— Shadows: brown and a little crimson, then add some blue to neutralize the pinky colors
— Highlights: white gets dropped into the the base skin color and then blended2) To get a pale skin color with a peach shade, mix together about 1 tablespoon of raw sienna with 1/2 teaspoon of burnt umber. Add an 1/8 tablespoon of yellow and just a tiny touch of your brush’s worth of red. Add white until the shade is your preferred shade of pale skin tone. For a blue undertone, use a cool (blue) yellow and the lighter shade of purple in place of the red.
What is a glaze?
A glaze refers to a layer of transparent or translucent paint over a layer of opaque paint that has dried to the touch. The glaze is an extremely thin, oily, transparent layer of paint. You thin the paint out using a mixture of oil and mineral spirits/ turpenoid until it becomes transparent. You spread this layer of transparent paint on top of a dried surface of a painting to change the hue and value of its original surface.
The light passes through the transparent layer to the opaque layer giving it the appearance of the two separate colors being mixed or combined. The pigments are optically mixed as opposed to physically mixed. The red stays red and the green stays green. Because one layer is transparent it produces a unique affect we call glazing.
When to use a glaze?
A glaze can be used at any time as long as the original layer has dried. You can glaze an entire painting using a rag in a matter of seconds, or you can glaze a small section using a brush, usually the latter.
Glazes are perfect for painting the complexities of skin tones. How do you paint cool (blue) light on a warm (yellow/ red) face. How do you paint a 5 o’clock shadow or the beginning of a beard which usually has a cool tint on a warm face? By painting the warm colors first, letting them dry and then glazing in the cool colors you accomplish this unique color situation without your painting becoming muddy.
You can use any color to glaze with. It works best when you glaze a darker color on top of a lighter color. You can add as many layers of glazing as you want. Some artists will stack over a dozen layers of glazing on top of each other, letting each layer dry in between, to give the painting a more luminous glow that cannot be achieved otherwise.
Example (sort of)