Category Archives: Figure Drawing Tutorial

[Video] 5 Tips for a Better Skin Color Palette

5 tips for better skin color palette header by Chris Legaspi
Skin color is one of my favorite things to paint.  It’s also one of the most requested topics I’ve encountered. The burning question I hear over and over again from students, friends and artists is: “How can I make a good skin color palette?”

Many artists and students struggle with skin color and rightfully so. Color is an incredibly complex animal that is difficult to control and must be handled with care. This is especially true when trying to paint skin color that feels “real”.  Even though color is tough, painting skin can be a lot of fun if you have the right information and the right strategies.

These 5 tips are my thoughts and ideas on the topic of skin color. These tips and strategies I’ve learned through hard earned experience and years of intensive study on color, along with hundreds of hours of painting practice.

Instead of giving you formulas or pre-made skin color palettes, my goal is to teach you how to see color and then show you a process for making your own skin color palette for any situation.

There are 3 main parts to this article. In Part 1, I’ll examine the properties of skin color, or at least how I see skin color at this stage in my painting career. This section will examine what I see when I observe skin and how I simplify the complexity of skin color.

In Part 2, I’ll explore the 5 Tips for mixing and painting better skin color. These are the techniques and strategies that I personally use when I paint.

In Part 3, there are 2 detailed step-by-step painting demonstrations. The first is a study of light skinned male. The second demo is of a dark skinned african female.

A condensed video form of this article , including the first painting demonstration is below.

The second, 1 hour painting demonstration of an African female portrait is available for free on my Private School newsletter page. See image below for the finished painting demonstration.

skin color palette african demo-final

To watch the full 1 hour painting demonstration and get access to even more exclusive content. Simply enter your email below to join.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the 5 Tips and both painting demos, scroll down to read the full article…

PART1 – Properties of Skin Color

Property #1 – Red, Yellow, Blue

There is no such thing as a “skin” color. Skin color is essentially a combination of all 3 primaries: red, yellow and blue. That’s right. Red plus yellow plus blue. Sounds obvious and oversimplified, but allow me to elaborate.

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[Video] Portrait Skech in Blue

In this 4 part video series a portrait sketch in oil is demonstrated from start to finish. The model in this scene was lit with an artificial light creating a stylized color to the skin.

Blue girl painting by Chris Legaspi

 Finished painting. 6″x8″, oil on canvas. Palette used: Ultramarine blue, Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber and Titanium White.

Process images below.

blue girl portrait sketch process by Chris Legaspi

If you like this painting demonstration, check out my self-study video course, The Laws of Color Vol. 1. This course is for artists and students who are making the transition from drawing to painting. If you’ve been wanting to paint for a while but have been intimidated by color, then this is the right course for you.

The course is available in 2 versions, traditional oil painting and a Photoshop edition. Click the link below to learn more:


[VIDEO]Head Painting in Color

Portrait painting, also known as head painting is one of my favorite subjects to paint. Painting in color, especially bold, saturated is a lot of fun. In this head painting in color video, I demonstrate a color painting done using a limited palette. Topics covered include:

  • color theory
  • using limited a palette
  • controlling values
  • rendering and lighting
  • oil painting best practices

This painting is a small color study for a new series. The canvas is a gessoed board glued to my sketchbook. See below for full image and some process images.

chinese girl head painting in color by Chris Legaspi

chinese girl color head painting in color process by Chris Legaspi

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[VIDEO] Roger Ver Portrait Sketch

This video is a behind the scenes look at my watercolor painting process. For this Roger Ver portrait sketch/tribute I use only 2 colors to make my tones, ultramarine blue and burnt umber. To add lights I use gouache. Paper is 80lb kraft paper in my sketchbook.

Roger is a Bitcoin entrepreneur and investor. I’m a big fan of his work and philosophy. To learn more about Roger visit his website here.  For more on bitcoin, click here.

roger ver portait sketch by Chris Legaspi
Final sketch, about 8″x6″, watercolor on kraft paper.

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If you have any thoughts or questions on drawing, watercolor or my painting process, I’d be happy to help in the comments below…

[VIDEO] Portrait Sketch Oil Painting Demo

In this 3 part portrait sketch tutorial series, I demonstrate an alla-prima (wet/direct painting) painting of a young attractive female. The medium is oil paint on gessoed paper.

To watch Part 3, sign up for the Free Newsletter, Private School. Newsletter subscribers will get access to part 3 and other great free content, like the hi-res handout and more. To sign up, enter your email below and click the blue button to join:


Portrait sketch in oil paint handout by Chris Legaspi

For questions about painting or color or my painting process leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help.

[VIDEO] Eddie Huang Drawing Tutorial

Eddie Huang drawing tutorial/tribute video. Eddie Huang is a chef, entrepreneur, author and creator of the TV series Fresh off the Boat. Eddie is a thought leader in the growing movement of Asians doing big things in modern western culture. I’ve been a huge fan of Eddie since I saw his food show on the VICE network. As an Asian immigrant myself I appreciate all the hard he’s done and for being a voice for the Asian community. So shout out my playa, looking forward to growing the movement with you.

For more videos and other great content, subscribe to my Free Newsletter, Private School. Private School members get access to exclusive content that I only release to subscribers. To join, enter your email below and click the blue button and you’ll get instant access to our growing library of videos, tutorials and handouts:


Eddie Huang portrait sketch

“Eddie Huang Portrait Sketch” by Chris Legaspi. 5″x7″, ballpoint pen, white pencil and guoache on toned paper. For questions and comments, leave a comment below. Thanks!

[RAW Video] Charles Hu Figure Drawing Demo

Raw video footage Charles Hu figure drawing during a life drawing workshop.  Charles is a figure drawing master and good friend. Charles is the co-founder of 3 Kicks Studio in Pasadena, CA. 3 Kicks offers classes from some of the TOP representational artists in Southern California, including:

  • Joseph Todorovitch
  • Richard Morris
  • Sean Cheetham
  • Sunny Apichipong
  • Steve Huston and many more….

To learn more about 3 Kicks Classes and schedule, visit:

Charles Hu figure drawing

[Video] Marker Rendering Techniques

In this video I share my marker rendering techniques. This style of rendering, I use a combination of pen, markers and white pencil. For more in-depth training on shading, check out my Shading Techniques Course.

To watch Part 2, sign up for the free newsletter, Private School. Newsletter subscribers get access to exclusive content like more videos, handouts and more. Best of all, it’s free. To subscribe, enter your e-mail below and click the button to join.


marker renderings by Chris Legaspi

For questions on marker rendering, shading or materials, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.