Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traditional-ish Fruit

Anders Zorn was a Swedish painter, famous for using just four colors, White, Ivory black, Yellow Ochre, and Vermilion (or Cadmium Red Light or Medium).
Most great colorists used limited palettes. I've learned that the same limited palette that Zorn used was also used extensively by Sargent. Most of Sargent's watercolor work was accomplished with only four colors--ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna.

Limited palettes are inexpensive, facilitate color harmony, and also allow for quick color-mixing when painting from life. Most observers of painting do not realize this, but experienced artists do! Many exceptional painters use limited palettes..(and don't consider it any kind of hardship).

I missed having blue on my palette...and this won't find it's way into a frame...but it was great practice and I love how uncomplicated and speedy it is to put out only FOUR colors! I'll do it again, for sure.

Oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

11 comments:

Mariano Zucchi said...

Hi Celeste,
A very alive composition with million of colors, well done, it is a great experience to paint with only 4 colors, harmony is good. May I suggest using blue-black (50 ivory black and 50 Ultramarine blue) versus ivory black. It does increase your range. I would give it a frame.

-Don said...

This is a fun composition, Celeste. You could satisfy your blue craving by putting it in a blue frame. :-)

I haven't used more than 5 colors on any painting I've done in the past 3 years, and usually it's only 4. I love keeping my palette simple and have found it a fun challenge to achieve almost any color I want. I've found that if you can't create a color you want with your limited palette, you can imply it by juxtaposition...

Isn't this thing we do SO FUN!?!?

-Don

PAMO said...

Wonderful painting Celeste! Thanks for the lesson on paint. Good information.

AutumnLeaves said...

Why not frame this piece, Celeste? I think it is quite beautiful. For some reason, possibly the colors in your chosen limited palette, but I find myself thinking of old masters' works...The background is so rich, the fruits so ripe and lush. I love hearing of your thoughts as to the process. In fact, I just read the same ideas in my color theory text book as to limited color palettes and the ability for mixing colors from them...

Pam Holnback said...

You really got all the colors you needed w/ your limited palette. It is great to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.

billspaintingmn said...

Wow Celeste! this was quite the week for your blog.
You did a post everyday. interesting and impressive!
I like your use of color on all these. There is a warmth and richness to them.
The zorn palette gives a look all its own. I like it.
Thank you for being a positive influence to me, I appreciate you &
your art.
I was saddend to read about Debb,
I pray that family and friends will
be comforted.
I agree with Mariano, I would give
it a frame.
Happy painting Celeste!

Dean H. said...

Very well done with the limited palette! Great compositional balance of greens and reds.

ArtSparker said...

It does have a nineteenth-century look...Thanks for the peek into process.

Gary said...

Great post Celeste. I have been thinking about limited palettes a lot lately - when I realized that I've been using the same palette over and over for a while now - just replenishing the same 4 or five colors and it feels great to not feel any obligation to all those other colors I never use anymore.

Carolina Moon Arts Studio said...

This is beautiful Celeste. As i move into some color theory work with Kathy Cartwright I can appreciate the limited palette idea. thank you for sharing.

I think I love your orange and blue work of a flower in a glass posted earlier. How vibrant!

L.Holm said...

I keep meaning to try this, and inevitably think...oh just one more color...This is harmonious and beautiful.
Have you been to Boston and seen the Zorn portrait of Isabella Gardner at the Garnder museum? It's right near Sargent's El Jaleo.