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November 21, 2009
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SKIN: a tutorial - Part 1 by navate SKIN: a tutorial - Part 1 by navate
UPDATE 7/31/2011: I've uploaded a slightly revised version. Content is still the same. :)

This tutorial is very extensive and will be published in (at least) four parts.

:star: IN THIS SECTION: :star:
Skin basics: A simple but in-depth look that expands beyond the usual shadow-midtone-highlight formula, and how to use each tonal range most effectively.

:bulletblue: :new: SECTION II: Skin tones. how to apply the basic formula to light, medium, dark, and fantasy skin tones.

:bulletred: SECTION III: Background color and ambient light. How surrounding colors affect skin.
:bulletred: SECTION IV: Building a skin tone, blending and texturing. The technical section showing how to paint skin start to finish.

This tutorial uses mostly digital work as examples, but the theory behind it should apply to ALL mediums. But of course it goes without saying that this is hardly the end-all-be-all of skin painting tutorials. Just my way of thinking about it.

I tried to make this accessible for artists of all skill levels. Intermediate artists will probably benefit the most. Beginners will probably find some of the principles discussed difficult to put into practice. But don’t be frustrated! The only “secret” to being a good painter is practice. :heart: And hopefully even advanced painters will be able to glean something useful. :)

Also-- this should go without saying, but I will say it anyway: the ONLY WAY to learn how to paint/draw anything well, let alone realistically, is to STUDY COLOR THEORY AND FORM. All the stuff I blather on about in this tutorial is meaningless unless you take the initiative to learn the fundamentals of color and figure drawing.
:star: Color theory resources can be found HERE.

Please, any questions, concerns, criticisms, etc: comment below.

Thanks so much for the DD! :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-12-01
The suggester writes: I've seen many a skin tutorial in my day, but I have to say that SKIN: a tutorial - Part 1 by *navate is the best! Not only does it cover the basics, but it also takes into consideration points about skin that most tutorials do not cover, such as the difference between normal highlights and peak highlights. There's so much subtlety in skin and this tutorial gets right to the heart of this challenging topic. This tutorial series is not even finished yet, I'm amazed and waiting for the rest with baited breath. Thank you for sharing! ( Suggested by AngelaSasser and Featured by znow-white )
1DeViLiShDuDe Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool! :D
LLDmate Jan 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Simply amazing!
UntoldPromises Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this! You are truly talented and AMAZING!
Hopefully I can be as good as you one day :)
thank you for sharing!
Thanks, very good job.
this is really helpful ... just gotta put it to practise now ... but you highlight things I would have never even thought about.
Melody-Madness Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is incredibly helpful, thank you for taking the time and effort to make this. It's very much appreciated :heart:
Looks very helpful, but I have a question though. I never know which brush is the best to draw skin and how I can make the skin look smooth (without noticable lines). I hope you understand my question. an answer would be nice :)
IDphotoshoper Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice tutorial
wolfik007 Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh thank you, THANK YOU!
I must say for myself I think I have quite mastered the art of pencil, but colours, and especially skin colours, were something
like foreign and forbbiden land to me. I was sad for that, because I am able to enjoy colors I see
around me, with the various colours of the sky beginning and with variety of colours on my own hand ending.
But you were able to open a peek hole into that land, and now I feel I can do trying it and one day,
one day I will draw these as simply as I do with pencil.
Thanks. Looking forward to the next ones. ;-)
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