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Create Realistic Skin Tones with EverBlend Markers

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Posted by Karina Kazhuro
As a master of graphic design, sketching, and illustration, Karina, is a multi-talented artist known for combining media and techniques. She is also proficient in realism and classical drawing.
Create Realistic Skin Tones with EverBlend Markers

Table of Contents:

Take the Mystery Out of Skin Tones

Getting the right skin tones can sometimes be quite a struggle. That’s why when Arteza came out with a special set of EverBlend markers in skin tones, it was a game-changer! These art markers have tones that are appropriate for flesh. You don’t have to guess which colors to use or try to mix some together to get the results you want. Instead, you have a complete set of flesh tones that range from the lightest to the darkest. These let you start with the correct color and build it up through layering other hues that realistically enhance the skin’s tone. 


In this article, you’ll get three examples of how to paint flesh tones with EverBlends. We’ll start with these basic skin tones to get you started. Once you’ve given them a try, you’ll see how easy it is and you can keep going, creating more and different skin types. To make it easy to learn the process, we’ve set up each example with the same steps. At the end, there’s a video that goes along with this blog to help you see the process. It also includes the colors the artist used to help you replicate each image. 

List of Supplies

European Skin Tones

Colors to use:

  • A0, A602, A610, A622, A428, A632, A8276, A620, A627
  1. The Basics

    We’ll start with people from certain areas of Europe who have fair skin tones with an undertone of pink. This undertone can range from warm peach to cold pink. 

  2. Create Smooth Transitions 

    Use A0 (the blender) to moisten what will be the face’s lightest areas—forehead, bridge, the tip of the nose, and the chin. Next, use A602 to color the face and neck, going a little over the dampened area, but not completely filling it. Be careful not to color over the areas for the eyes and lips!

  3. Add Shadows

    To add some shadows, use A610. This gives the face volume and a warm peach blush.

  4. Accentuate the Darkest Areas

    Since the face is three-dimensional, it’s important to emphasize the contrast between the light and dark areas to give it that look of roundness. To do this, apply A622 to accentuate the face’s  darkest areas—the shadow from strands of hair, eyebrows, folds on the lower and upper eyelids, the nose’s base, the small shadow on the lower lip, and the shadow from the face onto the neck.

  5. Add Lip Color

    Lip colors also vary from skin tone to skin tone. In this particular case, use A428 to color the lips. Also add a little of this color around the edges of the forehead, eyelids, cheeks, tip of the nose, and chin, as these are commonly more saturated areas of skin color. To make the lips brighter, add A632 to them. 

  6. Draw the Eyes

    Use A8276, included in the EverBlend Marker set of 60, and A0, the blender marker, to draw and color the blue eyes.

  7. Add Details

    Next, apply A620 to add hair for the eyebrows based on their general shape. With this same color, add the nostrils, outline the sides of the nose and add the shadow that falls from the upper lip onto the lower one. Draw the pupils and darken the upper eyelids’ outer corner. Also, draw the eyelashes on the lower eyelid. To add the finishing touches to the eyebrows, eyes, and lips, use A627. 

  8. Color the Hair

    For this person, color the hair with A602, making sure to leave some highlights. To give the hair volume and accentuate the waves, use A610 and A622 to add shadows based on the hair’s shape. Once again, the contrast will make the hair look more realistic, so apply A627 in the darkest places. This little detail will make your artwork look like it truly has depth.

African-American Skin Tones

Colors to use:

A601, A603, A610, A608, A611, A625, A627

  1. The Basics 

    The African American appearance has a brown skin tone with a variety of undertones. These can range from warm milk chocolate to a strong espresso tone.

  2. Create Smooth Transitions 

    Using A601, color the face without filling the eyes and lips. This is necessary so that the skin’s lightest areas are not white from the paper, but are flesh-colored. Using A603, go back over the face except for the eyes and lips. Make sure to avoid the lightest areas of the face—the forehead, cheekbones, bridge and tip of the nose and chin. Create a smooth transition between colors using A601 at the border of the two colors.

  3. Add Shadows

    Next, use A610 to add a warm shade for the shadows on the face. Apply the same color to the face’s darkened areas to add more volume.

  4. Accentuate the Darkest Areas

    Using A608, accentuate the face’s darkest areas—the shadows from the strands of hair along the edges of the forehead, upper and lower eyelids, cheeks, the base of the nose, and the shadow that is formed from the face onto the neck. Next, use A610 to soften color transitions.

  5. Add Lip Color

    Now, fill in the lips using A611. You will also use this color for the eyebrows, upper and lower eyelids, nostrils, and sides of the nose. 
  6. Add Details

    Using A625, place hair for the eyebrows based on their general shape as well as the eyes and eyelashes. Next, darken the eyelids and draw in the nostrils, sides of the nose, lips, and the face’s outline.

  7. Complete the Face

    To finish the face, use A627 to add more details to the eyebrows. Using that same color, draw the pupils and eyelashes and add the shadow that appears from the upper lip onto the lower one.

  8. Color the Hair

    Color the hair using A625. Draw some single strands with A627 to emphasize its curly structure.

Asian Skin Tones

Colors to use: A0, A601, A602, A605, A609, A613, A632, A624, A628

  1. The Basics

    The Asian skin tone is characterized by yellowish hues with a great variety of undertones. 

  2. Create Smooth Transitions 

    Use A601 to cover the entire face except for the eyes and lips. Leave the lightest areas blank— the forehead, the tip of the nose, and the chin. Use A0 to soften the transition between the color and the white areas. Next, apply A602 to add a flesh-yellow tint to the entire face, avoiding those areas previously mentioned.

  3. Add Shadows

    For the shadows on the face that will give it volume, use A605. Apply it along the edges of the forehead, on the upper and lower eyelids, and on the bridge and base of the nose to emphasize it. Draw the shadow that goes from the face onto the neck and soften the transition of colors using A602.

  4. Accentuate the Darkest Areas

    Using A609, accentuate the darkest areas of the face to realistically enhance the contrast in the skin tones, including the shadow from the strands of hair, the upper and lower eyelids, the base of the nose, the shadow under the lower lip, and the shadow from the face to the neck.

  5. Add Blush & Lip Color

    Use A613 to add some blush to the skin by blending it at the edges with a mix of A605 and A602, This will help make a smooth transition. Then, use A613 to add pink accents to the forehead, sides of the nose, and tip of the chin. Fill the lips in with the same color. To finish the lips and brighten them up apply A632.

  6. Add Details

    Now add the finishing details to the face. Use A624 to draw the eyebrows and eyes. Use this color to also highlight the nostrils and shade some areas on the lips. Use it to accentuate the face’s oval shape. Next, use A628 to highlight and finish the eyebrows, drawing them according to the shape of the hair growth. Draw the pupils and eyelashes. Due to the structure of the upper eyelid, the eyelashes will look more like a solid line, almost like eyeliner.

  7. Color the Hair

    Draw the hair and then fill the entire area with A628. As you do this, follow the shape of the hair and leave some light areas for highlights. This will give the hair volume.

    Now that you have these three examples of the most common skin tones, it’s time for you to give it a try. After you’ve accomplished these, study the skin tones of the people around you or images from photos on the internet. By doing this you’ll be able to recognize all the subtle variations in flesh tones that will add another element of authenticity to your work. 

Recommendations

  • It’s good to remember that contrast is a strong way to add a three-dimensionality to your drawings. That’s why you should plan where the light and dark areas will be or where you will add highlights to call attention to the most important part of your composition
  • Try to make the lip color of your subject a natural color that you would normally see in a person of that skin tone unless you’re adding lipstick to them.
  • The blender marker may not be a color, but it is a valuable tool for pre-moistening your paper or coloring over the edges of two colors to blend them into a soft transition. 

There are more skin tones than you could ever imagine. That’s what makes the world such a colorful and beautiful place! We encourage you to give the EverBlend Marker Skin Tone Set a try and see how diversified your art will become! 

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