2744. That is all there is to it. But if a person has a set of eyes that have no mouth with which to be constantly giving directions to the hands, then there is not much hope that said person is going to be doing any paintings.
It was just Faldoni’s good fortune that he chose as his subject the
painting of faces. The color of flesh is the great teacher of the theory
of color for the artist. It is the color infinite in its variations,
and the one color above all others that we are able to react to in the
deepest, most complex emotional way. It is the first color we associate
with the very nature of existence, if one is fortunate to learn what
existence is about at ones’ mother’s breast.
But there is not just one color of flesh that can be arrived at and
used in all situations, unless one is painting store manikins. In order
to paint a successful image of the figure the color of the flesh has to
be able to accommodate a great many variations. There is the red of a
suntan, the blue-green of the veins just under the surface showing
through, the pink of the fingernails which is slightly more red than the
finger itself, freckles, age spots, and moles.
2747. All these variations do not take into consideration the additional variations created by light, shade, and deep shadow. And with all these tints we are considering, we have not even begun to think about the flesh color of the Asians, and the Africans. But no matter whose flesh it is that is being painted, it is the color of the blood that is the key to it all.