My approach to skintones

Brooding- 3D render by Jennie Rosenbaum

Brooding- 3D render by Jennie Rosenbaum

People sometimes ask me about the skin colors in my works. Up till recently, all of my figures have been without color- that is to say, I’ve focussed more on the light and shadow of the figure and the interraction of the light on the skin. I’ve looked at different skin tones, and worked with many different model colors, but it often doesn’t show.
Previously this was because I wanted to create a unified look to the skin. I wanted all of my pieces to be beyond the concept of race and be universally consistent. I use the same palette for everyone and only vary the skin tones by a few degrees. I was doing it as a commentary that people are so much more than their skin color.

But now my research into anthropomorphic winged figures is going deeper and I need to explore lighter and darker skintones on their own. it’s getting time, as I explore South Africa and Northern Europe to start looking into differing the tones as well as the features. My favorite models are generally Latina, or a lighter black. now I have to move outside my comfort zone and look further. Creating studies and renders, looking at photographs… It’s an interesting challenge. all my figures are very carefully sculpted to have racially appropriate features (even if you don’t see it, I’ve been researching geographical genetic markers, research is practically a hobby now) but I’m looking at the quality of light on different shades of skin tone and I am finding discrepancies. lighting different colors presents unique challenges and doing them justice with my limited palette is also intriguing.

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