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Hannah Blackruby WIP

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This is being done with lots and lots of thin layers of paint. More time than I'm usually inclined to spend on a model.


I see now from the photo that I've got the early WIP look of the skin of better painters than me (that being most of them) nailed down, but how do I smooth that out and make it look more... Well I'm not sure how to put it. More right and smooth I guess. Do I paint over the transitions with super thin layers of paint over and over again?


Photos were taken with my phone, which makes for pretty good pics when you consider the tool at hand. I can see that with a model that needs to be photographed I need to push the shadows, highlights, and colors even further. I have no idea how to do that without making her look cartoony. I've got some red on the cheeks, but how to I make it strong enough to show without making it look like she has clown makeup on?




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The key to good skin tone is contrast. Deepen the shadows and raise the highlights. On a female model you need to be careful not to overkill it though, their skin still needs to look smooth and clean (unless you are going for a rode hard and put away wet look). Try RMS fair skin triad as a base. If you are not comfortable with mixing paints and other colors yet. If you are comfortable add some tanned skin in there for the shadows maybe. Make sure your layers are thing and build it up delicately.


Below is an example of the tanned skin triad worked up through the fair skin triad...the shadows and highlights could be deeper, but it is a good example of what can be done without using any other colors (reds, blues, browns)to augment the tone.



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One thing about painting skin that doesn't get much attention in the usual tutorials is that it reflects light very differently from just about everything else we paint. Skin is translucent (you can test this by closing your fingers over a flashlight), and the behaviour of light as it bounces around inside the top layers of skin -- what graphics nerds like me call subsurface scattering -- leads to very broad highlights. Look at the progression in this tutorial from Massive Voodoo: the highlights are huge relative to the shadows.

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