Lesson 5: Determining Olive Skin

Identifying Olive Skin

I've separated olive skin out as a separate skin tone, apart from the lesson on warm, cool, or neutral undertones. This is because it's more complex than a skin tone with only warm, cool, or neutral undertones.

Olive skin as a skin tone can have warm, cool, or neutral undertones, or any combination of them, plus a hint of olive that adds an ashen sheen to the skin tone. Again, this information is meant to give give you more confidence in painting a subject with olive skin, not make you run screaming. I'm hoping for an "ah-ha" moment.

If you determine your model does in fact have olive skin, the key to proceeding is going to be "paint what you see." Knowing you're painting olive skin will hopefully prevent you from thinking you're wrong if you see warm "here" and cool "there" and that olivey tone, too. So please, relax, sit back, and enjoy the lesson. You can do as much practice painting olive-skinned subjects as you like. If you're nervous, just remember, it's practice. No one has to see.

Before you know it, I bet you're liking and signing those "practice" paintings. Probably selling a few, too.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me with any questions at [email protected].

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