The Swedish artist Anders Zorn was famous for his limited palette. It is reported that he used only three colors for most of his works — yellow ochre, vermillion and ivory black.
The result of this combination were some quite harmonious paintings. This particular limited palette was said to be ideal for painting the human figure.
My Color Theory
© Keith Ferris 2011
B-17 Mural Nose, right, illustrates the receding color and value with distance.
by Michelle La Bonté Kelly (Artist Educator for Winsor & Newton)
Sinking in, paint that goes dull, matt and chalky creating a visually inconsistent surface, is problem frequently encountered by painters. Though many of us are most familiar with this happening in oils, it can also occur with alkyds and acrylics.
A wipeout-style underpainting allows you to broadly push and pull values-- with a thin layer of paint that is free of sharp edges and ridges --until you are satisfied with the results. This binding layer of umber locks your drawing onto the canvas within a brief 3 hours, and leaves you open to explore more nuanced form with consecutive layers of paint.
This under-painting of Aurora is on oil primed linen, 14”x32”. I have found that working large forces me to do a more thorough job on each form before moving ahead. This painting has a grey toned ground about value number 3. (I wanted the background to be a darker value without resorting to a thick layer of paint for my wipeout.)