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Zorn Color Chart

Color chart and value scales are among the things that appear in almost every art book, and are practiced in some form, in every art class. They are also the things I have been avoiding. So tedious! A Zorn palette chart, 45 little squares in total, is a required assignment from my Watt’s Atelier class. Just the push I need.

The chart is quite self explanatory, and here are some paintings done with these colors:

Male portrait, oil on canvas board, 11 x 14, 2021
Female portrait, oil on board, 11 x 14, 2021

A few notes:

  • This is by no means all the combinations you can get with a Zorn palette, but it still shows off the potential of these four colors.
  • The nice thing about oil paints is that after I mixed all these colors, added a few drops of clove oil, I could use most of them for weeks. This practical side is a huge motivation.
  • It’s quite handy when there are clean colors to go back to while painting. I use a large palette, but still run out of space and get muddy all the time. This is an improvement of my working condition.
  • Cad. red #1 is the first to dry out, followed by #2 in that array, no matter how much clove oil I add to them. There must be some weird chemical reactions going on, because all other stay buttery for weeks just fine.
  • The more I use Zorn palette, the more I am in love with it 😍.