Here’s a guide to what the starting colour could be. I’ll refer to the faber-castell pitt range of pastel pencils but you can use our colour chart to compare colours with a different make. I would start with a grey possibly 270 then a mid tone grey such as 273. This colour would be used as a base colour for the deeper shadow areas. On top of this base you would need to apply a brown this could be 280, 179, 176, 283 or even an ochre such as 187. From then on more colours could be added and it is not possible for me to give those to you as each photographic reference would be different.
I hope this helps for those wishing to paint darker skin tones, if you have any questions about skin tones then you can contact us by clicking here. To watch the Oprah Winfrey portrait tutorial, sign up to be a member. Prices start from just £9.99.