6 questions question?

I get confused abit on skin tones especially. Often I put the skin tone on my checker and It is to orange. But if I add blue it will get greyer and usually what I really need is for it to get pinker or rosier maybe... So then I don't know what direction on the wheel to go exactly?? Maybe because I cannot really see these subtle skin tones on the color wheel. I know skin tones are just colors but I do get lost on them more because if my color is off abit on the persons hat who really cares but when a skin tone is off it just seems to mess up everything.
So the 6 questions don't always make sense to me.
Thank you


  • edited April 2014
    @Mikel50‌ I have a similar problem so I've been working out my color recognition issues on still life's. I believe that is where @Mark_Carder‌ recommends we start out. One of my biggest impediments is controlling the light. My workspace is a shared space so I can't blackout the windows and I can't paint the walls, so as the light changes over the course of the day so do my colors. Mark talks extensively about light and why and how to control it. You have to balance the whites control the color temperature of the light and so on. It's all in his videos the free ones as well as the moderately priced demonstrations. Keep working at it and ask lots of questions there are some very knowledgable people on this forum.
  • Mikel50

    The six questions routine is for when you can identify a color on the wheel so that the opposite color is identified as a graying pigment. The flesh color does not appear on the wheel (being some mixture of a primary and a tertiary). So as it is predominantly red the blue/green set will grey it down. If you are looking to lighten, use white (better still a Naples yellow, too much white gets chalky) or to intensify (saturate), use red.

    The front end mixing of stepped values, as shown by Mark, should get most of this difficulty out of the way before you start painting.

  • richvinzant

    I suggest that until you can control the studio environment, paint at night with your 5000k setup. Glare control and the human perception of subtle value shifts is essential to the Carder Method.

  • Perhaps you can try this - put out some of each, white, yellow light, a bright red plus Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber. Try different mixes of each to see if they can match what your trying to get.
    Hope that helps. :)>-
  • richvinzant, could you hang dark fabric or a cheap throw behind your easel , with hooks from the ceiling, or black paper you could remove ... bribe your fellow artist .. :)
  • Thank you for the replies.
  • If you need it to be pinker/rosier, add pink/rosy-color.

    Try asking all six questions, even if you're able to answer the first or second one. Also look at the color wheel and be strategic. Sure, your color might be too orange compared to those rosy colors, but is it also not too yellow?

    And look at the color wheel. If your color is light orange (we'll assume the value is correct), you have three basic things you can do: you can add a white-blue mix to make it less orange, less saturated, more grey… or you can shift to the yellow side… or you can shift to the red side. That's it.

    Which is more yellow: orange or rosy pink? Which is more red: rosy pink or orange? Maybe those are better first questions in this case instead of "which is more blue", so just ask all six and use the most useful answer and the color wheel to decide what to do next.

    Until you're really good, you will probably repeat the "six questions" step a few times when getting to a color, and that's fine. Even if you start out asking "which is more blue" and add blue, your next question will take you closer to the correct color. And don't try to look for colors on the color wheel. It doesn't represent all the colors — a color wheel just shows a single value (that's why you don't see black on the color wheel). Just use the color wheel as a reference for how the primary and secondary colors relate to each other.

    If you post a photo of your color and the source color in the same light and post it, if that would help you, I can answer your question in much fewer words. :)
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