• Ten (10) 1oz. bottles of Com-Art Colors
• How to Blend Colors with the Com-Art Steve Driscoll Flesh Tone Set – Tips and Techniques
by Steve Driscoll
• How to Create a Portrait with the Com-Art Steve Driscoll Flesh Tone Set – Follow step-by-step as Steve Driscoll paints a childhood self-portrait
These flesh tones are comprised of many different pigments, some heavier than others. Through time they may separate so make sure to shake the bottle well before using. I often use a soft paint brush to stir the paint to get the sides and bottom of the bottle.
To help you choose the best Steve Driscoll Flesh Tone Color for your next portrait, here are a few helping hints.
The first thing I do with a new color is to spray a sample piece of illustration board with a fade from light to dark. This will let me see all the different intensities of each color. Generally I will use a 2.5”x5” piece of board for each color as a visual reference for the colors. I will then hold up the pieces next to my reference photo and compare the colors to choose the skin tone best suited for my painting. The best areas to look at are in the mid-tones like the cheeks or forehead. These areas will best represent the skin tone needed to best start your painting.
The first thing to know about transparent colors is that when you spray multiple layers, they all show through at the same time combining to create rich and vibrant colors, even in the darkest areas of the face. This can also pose a challenge when introducing a new color to the painting. There is a chance a new color can cause a “shift” or change in the layer of paint being sprayed over. To safeguard yourself from this do a test piece first to make sure this won’t happen.
When you introduce new colors to the flesh areas we will always start with 25 drops of your starting flesh color in your airbrush and add your new color to that. This will make sure there is no color shift in the flesh areas.
For example, if you started with Driscoll’s Peach Flesh and are now adding the red areas you will add your Bright Red to 25 drops of Driscoll’s Peach Flesh in your airbrush. The same is true for the Shade Additive.
When deepening the shadows in the warmer skin tones, (Blush, Peach and Sunwashed Flesh Tone) you will start by adding a few drops of the Driscoll’s Shade Additive in 25 drops of your starting flesh tone. If the color needs to be deeper you can add more of the Shade Additive. If you need the color to be even darker you can add Smoke one drop at a time until it gets to the right shade. If the mixture gets too dull you can add some more Shade Additive to brighten it back up.
When deepening the shadows while using the dull flesh tones, (Dull Tan or Olive Flesh Tone) you’ll start with 25 drops of your flesh color, add a few drops of Shade Additive to deepen the color, then to dull the color you can add Kelly Green one drop at a time until the desired color is achieved. To get the color darker you can add Smoke and Shade Additive.
The technique I use to apply the highlights is the “subtractive” method. This means I will erase or scratch my highlights off of the canvas or illustration board. If I were to use white paint there is a chance of creating a color shift or dull area.
Since we are using transparent colors if you use opaque white paint to spray the soft highlights there would be a muddy area around the light area where the opaque and transparent paints meet. When using erasers I get a clean and pure highlight that reveals the pure white of the canvas or illustration board. Try experimenting with different erasers and see what kinds of textures you can create. Remember, the softer the eraser, the softer the highlight will be. There are times when I need a very sharp highlight, I will use a curved art knife blade. An electric eraser can also give you a sharp white area.