Painting the Portrait with the Zorn Palette

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Instructor Patrick Bettag

Portrait painting is an excellent way to hone our skills no matter where we are at in our artistic development. Drawing accuracy, understanding of anatomy, value sensitivity, edge control and color theory are all considerations when we approach the portrait and will be addressed in this workshop. Working in limited palettes, such as the Zorn Palette, allows us to work on our color and temperature shifts while ensuring that we maintain a sense of color harmony. In addition to being an excellent jumping off point for expanding our palettes, limited palettes are also a great way to further our understanding of color relationships and push how we apply color theory in our paintings. This workshop has no prerequisites and all skill levels are welcome.


$20.00 materials fee paid to the instructor Additional model fee to be paid to the instructor, depending on enrollment
5 meetings
Fort Mason (2 Marina Blvd – Bldg B, San Francisco, CA 94123)
Room 200

Materials List:

One tube each of the following pigments (preferred brand is Gamblin- please don’t buy student grade paint) 
Titanium White - We tend to use a lot of white so you may want a large tube. 
Ivory Black 
Cadmium Red Medium 
Yellow Ochre 
Burnt Umber (Optional) 

#1 "bright" bristle brush (like the Princeton 5200B) or another 
#4 & #8 flat synthetic bristle (Princeton) 
Gamsol or other odorless mineral spirits- NO Turpenoid 
Turpentine is not permitted at CCSF. 

Silicoil Container - or other leakproof container such as a mason jar for cleaning brushes. 
Disposable Paper Palette - Such as "Grey Matters" If you want to transport a non-disposable palette such as the new wave palettes or a glass palette the Masterson airtight palette containers are great. 

Palette Knife - Get one that you can mix with, not one for painting. A "Richeson 897" or the "Blick Style 132" is the style I prefer 

At least one roll of paper towels - blue "Shop Towels" from Scott or "Viva" paper towels are the best. 

5 or 6 panels/surfaces of your choice (preferably 8x10in - 11x14in range). I will be painting different surfaces for demos and can go over materials. Simple canvas boards or gessoed panels such as the Ampersand "Claybord" and "Gessobord” work great. Arches oil paper is another good option as are 0.5mm or thicker frosted Mylar sheets prepped with a wash of oil paint. (I will talk briefly about this in class.) 

Medium such as linseed oil in a small jar - If you wish to use the Arches oil paper this will be especially useful! 
Extra mason jar to decant your solvent