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First time with Zorn Palette. 4x6 quick landscape sketch

Hi All,

I have been thinking a lot about the Zorn palette and how it would work for fall and winter landscapes scenes around where I live in the foothills to the rockies. I have never tried it before and today decided today to give a basic, quick sketch a try and see if I could wrap my head around it a bit.

I used oils in yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, lead white and Paynes grey (I had no ivory black). The sketch is a small 4x6 done in about an hour using one brush only, a small bright. 

Definitely something that will take a bit getting a feeling for colour mixing, but overall I am not terribly displeased. It was interesting for sure trying to emulate blues however difficult.  

Any c&c is always appreciated!


  • It's a very good sketch @bobbybirds.  I  imagine it's not easy to limit to just 3 colors  but sure it's good practice for mixing colors.  I can certainly see blue in your painting :)
  • edited November 9
    I like your quick value sketch, it works. However I sense that ivory black mixed with a little Payne's grey would have provided for greater contrast and greater possibilities in color mixing as well. The Zorn palette is rather challenging and incomplete without ivory black. In my case I don't have Payne's grey in my palette, but I have 2 choices of several to as which blue(s) I would use to accomplish this. Cadmium red med. is  my favored choice for red for this palette as well. 😁
  • Thanks all... I look forward to playing more with this!
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