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Color Mixing with Oils: Part 2

Color Mixing Chart Part 2: Flesh tones

This article is a collection of the various mixes Iíve used over the years for painting flesh tones on my figures. I can not take credit for coming up with any of these mixes. They are ones Iíve learned of through various articles, Shep Paineís painting class and from several friends in the hobby. The most Iíve done is make some minor changes in quantities or color shades to suit my preference.

Iíve had varying degrees of success with each mix. Each has good and bad points. Iíve listed them in the order that I used them, earliest to latest. The latest is my favorite so far. Iíve included pictures that show my results with each mix. Everything listed here represents something I tried on at least 1 figure. This is only what worked for me. There are lots of better painters out there with lots of better ideas.

I hope that you find this article useful and enjoyable.

ďMongo MelĒ

Note: Unless noted, all paints are Winsor & Newton. Also, The Gold Ochre listed should not be confused with either Gold Ochre Transparent or Yellow Ochre.

The term ďpaint for averageĒ means that I paint the entire area with this color mix. Then, while the paint is wet, I paint in the shadows and blend to suit. Then I paint the highlights and blend to suit. After the paint is dry, I usually go back and redo the shadows and highlights, using a very small amount of paint and get more of a ďglazingĒ effect.

I generally havenít listed quantities or proportions for mixing because I donít keep track of them. I just keep mixing until it looks right to me. Sometimes a mix will look fine on the palette paper, but look terrible on the figure. When this happens, I try to fix it on the figure by adding small dots of the needed color and blending it throughout. If that doesnít work, I just wipe it off and start over.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Craig Whitaker. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

About Craig Whitaker (mongo_mel)

I've been building models since I was a kid back in the '60s. I did everything imaginable until the mid '80s when I decided to try and get serious about it. Like most of us, I credit the Shep Paine diorama sheets found in Monogram kits for my inspiration. When I made this decision, it was armor all ...


I am envious! These flesh tones are BEAUTIFUL... I use a far less sophisticated method in oils, and while passible on 1:35 scale, they do not approach the beauty of this work! Here is my method (humble as it is in comparison!): 1) Base coat the figure's head and neck in a Terra Cotta (dark peachy-orange clay color) and allow to dry. 2) Mix Light pink with beige for the "average face tone"... use a sharp tip 5/0 or 10/o brush to blend this color up to the edge of the lines in the face leaving just lined areas of the darker Terra Cotta Base.... this will create the slightly darker recess lines in place - along the hairline, crease of the nose and cheeks, the neck area and behind the ear, and the eye-socket area.. 3) Add white to the second mix, and use this to "tip & blend" over the cheekbones, bridge and tip of the nose, the brow of the forehead, rim of the ears, and the chin. 4) Use a needle to apply a drop of white to the eyes. when this dries, add a drop of dark grey or black ontop of the white, again using a needle. 5) Add a bit of red to the Average color and do the bottom lip. 6) paint in the eyebrows, and then do the hair. 7) Sit back and admire your finished work, until you then read the article by Whitaker and feel totally inadequate!
OCT 26, 2002 - 07:25 PM
Great job again Mongo Mel Craig. Can't wait to try this on my next figure,yeh riight like it will come out like this oh well no way but to try it latter
OCT 26, 2002 - 11:27 PM
Mongo, you do great things with oils.. I hope to see a step-by-step article on painting faces "Mongo Mel way" real soon. That could help all of us non-oil modelers.. #:-) Mario M.
OCT 27, 2002 - 12:01 AM
Hi Guys, Thanks for all the nice comments. You're too kind! I can try to do a step-by-step article but I doubt I'll be very successful. I do have a 120mm face that I will be painting soon. When I have to think too much about something, I usually screw it up . If anybody tries one of these mixes on a 54mm figure, I'd like to see how it works out. I've only used them on the big busts. Thanks,
OCT 29, 2002 - 12:23 AM
I am going print your article out and try your mixes on my next 1/35th scale dude. I like the simplicity of what your doing with oils.
OCT 29, 2002 - 09:38 AM
Where is part one to this article?
OCT 31, 2002 - 04:23 AM
Hi Aziz, Click on Features...then Figures...you'll see it there
OCT 31, 2002 - 04:27 AM