Obviously the goal here is to get a grasp of the basic color relationships that will work in your painting. Doing two or three is a great idea if you want to explore other possibilities. When executing your actual painting you will now have a reference for what you are shooting for in terms of color and value. It doesn’t mean you can’t change things as you go. But doing little studies like this is a great low effort investment to get you started in the right direction.
Here’s a recap of the colors I used for this study (Note: The white balance on my camcorder is a bit on the warm side. My particular model does not allow for custom white balance):
Hair: raw umber
Skin tones (shadows):raw umber, burnt sienna, titanium white (“white” hereafter), venetian red
Skin tones (average lights): burnt sienna, yellow ochre, white, slight tint of veridian in the neck/upper chest
Skin tones (lightest lights): yellow ochre, cadmium orange, white
Shirt and Headwrap (shadow and average light): raw umber, white, burnt sienna, yellow ochre
Shirt and Headwrap Lightest Lights: white, cad orange, hansa yellow deep
Background: raw umber, yellow ochre, white, a bit of orange on the left
So you can see that almost everything I did was some sort of mixture of raw umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, and white. As most of you already know, one can achieve incredible diversity in color with just a few tubes of paint. Since I use a more naturalistic approach to color with a definite leaning toward warm-neutrality those four tubes are my workhorses. I definitely use my other colors but not a whole lot (depending upon the subject). One exception to that is my increased use of viridian in my skin tones, especially in the half tones as the form turns away from the light into shadow.
As I alluded to in the video, I definitely use color studies but not nearly as much as I should. Doing color poster studies like this is going to be a more regular activity at David Gray Studio — especially when working from photos.