In preparation for an upcoming commission, I decided to retest the extremes of what I could could do with skintones. In this case I decided to go with a near opposite range of tone from what most would consider ‘traditional skintones’. For this exercise, I instead, stepped deep into the chroma of green to use as the base for a balanced sense of tone on a nude, that would still be perceived as being ‘naturalistic‘.
Muddy tones of green are frequently used as shadows within my renderings of caucasian flesh, but I wanted to take a step into a challenge and find out how far I could push this extreme. Above is the palette, and the “mud” mixture, that I used to make the final painting below.
The key to all this is to understand and accept that no color is inherently warm nor cool. The temperature of any color is keyed upon what you surround it with. Red can be ‘cool’, and blues can feel ‘hot’ pending your surrounding choices which establish the ‘atmosphere’ of the image. A balance is then achieved by discovering what tones are needed to tweak out the warm and cool relationships which make painting flesh so exciting!
And lastly selecting the right frame can compliment the warm/cool relationship within the painting.