Can you give me some tips for painting people?

First and foremost, do NOT direct me to an online tutorial or a website. These things do not help. Also, please do not simply tell me to go and get a certain book (unless it is truly helpful), as I don't have the money for that right now.

I'm a bit of a new painter, although I've been told that I do have a knack for it. Of course, though, it's painting people that is giving me issues. I have a hard time getting the skin tones correct and even. In addition, painting people just CONFUSES me. I'm trying the whole "general-to-specific" method (where you block in large areas with a base color, then add in the details and shadows/highlights), but it isn't working; I tend to get a lot of blobby messes of color.


Oh yeah, this is painting with acrylics.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    to be able to paint people, i would really recommend lots of practice at drawing people. mixing and controlling the paint is enough of a job for a new painter, so it's a lot easier when the subject matter is relatively easy for you.

    i think general-to-specific painting would work best with oil paint, as it would stay wet long enough for you to work everything in at once. of course anything is possible with painting; i'm just saying what i've found. (i'm nearly 22, loved art my whole life, been seriously pursuing painting since i was 15, and teach 20 primary school students art in small classes after school)

    the method i would suggest is to paint a canvas or board with a flat colour that is neither light nor dark, and draw the person with watercolour pencil or chalk pastel (don't dent the canvas with the watercolour pencil!) if you want a background, paint it first. then move in to paint the person neatly.

    (here is where i implore you to learn how to use a paintbrush neatly.) if you find you can't blend one skin tone into another on the canvas because one has already dried, invest in some retarder, to slow the drying time of acrylic paint.

    as for your colours - are you limiting yourself to the primaries, or have you bought a whole bunch of colours? if you're using primaries, make sure you have a "warm" and a "cool" version of red, yellow, and blue.

    warm red - slightly orange

    cool red - slightly purple/fuschia

    warm blue - slightly purple

    cool blue - slightly green (the blues are quite subtle, you can really only see the green-ness or purple-ness when you hold the two blues together to compare

    warm yellow - slightly orange

    cool yellow - slightly green

    obviously you'll need white, and i suppose you'll want to have black. be extremely careful about mixing it into colours, as it deadens the colour. if you do, wash your brush thouroughly before you paint anything else, and probably change the water. it's better, if you have the patience, to mix your own very-dark colour using the primaries.(cool blue and warm red will give you a good start on a blackish colour)

    skin colour with that, is, let me remember... lots of white, some cool red, cool yellow, and tiny amounts of warm blue. use some cool blue and a little more red to mix in to make shadowed tones i think.

    i don't usually use the primary colours at all. i use Jo Sonja's paints, and my must-have colours include:

    raw umber (very very dark brown)

    norwegian orange (terracotta)

    moss green (a pale olive green)

    plum pink (a dark pink, but soft and earthy)

    brown earth (chocolate)

    amethyst (pale purple)

    there's a middle blue i forget the name of that i quite like as well, and i would use all of these colours in a person's face (with some titanium white, of course)

    (sometimes i like to mix in gold, silver, and copper paint to portraits, but that's just me and not necessary, just fun)

    Source(s): <- my paintings, drawings, etc. please feel free to ask me anything about painting or art in general - i believe you can email me through my profile here on y!a.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Don't hide the whole time. Eventually they will get you. Getting hit stings, may bruise, but oh well get over it. Don't fire the gun like a maniac. Take good shots. They do make body armor if you are afraid of the sting of the breaking ball. Always, always, always keep your mask on when in the game field. Don't want you to lose an eye! No ghetto firing. Paintballs feed with gravity. Holding the gun to the side and firing will not work. For guys, wear a cup! For women who bruise easily, wear some body armor.

  • 1 decade ago

    hi kos mos , you should work in layers , from dark to light and of course you should wait until the layers are dry . you can see of my work under the source

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