Welcome to my Art Blog! I paint or draw most weekdays and sometimes finish a painting a day. I fondly call them my "Postcards from Paradise" because it's such a beautiful place the Lord made here for us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Painting Challenge: The Zorn Palette

"Pensive" 
(painting updated since original post)
Oil sketch on canvas
10"x8"

©2012 Diana Moses Botkin

This month's puzzler, named by Vicki, was to paint with the limited palette attributed to Anders Zorn. Vicki suggested those colours are: cadmium red light, yellow ochre, ivory black, and titanium white. 

Looking online to validate this produced a few alterations to those specific colors.

It appears that the exact colours which Zorn used are not actually known. Most references I found referred to his limited palette as vermillion, yellow ochre, ivory black and titanium white.

However, considering Zorn died before a suitable titanium white was manufactured for use in oil paints, it is my guess that Zorn used lead white, which is somewhat warmer than titanium, or perhaps zinc white.

And since vermillion is not widely available these days, most references for Zorn's palette substitute a cad red medium. Once source used alizarin.
I used titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre and cadmium red scarlet (since I had no cad red light on hand). If I do this again, I may try the alizarin to take advantage of its somewhat cooler and darker properties, or the cad red medium.

I really missed having a blue pigment. I decided on a figurative subject because most of my landscapes need blue. From looking at Zorn's work, I concluded the limited palette would work well for portraits and nudes, as much of his work was.


Those in the group who did landscapes were especially brave, I think! Becky's and Mary's pieces worked amazingly well. Mary reports that she used Paynes Grey as her black, so since that colour is a mix of lamp black and utramarine pigments, that explains how she got the bluer background greys.

This was such an interesting challenge. I'd like to do more of these limited palette pieces. All of these paintings are so delightful and I truly love each one!

(above left) "Isabelle" Oil on Linen Panel 14"x11" ©2012 Vicki Ross
(above right) "Laura and Vincent" Oil on panel, 8"x10" ©2012 Mark Adams
(below left) "Water" Oil 6"x6" ©2012 Becky Joy
(below right) "Travelers" Oil 9"x7" ©2012 Mary Maxam


7 comments:

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Diana, LOVE the skin tones you captured! I sure can see the benefit of all the life drawing you've done from models...

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Vicki, thank you for saying so. Your comment reinforces my thoughts on life drawing. I sure miss it when our sessions are not happening. It becomes very obvious to me that my skills are not up to snuff when I'm not drawing from life.

hmuxo said...

This painting is flawless! I love it and you did an amazing job, Diana.

Ruth Andre said...

Diana, What a wonderful challenge and your painting is excellent. Love it!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thank you, Hilda and Ruth. Thank you for your kind encouragement. "Flawless" and "excellent" sound pretty good!

Mark Adams said...

Diana, I love the casual, serpentine pose and the introduction of the cool grey notes in the flesh are right on. Anders Zorn would be proud.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thank you for the high praise, Mark!