Sunday, July 08, 2012

experiments in skin tone

It would appear every artist has their own recipe, often kept very secret, to getting decent skin tone. I have previously blundered along doing everything in "full colour", sometimes a little luridly so. Lately I'm becoming taken with the idea of many washes in similar if not the same colour/tone. I feel it brings a luminosity to any watercolour. The great master of the many washes was John Sell Cotman and the more I read about his work the more I love the technique. Recently I bought some of Windsor and Newton's Cotman Range, they may only be "student" quality to some but they do definitely have beautiful coverage in washes, and particularly the yellow ochre, which I think bring a delicious goldenness to skin tones and at the same time doesn't muddy the other colours (which I have found previously in more expensive paints) Anyway I've been experimenting and I think I have come across a set of four colours that really do give great skin tones. I trust John Sell is not turning in his grave. Another watercolourist I really admire is Norman Lindsay, but no one yet has come out with a range of his colours, that I'm aware of.

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