ZORN PALETTE PORTRAITS
- Course is Open
- Instructor – Sarah Sedwick
- 7 Lessons/6+ Hours of Instruction
- Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
- Private Facebook Group
- Course Price – $149
ARE YOU FRUSTRATED WITH COLOR MIXING? WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO LIMIT YOUR PAINT PALETTE AND SIMPLIFY YOUR PAINTING PROCESS?
Join Sarah Sedwick in ZORN PALETTE PORTRAITS! In this portrait course, we will focus on the basics of portrait painting, working from a live model with a simple palette of three colors plus white. These four colors – Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, and Ivory Black – famously used by Swedish painter Anders Zorn – create especially beautiful skin tones. The alla prima painting style, in which a work is begun and ﬁnished in one session, while the paint is still wet, is lots of fun and perfect for exploring the portrait in oils.
This course will include a combination of demonstrations, short exercises, and a longer-duration painting which will familiarize you with Sarah’s approach to the portrait. Instruction will be in oils, but acrylics are also welcome. This class is suitable for beginning to advanced artists.
By the end of this course students will have an understanding of the following concepts:
- Learn the history of the Zorn palette
- Create a beautiful color chart or color wheel as a studio reference
- Build a palette that can be used to paint a portrait of anyone
- Fine tune your ability to perceive color relationships, creating an even amount of shift between your mixtures as you move around the color wheel
- Apply color, working from the general to the specific - big value shapes first, just like the Shifting Light exercise
- Practice taking virtual “model breaks,” checking in with your palette and taking a few steps back from your painting - or looking at it in a mirror - as you go along
- Let go of intimidation around specific facial features
- Paint an eye, a nose, and a mouth
- Gain a better understanding of each feature’s geometric structure
- Get more practice with our beautiful Zorn palette of flesh tones
COURSE OPENS AUGUST 5TH
Lifetime Access - Download All Content
Cost - $149
DESCRIPTION OF LESSONS
LESSON 1 - MATERIALS
We will begin by going over our materials. In this class, we will be working with the Zorn palette, a three-primary set of paint colors. Three colors plus white, that’s it! The Zorn palette is Cadmium red, yellow ochre, and Ivory black. The Swedish painter Anders Zorn used this set of colors in many of his fine portraits, over 100 years ago.
During this lesson, I will also share with you about the brushes I use, the mediums I prefer, and which substrates I use and why.
LESSON 2 - MIX YOUR PALETTE
In Lesson 2, we will begin building your palette! I love working with the Zorn palette - I call it “training wheels for flesh tones” because two of the three “primaries” come pre-neutralized (the yellow and the blue). If Ivory black as a blue seems strange to you, don’t worry! As your eyes get used to this set of colors, it will begin to feel more and more like a blue. We will be using this palette for the following lessons.
LESSONS 3 AND 4 - FIVE VALUES AND SHIFTING LIGHT
In this lesson, we will create a set of five flesh tones of different values - two lights, one midtone, and two dark values for shadows. You’ll use these mixtures in the first exercise, Shifting Light.
Shifting Light is an exercise in which we’ll paint the model in the same pose, four times, in four different lighting situations. Working from a printed contour drawing, you’ll fill in the big value shapes on the face.
I’ll be spending 20 minutes on each study, but you can choose how long to paint. I suggest setting a timer, just to keep things moving! Remember, these are just quick studies!
In the last study, you’ll add temperature shifts - pinks and greens - to the five values on your palette to enliven your portraits.
LESSON 5 - ALLA PRIMA PORTRAIT
Now that we’ve gotten familiar with the Zorn palette and warmed up our painting arms and eyes by doing the Shifting Light exercise, it’s time to delve into a long pose with our model.
“Alla Prima” is an Italian phrase meaning “All at once.” In English we call it “Wet-On-Wet,” or “Direct” painting. It generally means that a small painting is begun and finished in one sitting, and it’s a really fun and freeing way to paint. If you can’t finish your piece in one day, don’t worry - it’s a great idea to break the process into chunks. Perhaps you’ll do your drawing or block-in one day, mix some paint, and then complete the portrait the following day. Remember, oil paint stores well in the freezer!
I’ll demonstrate paint mixing, and then do six 20 minute sittings with the live model. Work at your own pace, and remember to take breaks!
LESSON 6 - FACIAL FEATURES
Join me for a more in-depth look at the facial features, and learn some specific tips to tackle each one in the final demo of our workshop! This is one of my favorite exercises, looking really closely at each feature, and simplifying complicated forms by breaking them down into geometrical shapes.
BONUS LESSON - MODEL SET-UP
Let’s talk models! Whether you’re participating in an open studio session or posing a model, friend, or family member in your home studio, here are some tips for working from life.
COURSE OPENS AUGUST 5TH
Lifetime Access - Download All Content
Cost - $149
MEET SARAH SEDWICK - ARTIST/INSTRUCTOR
A prolific painter of still life and portraits, Sarah has been teaching workshops on alla prima painting around the country since 2013, and also offers an online art mentorship program.
Based in Eugene, Oregon since 2007, Sarah was born in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2001, she earned a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her oil paintings explore the simple beauty of everyday objects, and are most often inspired by color combinations and perceptual effects. All are painted from life.
Her teaching philosophy is simple: the more you paint, the more yoU improve - so find ways to make painting as enjoyable as possible! Let go of perfectionism, and watch the results unfold.
PRIVATE GROUP JUST FOR YOU!
This course will have a private Facebook group just for you! I will be actively involved with the class via Facebook during the four weeks that the course is open! I am really excited about working through these exercises with each of you!
Below is a list of the supplies that I will be using for the projects in this course. However, you are always encouraged to use what you have on hand.
- Four printed copies of the drawing for Shifting Light.
- One canvas, any size, for the long pose portrait. I will be working on an 11x14”
- One 11x14” or 12x16” canvas for painting the facial features
- Paints - I use M. Graham brand. Here are the Zorn palette colors: (in parentheses are possible substitutions)
- Brushes - I use Princeton Summit Series white taklon, but I encourage you to use what you’re comfortable with. A good starter kit is a #2 round and a #4 flat and a #4 or #6 filbert.
- Palette - a 12x16 (or larger) disposable paper palette pad - or two! Get white, not gray.
- Palette knife – About 2 inches long, and flexible. You want to be able to scoop up a pile of paint with it. I like the RGM softgrip no. 45 (blue handle)
- Rags or paper towels (I like disposable blue shop towels, available at hardware stores)
- 2 glass jars with tight-fitting lids, for Gamsol (one for clean Gamsol to use while painting, one to pour your dirty Gamsol into at the end of each painting day. It will settle, and clean Gamsol can be poured off the top and reused.)
Along with all of these supplies, I also have my favorite easel that I wanted to share about! What I love about the LederEasel is that I can travel with it, and it is so compact! I have created a short video to share more about this easel with you, and a link to purchase if you are interested!