Tuesday, May 12, 2020


NO… you cannot get a skin tone color from a tube….  You have to mix it! 

Just about every skin tone contains a little yellow, blue and red, but in different ratios. To create realistic flesh tones, start by mixing an equal part of red, yellow, blue, and white paint together. You can adjust the ratios  of this base mixture for skin tones that are more yellow, orange or pink.  Then, if you want to make light skin tones, add in more white and yellow to lighten the color. If you want to create mid-range skin tones, try adding equal parts burnt umber and raw sienna to darken the shade. 

A nice short cut to skin tones is to use Yellow or Golden Ochre and Raw Sienna then lighten with white.

But if you are wanting your skin tones to look more natural and realistic your palette can include the following mixes of Warm tones, Cool tones and Grays.

Primary base color mixes for Warm tones:
Gold Ochre & Cadmium Scarlet  with Titanium White added for different values  leans more toward orange tones
Gold Ochre & Cadmium Red with Titanium white added for different values  leans more toward pinker skin tones
Gold Ochre + Titanium white added for different values leans more toward  yellow skin tones
You can use Yellow Ochre instead of Gold Ochre it just does not have as much tinting strength

To desaturate these Flesh tones you need to mix some cool tones with the complimentary colors on the color wheel to the tone you are using… Pink, Orange or Yellow.

Primary base color mixes for Cool Tones:
Ultramarine Blue + Titanium White in about 3 different values (light, medium, dark) for the Orange skin tones
Viridian Green + Titanium White in about 3 different values.  These Greens are good to use with Pink skin tones.
Purple made with Ultramarine blue and Alizarin Crimson  - One mixed with more red and one mixed with more blue for a warm purple and cool purple
Add White to your purples for about 3 different values and use this with your Yellow skin tones. 
Always add your darker colors into your lighter colors when mixing to use less paint

After you mix your particular palette warm and cool colors for the portrait you are painting you mix 1 of each warm and cool together to get a few nice grays to use in your shadows and facial contours

Using Grays or less saturated colors
Mixing compliments together to get grays
A Compliments is the color on the opposite side of the color wheel.
Pink tones with Green tones, Orange tones with Blue tones and Yellow tones with Purple tones
Mix similar values together
It is easier to mix cooler colors into warmer colors
If you use a different color than the compliment you will get what artists call a muddy color. 

When mixing colors with your palette knife be sure and wipe it off before dipping in to the pure colors to keep them pure and not contaminate them with another color.

I hope you enjoy these 3 options for color mixing skin tones for your portraits! 

Happy Painting! 🎨

Deb's Dalliance and My Return to the joy of Art & Painting.

I have enjoyed art from an early age. I spent all of my free hours in high school in the art room with an eagerness to learn more. Upon graduation I pursued some studies at the Birmingham Art Museum with a focus on improving my drawing and learning more about art in general. I studied oil painting with an amazing artist at Lindart Studios in the 80's and I owned a small consignment arts & crafts store called the Lily Pad where I crafted and painted items for sale and did commissioned special orders. I am primarily self taught in many respects and am constantly seeking new ways to learn and improve my art. Work took me away from my joy for 30 years and now in retirement I have found it again!

My art journey has been so fulfilling and a few years ago when I started painting again
a fellow artist told me I should have a Facebook Page just for my art. I decided to organize all of my art together in one place to share and enjoy in a social atmosphere and voila! … My new FB Page “Debs Dalliance” evolved! I hope you will “Like” it and Follow me on my journey of joy and love of art!

It is always a Joy to share my creative space with friends who enjoy painting and creating too! I am always thrilled with the many pieces of art that have evolved in the studio! They say that there is a little artist in all of us and I truly believe that! You can view and enjoy the works of the many talented artists that I have enjoyed painting with in the albums on the Deb's Dalliance page called "Sip, Dip and Dabble"!
Happiness is Wet Paint! 🎨

Thanks for the Follow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Rescue Duck!

Costa Rica has two seasons, the High Season, which is December to April on the Central Pacific coast, and the Green Season from May until November.  It is now nearing the end of October and there has been very little rain this season until this week.  The past few days have brought the torrential downpours that the rain forest is famous for.

And along with the rains came this little bird that appeared to be in distress.  We are not sure if it was injured, rain soaked or just a young sea bird separated from it's mother but it was sitting in the street and could not fly.  It did not seem afraid at all and welcomed the warm hands that took it in and gently carried it to safety.  When it was released into our backyard it still did not fly but waddled off into the swimming pool!  It was quiet content to paddle around in the blue water the rest of the day as if to say...  "I am a lucky ducky to have found this beautiful pond to call my own!"

Now remember that we have a lovely family of basilisk lizards that reside in our backyard and Loco was lounging on the pool deck when this little bird went cruising by as if she were the princess of the pond.  She swam up and down and around and around!  It was an amazing sight to behold and reminded me of how much we enjoy being surrounded by nature.  I went back about my business and when I went back later to check on this little creature she was napping on the pool deck and stirred when she saw me.  She began to waddle all around the backyard as if to be checking out her new surroundings until she grew weary and nested down for another nap.

Later when I went to check on her whereabouts I did not see her anywhere.  Maybe she is tucked away in some of the tropical plantings for the night....  or maybe she flew away!  I will name her Amelia in hopes that she can fly and Amelia this is my message to you . . .

"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!" 

Enjoy my video of Amelia . . .
Do you know what kind of duck....I mean bird she is?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Morning Fun with our Yard Critters!

There is nothing like stumbling out of bed in the early morning hours for your first "pit stop" and having a frog hop across the floor right by your feet so close you feel the swoop of the wind as he hops by!  It certainly makes you wake up a little faster as your mind orients itself as to what just happened and you then begin to plan on how to remove this little creature out of the house and back to the yard where he resides.  I am certainly not touching a frog you know!

He was quiet amusing to watch as he appeared to be a bit startled by my presence and he hopped himself right into the glass enclosed shower where he continued his efforts to escape and became a bit distraught that he could clearly see where he intended to go but just could not seem to get there!

We promptly removed our little Kermit friend back into his familiar surroundings and then I noticed that old familiar loud croaking frog sound coming from the back yard . . .

The BIRD was back!  

The Bare Throated Tiger Heron that is!  I wold recognize that sound anywhere!  I walked out into the yard and checked the wall where he sat on his last visit . . . but no bird there.  Then I spotted him way up on top of our palapa topped outdoor banos.  Sitting there gracefully taking in all of the early morning sights and sounds.  To learn more about this interesting feathered friend click the link and read . . . .

Is it a dog? . . . Is it a frog? ...NO . . . It's a Bird!

If shower taking frogs and birds that croak aren't enough to shake up your morning there is also the J. C. lizards and Iggy the Iguana who were lounging about in hopes that they might get fed a little breakfast.  When these guys see you coming with something to eat they come running to chow down!  The Loco kids are your typical siblings and the big brother dominates the bowl and will run the little guy off.  Today I decided to try 2 separate bowls to see how that would work and served them up some leftover chicken.  But Big Brother was his usual self and was dominating both bowls!  After a while they both seemed to get their bellies full and Iggie the iguana was chomping on some mango.  He was not to keen on eating out of the bowl and would jerk his head back so we tried a plastic plate.  That was working better but I don't think the mango was what he really wanted today because when we sat it on the wall he grabbed the plate in his teeth and tossed it right back at us!  

Oh the Joys of the Jungle!  Only in Costa Rica!

Please enjoy all of my photos from our fun morning with the critters!

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's a Dogs Life!

Oh, to have the life of a dog!  Well, a diva dog that is.  I can remember back to my childhood when the phrase "It's a Dogs Life" referred to living a miserable existence.  Dogs were loved of course because who could not love a dog, but they were typically used as guard dogs or hunting dogs and if they were pets most often than not  were yard dogs.  Their diets consisted mostly of kibble or a can of the cheapest dog food off the grocery shelf and in most cases any or all of the scraps of food that would end up in the garbage can.

Most any phrase with reference to a dog was used in a manner to reflect something bad. . . . going to the dogs, dog tired, to die like a dog and dog eat dog.  

And then the pet world evolved to a whole new dimension with the growing popularity of dogs becoming in a true sense a "part of the family"!  From the tiniest of purse sized pups to the grandest babies of them all, they moved in one by one and took over the world of pet lovers and their homes.  They are clothed in studded and bejeweled dog collars and adorable designer fashion clothes and eat out of only the finest dinnerware.  Their meals and snacks are prepared in the kitchen with only the freshest ingredients and they attend many of the social gatherings . . . .  where dogs are allowed of course.

And so we come to the reason for my story or "doodle of the day" which is Bimbo and how I have  come to the conclusion that . . .

We Do NOT have a sofa . . .  Bimbo has a BED!

Most dogs have those cute little fluffy lined dog beds or even a giant cushy pillow to sleep on and are happy to climb on them and snuggle in for a nap or to listen to the family activities and conversations.  But Bimbo has come of mind that our sofa is not our sofa at all but her very own personal dog bed to rearrange to suit her whim from digging, scratching, pushing pillows out of her way until she is satisfied with the favorite cushion of the moment and snuggles in to take watch over the comings and goings.

I have plumped, re-plumped, squeezed, fixed and arranged these couch pillows hundreds of times and even bought her a new cushy doggie bed to lure her to doggie floor level . . . but to no avail.

I came to the conclusion that I was fighting a lost cause when we were sitting in our recliners and Bimbo jumped on "her" sofa, pushed off the undesirable throw pillows, flipped over all three back cushions and climbed up on the one of her choice, snuggled down into it and I heard the words...

"I am so happy that we bought that couch . . . because 
Bimbo really loves it!"

Yep, it has officially become Bimbo's couch. 
I hope that she will continue to share it with our guests!

And the newest phrase in my doggie vocabulary is

It's All About the EARS!

House Rules
The dog is not allowed in the house.
Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.
The dog can get on the old furniture only.
Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture,
but is not allowed to sleep in the bed.
Okay, the dog is allowed in the bed, but only by invitation.
The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants,  
but not under the covers.
The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.
The dog can sleep under the covers every night.
Humans must ask permission to sleep in the bed
under the covers with the dog. 
 ~ Author Unknown ~

Yes It's a Dogs Life! . . . not such a bad thing! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Is it a dog? . . . Is it a frog? ...NO . . . It's a Bird!

Waking to the sounds of birds singing is not unusual when you live at the beach in Costa Rica with the rainforest only minutes away.  Sometimes the singing is so loud you would think that they are right there in the room with you, which is not far from true when you live open air with the windows always open and they are perched in the palm trees in your yard.

But on this morning the sound was a little different.  It was actually called to my attention by our dog Bimbo who began to bark ferociously on the edge of the bed and demand to be put down.  You see she is but a little Maltipoo, part Maltese, part Poodle weighing only 10 lbs but is of the mind that she is 10 feet tall and rules the world and everything that crosses her path.

I lowered her to the floor so she could continue her pursuit and went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and go see what the fuss was all about.  As I opened the slider to the back terrace I thought that I heard the sound of a growling dog and proceeded with caution as I looked around to see where the sound was coming from.  After a moment I decided it sounded more like a giant bull frog with its long and steady croaking sound but I had never heard one that sounded that loud.  It was long, loud and deep and in the early morning dawn had an eeriness about it that gave me goose bumps.  Still looking around to find the culprit before I turned Bimbo loose to viciously attack, my eye followed the sound upward to see the most amazing bird perched gracefully on top of the wall that runs along the back of our yard.  It was one of those "Whoa" moments where you gasp a little and do a double take to grasp what you are seeing. 

Now when I talk about the birds singing and hanging out in our backyard I am referring to the little guys that you expect to normally be there in a backyard jungle paradise...  Not a huge long legged creature that growls like a dog and croaks like a frog!  As I watched him in all his glory he stretched his neck up to the sky like he was doing his morning yoga session to prepare for the day while slowly moving from side to side and as he did this he again let out the long, deep throaty sound that made me jump back and close the door to prevent Bimbo from going closer for fear that he might just enjoy her for his morning breakfast!  . . . and of course to get my camera!

And so you have it.....   another beginning to just another day of Pura Vida in the rainforest jungle of paradise amongst the birds!

So....can anyone name this bird?

I have looked through several pics to try to find what it is but can't seem to find one that compares to it.  It is really tall . . . about 2 - 3 feet when stretched out.  I am sure it is a sea bird of some sort and thinking maybe a species of the heron ...but his legs look too short.  

Too bad he did not turn around and pose for me with a front view.  Maybe he will come back tomorrow and I will be ready with my video to capture his eerie growl!

Interesting how my dalliance with my camera has led me to learn more about our feathered friends.  Even those that croak and growl instead of singing a nice melody!


Visit my website to view more fauna of Costa Rica!
deb's dalliance / fauna

Special thanks to my friend Marianna for letting me know that this amazing bird 
is a Bare Throated Tiger Heron!   
See the video below to hear it Croak....  I mean sing!
After learning more about this morning visitor my thoughts were 
confirmed that this unusual noise it makes is a mating call! 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ratatouille ~ Inspiration to Pursue Your Passions

Sometimes when you least expect it life can be interrupted by those creatures that God put on this earth to make us scream like crazy people and take flight to higher ground. 

Yes, the proverbial RAT has crossed my path!  No I did not say Black Cat.....   I clearly said RAT.  It was one of those fleeting moments where you catch a flash of motion from the corner of your eye and you convince yourself it was nothing and continue with what you were so intently doing.  In my case... sitting at my desk on the computer.  Now I cannot remember if I was reading an email or posting to a Facebook friend while my more serious chore of uploading photos to my website was running in the background. 

Lucky that I felt the need to step away for a moment to stretch and retrieve an icy beverage because as I returned to sit back down there he was bigger than life in all his scurrying glory rushing under my desk right where my feet were previously resting!!! 

REACTION:     L O U D   S C R E E C H I N G   S C R E A M !!!  

 . . . as I of course ran and jumped on the sofa yelling...    "It's a RAT!"  

This is not my typical reaction to most things that happen in my life but then again . . . I am after all a sometimes helpless female that admittedly needs and depends on the male gender for protection and saving me from the scary things in life. 

After being joined on the sofa by Bimbo (my dog) who was terrified by this horrific scene unfolding before her very eyes we confidently watched as our Knight in Shining Armour entered the room where the Rat, whom I will call Remy in the name of inspiration for a passion, was hiding.  We listened through the closed door to much banging and slamming and fearful hearts not knowing who would emerge victorious from behind the door . . . . the Rat or the Knight!

Thank goodness the stars were still in our favor on this night of attack and our proud Knight emerged with a broken broom and one dead rat!  (RIP Remy may you now find your calling n Rat heaven)  Thank you Proud Knight!

And so we move on with the inspirations from a Rat . . .or a Ratatouille . . .

We pay attention when a Black Cat crosses our path, and there are many sayings about the proverbial Rat....  Drenched Rat, Rat Fink, Rat Race, Pack Rat, Rat Trap, Rat Hole . . .  but today I will take my own inspiration from Revy, a rat that dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat.   My message will be about the proverbial rat on the wheel who is busy running through life daily but goes nowhere in particular and is not really accomplishing the things that are truly important to his own personal goals.   The things that give him joy.

It is true that we are all procrastinators and we are taught that our daily required chores must always come first so we tend to put off the things that we are passionate about and that bring us joy and fulfillment.   But why?  Life is short. . . let's get off of that wheel that is taking us nowhere and do those things that make us feel good!

What would you be doing if you got off the  rat race wheel that takes away all of your time and becomes the excuse for procrastination to pursue your dreams?

For me it will be to return to my love of creativity!  The passion to enjoy my artistic side with the art of photography, drawing, pastels and painting.  My love of the brush and to dabble in paint!

I am trading in my "Rat Race" wheel for the Color Wheel and I will unleash my joys of creativity!  

Isn't it amazing what a rat can do to inspire you?  
Thank you Ratatouille!