the shadow and the base tone are very similar. However, I'd use one of those as your base to begin with. I'd use the tanned highlight to do generic highlights. Go up to Fair Skin on the top of the highlights, like the tip of her nose. On the shadow end, I'd probably end up using Dark Highlight and Dark Skin. Could even go down to Dark Shadow in the deepest creases. I may also use Red Brick either mixed with these, or glazed into the layers. It is a maroon-purple with low saturation. Something like the cinnamon color suggested by Glitterwolf could glaze the overall skin tones - very thin, just enough to give the skin some warmth. Okay, I may just use tiny bits of Red Brick, but I really love that paint color in general. 

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In my experience it comes down to your choice of base coat, if your techniques are otherwise solid. I've had very good results using the Reaper HD Sunburn Flesh (29821) or Suntan Flesh (29822) as a base coat. Both of these colors skew warm enough to really set a great foundation to build believable Native and Mesoamerican skin tones. From there you could build thin layers down to very dark and up to very light depending on the impact you were looking to make. The reference picture shows this range very nicely.

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I would use glazes of Reaper clears. I would glaze purple in the shadow areas, red on the midtone, and yellow on the highlights. Even if you glaze more of the skin tone over the colored clear glazes, it still gives some oomph to your colors. If you click on my Wee World Miniatures link below, I just posted photos of Xanthia from Hasslefree that is pretty much nude. I went with a darker skin tone with her and I used the Reaper clears as glazes as I described above and am really happy with how she turned out. I couldn't post photos here because as mentioned, she is pretty naked!

 

Even with caucasian skin tones, I usually add other colors - blue in the shadows, a little red in areas.

 

Somewhere I have thing that tells (and demonstrates with photos) colors in different ethnic skintones. If I find it, I'll post it here.

 

Edit: Found the link!

http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/1310-ethnic-skintones

 

Just thought about it and it is a link to Cool Mini but not to their catalogue or anything so not sure if this counts as a retail site link. If it does, I will remove it. It is such a good article, hope I am not violating any rules.

Edited by Pochi
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Pochi, that article is great and timely for me. I have hundreds of caucasian minis but none of other types (well of humans. Lots of greenskins and others) so I've been experimenting with other skin tones lately. The wife just asked me why I'm only painting negros lately. I said I only painted 2 and the other one is indian. ::P: So I obviously need work on my skin tones.

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If you're looking for a triad, olive skin gives better "brown skin" than the tanned skin triad.  Still good to glaze some color into it, though.  (red, purple, blue, etc.) I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better.  ^_^

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If you're mixing your own skin tones, Burnt Sienna (which I think is Chestnut Brown in Reaper paints) lightens with plain white to a good peachy pink for caucasians but tends to look too orange for most black skin. Burnt Umber looks very good as a basis for black skin, especially if highlighted with Yellow Ochre (Palomino Gold in Reaper paints).  Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre together lighten to a good cool tan for some kinds of brown skin. And of course if you want that orangey look, you can always add in some Burnt Sienna.

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