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Submitted on
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 )
GroPhosforid Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thx bro! :3 Great tutorial! And very very helpful! 
triangulor Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is really helpful thank you :)
Siva1986 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014
AlecAKAChunks Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Student General Artist
You're a genius, I love you. A true artist is you wise one.
wesai Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014
Very nice.
XawesomenessofcoolX Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Thank you for making this, it was really helpful. :D 
steph0804 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
Amazing! Your tutorial is by far the most comprehensive yet understandable one I have been able to find-- thank you!
Zunachina Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Student General Artist
too complicated :P (I'll have to come back when I get a bit better with realism :3)
I-Do-Care Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
That is a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to teach! You describe it so clearly, and the before/after comparison at the bottom really shows the difference your tips can make. :+fav:
cowgirlem Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
I love this! Goes into the level of detail I needed! :)
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