Skin Tone Mid | Matisse Acrylic Paint

Chemical Description: Blend Arylide yellow and iron oxides

Pigment Number: PY74 PR101 PY42 

Lightfastness Rating: ASTM I

Pigment Opacity: Opaque

Paint Opacity: Opaque

Series 1

Skin Tone Mid | Matisse Acrylic Paint

Exploring the Roots of Portraiture


The rich history of portraiture traces back to ancient times, with the Greeks and Egyptians leaving us highly stylized images. As we move through the Middle Ages, religious iconography and portrayals of royal family members emerge as prominent subjects. However, it was the Renaissance that truly catalyzed innovations in portraiture, marking the birth of the tradition of portrait miniatures, prevailing until the onset of the photographic era.


Mastering Realistic Flesh Tones


A challenge faced by both ancient and modern portrait artists lies in capturing realistic flesh colours, given the varied tones of the skin under different lighting conditions. Addressing this challenge, Matisse crafted three distinct colours forming the foundation for recreating light, medium, and dark skin tones.


Skin Tone Mid: Crafting Medium Skin Tones


Matisse's Skin Tone Mid, an ideal base for medium skin tones, comprises Mid Yellow Azo, Transparent Umber, and Yellow Oxide pigments. While usable straight from the tube, its design encourages modification with other Matisse colours to add depth and highlights. Just as human skin isn't one-dimensional, artists must approach flesh tones with a palette of varied tones to create depth.


Creating Depth: Mixing Tones with Skin Tone Mid


An effective approach involves mixing a range of colours using Skin Tone Mid as a base. When working from a real subject, a photograph serves as a valuable guide, helping artists recreate diverse skin tones on their palette. Following the photograph's cues, artists blend Skin Tone Mid with other colours to achieve desired shades. Notably, adding small amounts of dark colours to light ones proves more effective and efficient than the reverse.


Crafting the Perfect Blend


While providing specific blending formulas without subject references is challenging, considering additional acrylic colours can enhance skin tone creation. Explore options like Titanium White, Unbleached Titanium, Naples Yellow Light, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Yellow Oxide, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cobalt Blue, and Phthalocynine Green.


Artistry without a Live Subject


In the absence of a willing real-life subject, artists can turn to their own hand as a reference, allowing experimentation with the creation of skin tones. This practical approach facilitates honing skills even in the absence of external subjects, contributing to the artist's journey in mastering the art of portrait.

Safety Data Sheet for Matisse Skin Tone Mid (SDS)

To view or download a copy of Skin Tone Mid SDS, please  CLICK HERE * (271kb)  
*The above link will open an external Dropbox window 

Skin Tone Mid is available in Matisse Structure, Matisse Flow

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