How to Make Skin Color in Oil Painting

Mixing skin tones in oil painting can be a tough task for most of the beginners in painting. Here let us discuss how to mix skin color so that you can get the best realistic tone for your portraits. Flesh tones do not have a specific formula and each one of you will have a unique method of mixing colors. It is often an artist dependent.


Multitudes of colors are available in art stores and it is often confusing for a beginner to select the best colors for skin tone. Most of the popular artists suggest setting the palette before starting the painting process.


How to Make Skin Color in Oil Paint:

Let us start with the basic colors.

What you need is just Red, Blue, Yellow and White color to produce the natural flesh tone.

  1. Using blue and yellow, make a rich green color. Now add the same proportion of red or orange so that you will reach in a brown color. If you mix the ingredients well, you will get a smooth effect.
  2. This brown color can be lightened with the help of white color. Adding a small amount of yellow will give a different sienna color.
  3. Now you are ready with the sienna color on the palette. Let us divide this color into two separate parts. To the first part, add red color to get an umber color.
  4. Both Sienna and umber color is ready on your palette. Take both umber and sienna and mix to get a flesh tone. This will have a reddish appearance. IF you need a whitish fleshy color, you may add some white color.

 Another Method:

1. Add Vermillion Hue and Yellow Ochre. Now you will get an Orange-like color. Add Ultramarine Blue and mix it well. Take some White color and add it to the mixed color so that you will get the basic skin tone. You can lighten the color by adding more White color.



Watch this video to understand the skin color technique in detail.


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