Dark Skin Tone Study

A new challenge for me. I did this quick mixed dry media study last week for my upcoming painting. What's challenging isn't the medium but the subject. This is my very first attempt of drawing people with darker skin tone. In previous work, I was more comfortable in painting my own skin tones because I'm familiar with it and because I use myself as reference.

One of the surprised technique I learnt in this study was using paper tortillion like a paintbrush. With different pressure, I gently brushed the tip of paper tortillion on pan pastel or Conté crayon to pick up the amount of pigment I need. Then, I applied it on my drawing like it's a pencil. I absolutely love this technique because it makes shading and block-in quicker than using a pencil; and, easier and more precise than a pastel stick.


Another item used in this study was a box of Conté Crayons I purchased a few years ago but it was stored under the drawer all this long. It didn't work for me before but this time, it works like magic for me. It's not too soft and not too hard, easy to draw on paper and even easier to soften or blend with paper tortillion or a paper towel.

What's unexpected easier is drawing darker skin tone. It seems easier for me to draw darker skin than fair skin, probably because of my tendency of over-shading. My portrait drawings always look a little darker than reference. Using pastel and crayon, I preferred working from dark to light like painting with oil. I usually starts from shading the darker values in a big shape, then I'll erased the light and reflection area with stick eraser. This process feels like wood carving and I enjoy this approach.

The process video of this study also available in longer version at about 48 minutes, almost-near real time. I plan to keep it for my soon-to-launch patreon. If everything went smoothly, it should be up by the end of October. Join my mailing list here if you want to get notification when my patreon page is ready.

If you're interested to adopt this study, go here.

Thank you so much for reading to the bottom. If you like to see more of my process video, please subscribe to my youtube channel. In the same time, you can also comment down below, tell me what do you want to see me create next. Hear from you soon!

With love & gratitude,