US $19.97

Painting Skin Tone With Watercolors

——   Created by Melissa Lee

Share this course:

Lesson time
Skill level

More about this course

In my experience, one of the most difficult things to color in any medium is skin tone, whether it's light or dark skin. And for many, watercolor is already a difficult medium to control. In this class, I’ll show you the different color combinations and techniques I use, as well as take you through my methods for mixing, blending, and layering colors, shading and highlighting, and controlling the flow of color.

Everyone is welcome, of course, but if you don't feel confident in your portrait drawing skills, I recommend taking my previous Arbington classes on illustrating faces, as this is not a portrait drawing class and focuses solely on painting skin tones. 

My hope is that by the end of this lesson, you’ll gain the understanding you'll need to come up with your own color combinations for skin tones, and overall, feel more confident in your ability to create realistically colored portraits.

The course project


Your assignment is to paint a watercolor portrait, using the tips and techniques you learned in the videos. You don't have to paint two figures like I did; I only did so in order to demonstrate the differences in painting light and dark skin tones. Your drawing can be as stylized or "cartoony" as you like, as long as the skin tone colors are realistic. 


A completed project should include the following:

1. Sphere Activity

2. Final Portrait Painting

For inspiration, check out my sample project in the gallery.



7 Lessons

1 min
2 mins
Watercolor Materials
3 mins
Making Creative Color Choices
1 min
Color Combinations for Realistic Skin Tones
7 mins
Gradient Practice: Mixing and Blending Colors
5 mins
Sphere Activity
12 mins
Final Demo

About the instructor

It you!
Melissa Lee
  • 9 courses

Hi! My name's Melissa Lee, and I'm an illustrator and surface designer living in the hilly forests of Northern California. Alongside doing freelance and art …

Read more
This course is included in Arbington Premium
$15/month gets you access to every course. Start your 14 day trial today. ☝️

Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Direct teacher access
  • 27m of on-demand video
  • 3 downloadable files
  • Have a coupon?
  • Checkout