"Give me mud and I will paint you the skin of Venus." Eugene Delacroix.
When I painted as a teenager, I was taught that there was a formula to create the color of flesh. Later, I forgot this "formula" and subsequently wasted a lot of time trying to rediscover the right combination to mix the color of our skin.
Now I recognize that there is no magic mixture. Our skin (whatever its shade) is so reflective of light that almost anything goes. It becomes a prism for the colors and the light surrounding us both in life and in painting.
So yes, the earth colors, the "mud," used by Delacroix and Titan can make the creamy skin of a Venus. And the saturated cadmiums used by many of today's artists can become the colors of our flesh as well. To see a contemporary kaleidoscope of skin colors, just visit Karin Jurick's 100 Faces.
Somebody's Dream is one of my more straightforward forays into the color of flesh. It's a 20x24 done in open studio.