Saturday, March 19, 2011

Zorn palette

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If you're following this blog you may have noticed that I like to experiment with limited color palettes and that I've used the Zorn palette before. The Zorn palette (Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium white and Ivory black) is a very good way to learn about color mixing and color temperature.
I want to do some portrait studies with it in the near future so after seeing it in use by the talented Aaron Westerberg in a few of his paintings I decided to do a color chart.

Zorn palette

Look at that color harmony, beautiful isn't it?

A few masterpieces by Zorn:


Zorn self portrait with a model


Sophie said...

Looks and sounds great. Makes me think I should try something like that too. Should be fun. Good luck. Looking forward to the zorn-palette portraits.

Pam Holnback said...

Color charts are so helpful. I love his work!

Erik said...

Thanks Sophie, I always have fun with experiments like that, makes you look at things in a new way instead of always grabbing your favorite mixes.

Erik said...

Pam, thank you. I agree, Zorn's work is awesome and I frequently bring out my color charts to get them into my head :)
They're fun to make too, once you've did all the tape masking :)

Jim Serrett said...

Very nice.
I’ve been doing the similar experiments with the Zorn palette.
The automatic unity in this simple palette is amazing.
The reds I been using are a lower chroma, Venetian red or red ochre.
I know there is some debate about exactly what his black was composed of, and looking at the beautiful range of your chart I think we could have a similar debate on what red was used by Zorn.

Erik said...

Thank you Jim.
I've been reading some different opinions about his colors as well. What I also noticed was that some color charts have a more saturated green than my version, could be that my yellow ochre (W&N) is less chromatic.
Beautiful work on your blog by the way!

sam said...

Looks a lot of fun Erik, sure theres a lot of benefits to using a limited palette

Erik said...

Hi Sam,
Yes I'm looking forward to applying it in a few actual paintings. Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

He, via Marc Hanson's blog kom ik hier. Het Zorn palet vind ik ook geweldig. Mooie kleurenkaart heb je gemaakt! Ik heb een praktisch vraagje: wat voor tape gebruik jij? Afplakband is zo breed, hoe doe jij dat?
Succes verder!

Ps. voor landschappen vind ik citroengeel, gebrande sienna, frans ultramarijn en titaanwit een handig beperkt palet. Geeft vooral goede groenen en bruinen. Veel variatie maar toch ook die eenheid.

Erik said...

Hallo Iris,
Dank je voor landschapspalet-tip, ga ik zeker ook eens proberen.
Wat het afplaktape betreft, ik heb met een lineaal en afbreekmesje lange dunne stroken van het tape gesneden, erg arbeidsintensief. Ik zou als ik jou was eens bij een boekhandel kijken, of ze daar wat dunner tape hebben, dat ook op (canvas)board blijft plakken.



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