River at Dedham Painted using the Zorn pallet
Zorn Pallet Demo painting
The Zorn palette is named after internationally successful artist Anders Zorn (1860 – 1920). He is well known for using a palette of only four colours
There has been a lot of debate as to which Black Zorn used but it is believed to be Ivory Black, which is the colour I used for the painting ‘Zorn Palette demo’. Ivory Black works well as a blue but possibly even better is Winsor & Newton’s Blue Black. Blue Black is a colour I recently discovered and use a lot in my sky paintings now.
It is possible that the red may have been Vermillion; you could try this as an alternative. The white I used was Titanium white but back in Anders Zorn’s time it is more than likely to have been Lead White.
It might at first strike you as an odd selection but the main three colours are just the earthy equivalents of the three primary colours Black being the blue.
I was working from a photograph that I took in Dedham last year. Having drawn the sketch I decided that it would be a better composition if it were cropped to a square.First sketch in the main lines with black and red diluted with turps.
Make sure your brush is clean when you mix the light colour near the horizon with white, yellow and a touch of red. The colour here needs to be fresh.
The distant trees are a mix of white, black and yellow; they need to be dark enough to register against the sky but not too dark that they jump forward. In front of these the distant fields are white with a small amount of yellow.
It is very important to make sure there is no trace of white in your brush when you mix the colour for the dark trees. Even a trace left in the brush will make your colour ‘milky’. Painting in the reflections at the same time. The water should reflect the sky colours; paint this around your reflections. The meadow area is yellow with varying amounts of black and, in some places, red added.