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How to color ethnic skintones: #thehumanrainbow


Today’s skintone tutorial is a tribute, following a weekend of funerals for the souls lost in the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The sadness over this tragic loss is so deep, yet it has been such a blessing to see the love and forgiveness expressed by those who would understandably have been so angry; I’m inspired by their reaction, and I hope many more are as well. We can all use a little more unity!

Photo from National Geographic – read the story here.

Coloring ethnic skintones in Copic marker

I’ve been wishing I could do something to change things – and realized that I do have a tiny bully-pulpit that I can use…not to lecture, but to encourage! In our crafty world, I can continue to share diversity in coloring…and ask others to join me. If we can help to change something as small as the colors we choose to use on cards – maybe we can have our own little impact on the world around us! Read more about my hashtag campaign later in this post.

Today’s skintone video is also in answer to many requests….I’m glad to know lots of folks actually do want to learn how to bring some diversity into their coloring. When I bought the Photo Bomb stamp set a while ago, I knew it was going to be perfect for a post like this. I also finally wanted to do a magic acetate card…they were popular years ago and I had never made one back then, so I finally got around to it! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

If you’d like to print up your own blank sheet for reference….feel free to download below! I’m also adding the chart to my store HERE in the FREE section, so if you see it there – it’s the same thing as here, except the store has a ZIP file (which means you need to download it to a computer or to dropbox so it can expand it.) If you’re on a smart device (phone or tablet) you might like to download them below:

  1. Human Rainbow Blank (no Copic numbers in the hexagons)
  2. Human Rainbow Numbered (suggested numbers in the hexagons)

#thehumanrainbow project

So let’s see if we can start a mini-revolotion and begin including more ethnicities in our coloring of stamped images! I’ve already contributed to a hashtag #copicskin before (click HERE to see the whole hashtag),  but that’s just for Copic marker work…there’s a very small collection under #thehumanrainbow, and I think we could add a lot to it! Post pics of your creations, or photos of your group of multiethnic friends, or anything that helps to bring a little skincolor diversity to our world!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the picture or wording to go directly to the item. Affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

Hope you’ll consider adding to #thehumanrainbow!

42 thoughts on “How to color ethnic skintones: #thehumanrainbow

  1. […] Sandy Allnock’s post about different skin colors I had to think about my own cards. I really do use the same lighter […]

  2. Love the idea of this Sandy. Thank you for making your PDF available for us to play too. I think it’s a brilliant idea! Hugs, Wends x (New follower)

  3. […] Sandy Allnock’s post about different skin colors I had to think about my own cards. I really do use the same lighter […]

  4. […] don’t have a card to share with you today, but I do have some colouring. Since Sandy Allnock posted about colouring ethnic skin tones along with a fun chart with Copic combo suggestions, I have been feeling inspired to be brave and […]

  5. Very Nice! I love your work but this puts you over the top in my opinion. Thank you!

  6. Love all these diverse faces. Thank you for he video tutorial and the downloads! You are truly an amazing artist!

  7. Thanks for the chart. I’ve had a lot of trouble with different skin tones except peach. This will help me greatly. Love all your tips!!!

  8. What a great way to share/do what you can to promote diversity! Love how you used the stamp set and created this absolutely amazing card!!

  9. Sandy you are great for spreading some love in these trying times.

  10. With your help I colored Photo Bomb and just love it! It represents the kindergarten class my granddaughter will be part of in the fall. What a great card for her!
    I would appreciate your help with black hair, especially for kids. Mine either turn out so black that there is no shading of areas . . . or they are more gray than black and that just doesn’t work for kids.

  11. This is awesome!! thank you so much for sharing. I like to color skin tone in different ways but have been too afraid to experiment with colors. Thank you for including the hexagon colors you used on the blank one. I cannot wait to experiment.

  12. Love this…thank you, Sandy…!!!

  13. Oh man Sandy, you are awesome!! Such a great idea!! I can’t wait to participate!! You amaze me totally!!

  14. Thank you for sharing this wonderful guide! I have wanted to expand my skin coloring range and this is perfect in getting me started!

  15. Thank you for sharing this! Our daughter and son-in-love are in the process of adopting siblings from Uganda, Africa so I need to learn to color different ethnicities. I can’t wait to practice. Blessings.

  16. Thank you so much Sandy for the free rainbow of color pdf’s. Loved your card as well. So very adorable! It was interesting to watch the video as well. Hopefully I can do some of that kind of coloring soon. I don’t have all three of any of the skin tones. Sad! Oh well. I’m doing the best I can with what I have.
    Thanks again for the free charts. 🙂

    1. Just swap out some colors – there are infinite varieties!

  17. Well done!! I wish I could color. Maybe I need to practice?

  18. Great idea and most helpful. Love the Hex Chart. Even though I only have about 30 markers (so far) I am still getting great use from it. I have used it to pick the colors I am missing and others that work with what I already have. Best purchase I have made in a long time!

  19. Thank you soooo much for sharing these PDFs with us Sandy!

  20. What a wonderful post. Love your card and am loving your human rainbow color chart. Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    P.S. I live in Washington State too and can totally associate with the melting feeling. We hit Southern Oregon for the weekend to visit family and it was a shocking 108 degrees outside. I thought I was going to sweat to death. 😉

  21. Oh, your Human Rainbow card is adorable!!! I appreciate you sharing your art and knowledge. Thank you!

  22. These charts are awesome. I will use the copic numbered ones for my copics and my daughter will use the blank one to compare her spectrum noirs. And that card is so awesome!

  23. You’re so right that this was a total tragedy, and should never be linked to color – because we are all God’s creation, no matter what the “tone”. Thank you for bringing this tutorial and challenge to others.

  24. Sandy, thanks so much for sharing your love and honesty in the Human Rainbow. I am a woman of color and I love coloring with my Copics and anything else that is colorful. I love diversity in coloring images. I wish that I could see more women like me in the mainstream crafting arena. Until then, I will keep following you and others and perfecting my skills. I have learned so much from you. My hat is off to you dear one, you are a gem to all who know you, even us in the cyber world. Keep doing what you do and God Bless.


  26. Thanks For Sharing these tips, I don’t do many cards with faces, but it’s handy to know. This is a really cute card, too.

  27. Sandy, thank you for the beauty of the “human rainbow” God created and you re-created it with your amazing talent, and Copics. It would be wonderful to see more people embrace each others God-given ethnic differences which He preordained before time! Beautiful, creative, clever message, thank you!

  28. You really are the best. So kind, loving and sweet. This is such a great idea. Love it! Unfortunately, though I did download the zip file, my computer said it was incrypted and would let me extract. I’m a technophobe, so it’s probably just me. I’ll try to figure it out. This card you created is so adorable. I’ve seen these before, but never one so sweet.

    1. You can get them with the links in the blog post individually, maybe that’d be easier?

  29. Love, love, love the beautiful human rainbow! Thanks for the PDFs!
    Loved the card at the end!!!

  30. Wonderful project and idea! Coming from a multicultural family, it is wonderful to celebrate our similarities and differences. Your timing is wonderful and may God bless you for your initiative.

  31. oygs… this is awesome… I love it… In my family we are Sicilian, but my children are half Irish, then my family has beautiful bitties (that is what we call our kiddos) that are ranging from Native, Mexican, African American, Spanish, German, French, Swiss, Greek… and that is to name a few… Diversity is a beautiful thing… and I love that you now have given me a tool that I can use when I am making birthday cards for the bitties… They will get a huge kick out of seeing themselves on the cards I make them. Thanks.

  32. Such sweet, kind words. Thank you for doing your part in the aftermath of this tragedy. I’m very proud of my fellow South Carolinians for the grace & dignity they’ve displayed. No rioting, no revenge; just forgiveness & acceptance. We still grieve, we’re still angry. We’re just southern. 🙂 Bless your heart.

  33. BRAVO! Always liked you before but now – Cherish as commanded by God.

  34. Words cannot say enough, but I will start with THANK YOU!

  35. Celebrating the human rainbow with you, Sandy! Huge hugs!! ♡

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  37. God created such beautiful variations in our complexions! Thank you so much for helping us capture these with our Copics, I am so excited!

  38. Thanks Sandy. It’s often hard to know what to say in the wake of tragedy, or to know what one can do. I appreciate your thoughts and really appreciate having the new chart. You continue to surprise me.

  39. You’re absolutely right, Sandy – we can all do more to help! Thanks so much for the free downloads. I’m going to color ’em in right now – I won’t have all the colors, but doing what I can is what it’s all about anyway, right?!

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