Lightening your acrylic paint colors with white paint is called tinting. Each color has a limit on just how much lighter you can make it. This is called tinting strength. Here are the colors from the color wheel going from pure color on the left side to pure white on the right. A gradation between the two shows how many colors exist between. You may want to tint a color in your painting for a highlight if the sun is touching it.
Just add a bit of white paint to your color. Add it gradually to create a strip of paint choices that range from pure white to pure color.
Adding black paint to an a lighter acrylic paint color makes it turn darker. This is called shading. Below is an assortment of colors that have been gradually darkened by adding touches of black paint. Keep in mind that black is strong; so a little paint goes a long way. Mix a strip of paint from pure black to the pure color to provide as many choices as possible, then choose the one that looks most natural.
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Cheat Sheet. Checklist for Painting with Acrylics Look over this handy list of supplies before you start an acrylic painting. Personally the Lukas student oil looks a bit too pink, but it is a student range English red, for the small difference in initial cost for the quality of the paint I would go for the artist quality version. Hi will I am new to painting portraits and was advised to get yellow ochre , Venetian red and ivory black. I was wondering if this was a good palette to start with ,? Also in your skin tone video you used burnt number , blue and a mixture of the two to tone the tone down?
I was wondering why you used the colours in that order? In a a bit confused? The skin tones video was using extremes of colour to demonstrate the process of mixing and muting pigments. Thank you will I think I understand. Do you think as I get more experienced you would advise add-ons a colour or two to add to Venetian red yellow ochre and ivory black? Thank you. Hi Sheryl, yes, depending on the style of portraits and colour palette you prefer, you can tweak the palette to suit your own style. Hi will , just wondering if there is much of a difference between raw umber and burnt umber when toning down a portrait?.
I have taken your advice and purchased a light red instead of aliz crimson. Yellow ochre instead of cad yellow light ,ultra blue , and ivory black. And what are the differences as they both appear to tone a color down? Burnt umber will give you a warmer undertone, and raw umber a cooler undertone, so it depends on the feel of the portrait. If you buy Burnt umber you can easily one it done to be very close to raw umber by adding in a touch of ivory black.
Hi from Australia. Thanks Will for this site. I havent painted for years. And this site discusses alot of the things painters struggle with when painting alone. Yes I did do a Barbie type scary portrait as a warm up, back- to painting. But I also began a much smaller one and have found for the moment Im more successful at smaller.. I think its important if a painting just isnt working and never has, to move on to a new one.
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I tend to think u approach it with more confidence. It worked for me. A failing painting is a bit heartbreaking. Also I found lookin at successful paintings online like Fongwei Liu or Romel de la Torre old school is great for lookin at technique and inspiration. Hi Melinda, pleased you enjoyed the article and are finding your way back to painting. Working from Old Master paintings is a great way to learn new techniques. Hi Will, I have a colour question.
Most of what I want to ask is answered above but I was wondering why so many say to mix a touch of ultramarine into cadmium red medium and cadmium yellow then add white to make a skin tone. I tried this and ended up with green — a rather nice green, but green all the same. My ultramarine was French ultramarine — would that have made a difference do you think?
Bye for now Kryssy. Hi Kryssy, you will be able to get a skin tone with those colours, it just needs a subtle apporach. All the colours are very strong so can be hard to balance. So I would try again, but go gently on the blue. Thank you for taking the time to answer and helping me out. I am going to try a portrait of my daughter-in-law for her birthday. Hi Andrew, you can use a ultramarine blue to control the cooler tones in your portraits.
The portrait demo is great and very clear to follow, I now understand what you said about my portrait having edges that need softening.
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I just hope I learn to stand back and have more patients. Also the limited palette makes sense. Hello Will: I use a limited pallet of Titanium white, burnt sienna, yellow ocher, permanent rose, burnt umber. Your free information is a gift of kindness on your part.
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Portraits can be tricky, especially cracking skin tones. More details should be coming out on the site soon. Hi Will.
There are several reds that are light, and it is confusing.. I am so pleased to find your page and your willingness to share your knowledge with others. Thank you! It seems to be brighter. Is it a good red to be used in portraits? I think it is a beautiful color. Hi Connie, yes, Transparent Oxide Red can make a good colour for portraits. To make portrait with oil color which color should mix for skin??? And any other media should mix to make color thin. Hi Henna, you can mix skin tones from a variety of mixes, in the video I show how to mix a muted skin tone using brighter pigments.
Hi Henna, yes, you can use oil on top of acrylics, just not acrylic on top of oil. Im having great difficulty with a portrait of someone from Hawaii. Her hair is very deep black but the skin is not like a Latino or Asian. Any suggestions?
Your willingness to share hints is wonderful. Hi Elizabeth, I would cut a small 1 cm square out of a piece of black card, place this over your reference image so only a small section of skin tone colour is showing, then mix a colour to match that. Then remove the card and carry on the portrait using the first colour as a base skin tone mix.
I have invested in Acrylics and I am hoping to make use of and master this medium.
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My difficulty is how to approach a portrait, but using acrylic.