Blending Skin Tones with Pypah Santos

Blending Skin Tones with Pypah Santos

Pypah Santos, the mixed media mastermind, is featured as one of Arteza’s Fuel Your Creativity artists. To learn more about Pypah’s background, read her artist profile article here. Today, Pypah will be taking us through some of her go-to techniques for blending skin tones using Arteza’s EverBlend Art Markers and Professional Colored Pencils! To learn how to blend alcohol-based markers like a professional, keep reading! 



Beginning Stages: Creating a Solid Base

After Pypah is satisfied with her sketch, she adds color with markers! Typically, Pypah starts off with light colors for the skin tone; as she likes to start with the lightest color first then add more saturated tones layer by layer. The reason she works from light to dark is because it’s a lot easier to add color on top and fix mistakes with darker tones than it is to fix something if you go too dark from the start—“You want to build up color and not subtract.” Pypah recommends doing the first layer with the chisel end of her EverBlend Ultra Art Markers because it covers more surface area. 

After establishing her base coat, she’ll use a slightly darker color to start identifying the areas in the portrait that would have shadows cast on them—she uses the brush nib for this step because it makes blending the different skin tones easier and provides precision. At this stage it is important to establish your light source and create shadows that share a common light source. Once you’re happy with the placements of your initial shadows and contours, she recommends using the same marker you used to create your base coat to go over where the two colors meet to blend further. The brush nib of our EverBlend Ultra Art Markers makes blending layers a total breeze! 

Next, Pypah repeats the same step she had previously with establishing shadows with the lightest shade to build her portrait up layer by layer. Her rule of thumb is: “everything that is more sunken into the face that will be darker, and then the tip of your nose, and the cheeks, and stuff like that I will basically not touch after I do the base color because I want that to be the lightest area.” After this stage in the portrait, Pypah colors the hair so that she can see what the contrast looks like there and get a better idea of the picture as a whole.

Establishing Hair with Markers

Pypah starts with the lightest shade her character’s hair will feature first using the brush nib tips of the EverBlend Markers. She particularly appreciates the versatility in brush stroke the brush nib offers and finds the EverBlend Markers to be exceptionally easy to work with. After establishing her character’s hair’s base coat she uses a darker marker to shade the darker areas (also using the brush nib). Just like blending skin tones, she follows the same technique of going back in with the original base coat color to blend out the new darker marks. 

Detailing Your Marker Drawings

When coloring the whites of eyes, Pypah goes for one of the lightest gray shades in her EverBlend collection. Later, she uses a slightly darker shade of gray to add shadows to the eyes. She tends to use the darkest shade used to color the hair to color her character’s eyebrows. To color the lips, she builds the color up layer by layer also, going over the shadow areas a couple times with the same color. Once Pypah is happy with her marker drawing, she finishes her drawings off with Arteza’s Professional Colored Pencils!

Finishing Details with Colored Pencils

Artist Pypah Santos likes to add blush to her characters during the pencil stage because she can control the opacity of the color. She tends to go over the shadows in the lips with a darker color too, making sure to add extra dimension. Using a colored pencil she adds more detail to the hair, especially strands that cover her characters’ faces. Additionally, she adds fine details to the lash line and eyes using sharpened colored pencils—this is Pypah’s favorite part because you get to see the drawing look finished. Lastly, Pypah adds any final details, for instance star shaped freckles! She finds that our colored pencils blend well over markers, enabling her to create mixed media masterpieces.

Implement Pypah Santos’ marker techniques to take your drawings to the next level! We hope this article has helped Fuel Your Creativity.

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