yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, ivory black, titanium white
Even though I do mostly boats and water now, there was a time when my main interest was in portraiture. And for portraits, the Zorn limited palette cannot be beaten, in my opinion. Skin tones ranging from lights to darks are endless using the four colours of cadmium red medium, yellow ochre, ivory black and titanium white. A few years ago I used a Zorn palette to paint this portrait of Bill Grant.
In portraiture a limited palette is quite useful as it forces you to create colours and removes reliance of convenience colours in tubes. The range of values and hues that can be achieved with limited colours can be explored using a colour chart. This becomes a reference for future paintings when you're considering the colours you need to achieve an accurate representation of what is front of you.
With internet services all over the map lately and completely dying last week, I took advantage of some time where I would not be distracted to create another of my colour charts. You can read my previous blog posts about creating colour charts here and here and here. The chart shown here is based on the Zorn palette and shows the amazing range of colours that can be achieved using just a few colours.