Washes or mottle?

It seems there are different painting techniques as some use washes for color and only mottle a few layers, others do mottle for all of their colors/layers. Is there a difference in the way the coloring turns out using all mottle vs washes and a few mottle?

I use almost all mottles and only a few washes when needed. I make almost all light Caucasian skin tone babies, this allows me to add a lot of depth while keeping the skin tone very light. If I want a darker baby I do more washes, which darken the skin tone.

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I do a mix of both. If I’m color correcting, I add a layer, but for depth and most of my reds, I do mottling.


For most babies, I use what most would call mottling to build up the skin tone but I use regular kitchen sponges for the flesh layers. I use the primary method, so I sort of blot on a round of one primary color with the kitchen sponge, then the next, then the third. I keep doing this until I get the desired skin tone. I don’t pounce it on the same way as I do mottling layers though. I will often pounce over the same areas when doing skin tone because I’m not trying to lay down a noticeable pattern like I am when mottling. This makes the skin look like it has more dimension and not just a flat base. Overall the effect is a skin tone, but if you look closely you can see different shades of browns, each of the primary colors, and even oranges, greens, and purples. Sounds strange but I think it looks more realistic. After that I mottle with plucked beauty wedges in shades of red until I get the desired effect. I only use washes if I need to color correct or for warming if needed, or to build up darker complexions faster. Don’t know if any of that makes sense lol but that’s how I do it.

I do a few washes at first to neutralise and get a base layer. About 1-3 washes depending on the vinyl and the look I’m going for. And then I do mottling layers in all kinds of colors to further build color. I also use washes near the end to tweak the colors a bit and blend everything together more.

Awesome thank you! This really helps a lot

I like to use the equest sponges because they hold a lot. after a skin base layer, i pounce desired colors, essentially washing with the sponge-but it comes off as more of a mottle depending on how much I load the sponge, how hard I press it, and the patterns I make. My aim is to get subtle variations in the skin. This is with air dry. If the kit looks sunburned or needs all over warming, I tend to brush a lighter layer all over.

That’s how I do my washes too when I do them, I call it wattling :wink: