Paint a figure from life with a limited palette. Use a colour strategy to make temporary shifts as you move values from
dark to light.
3 Half-tones and lights
I apply a pinkish brown half-tone to soften the transition, before using a lighter yellow for the light. The yellow pops nicely against the cooler pink. For variation, I’ll add yellows in the light areas and cool reds in the lower areas.
4 Highlights and background
I introduce highlights using a cool pink that blends with the skin, followed by a cool light grey for the bright highlights. For the background I mix a mid-tone blue and a touch of yellow. This slightly green-blue works well against the more reddish blue in the shadow.
5 Refine and finish
I refine my edges, correct the drawing and add temperature shifts to the background, along with accents of rich colour. Then I finish by washing subtle darks in the bottom areas and glazing light yellow in the light areas. This heightens the sense of light and adds technique and edge variation.
create a Central colour pool
When rendering, I mix a large pool on my palette for light, shadow and mid-tone colours, and arrange them from dark to light. Staying organised helps me mix more accurate colours and values.
Pure reds Background colour
Pure blue Highlight
Subtle shadow tone
Background colour Mix blue in brightest highlight Light colours
Mix more reds in lower areas Mix more yellows in upper areas