Showing posts from February, 2019

Another palette experiment

I've been experimenting with lower chroma pigments lately because I like the subdued greys that they produce, and because I've become overly familiar with my usual palette.  Knowing exactly what my colours will do has diminished some of the magic of their application, so, in a wild and crazy move, I've been substituting earth pigments for one or all of the usual colours and seeing what happens.  Who says painters are boring?
(In case you're wondering, the usual 6 are: cad red light, alizarin permanent, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, cad yellow, and cad yellow light + white)
This piece was done on a cool-toned support using a low chroma palette of Indian red, yellow ochre, and a blue-black made from ivory black mixed with ultramarine blue.  Toward the end, I added a smidge of cad red light to achieve those warm pieces in the clothing and to liven up the lip colour.  
I'm a fan of the limited palette, but if I need a certain effect, I won't hesitate to drop anot…

The Zorn palette

I got together with good friends last week for an afternoon of challenging painting.  We were all using a Zorn palette - a subtle, greyed palette made famous when the 19th century Swedish artist, Anders Zorn, used of it to convey the cool tones of his world.  
The palette uses cad red light or medium, yellow ochre, ivory black, and white.  It's great for conveying powerful reds and strong darks, but don't ask for a spring green or a blue, summer sky.  Ivory black acts like a blue in this scheme, but it's more like the illusion of blue, than the colour itself.  Add to this the fact that all of the pigments are opaque and prone to making mud, and you can see that it really was a challenge.
Our model had a deep tan and was under warm lights in a white-walled studio.  That meant that we had to mix an array of orange from light to dark and warm to cool to show the planes of her body, as well as figure out how to paint the effect of the cool wall colour reflecting off the areas…