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You Really Only Need 4 Colors.

Color mixing using the ZORN palette: You can create a wide range of colors from only 4 colors-red, ochre, black and white. It is called the Zorn palette, and it applies to encaustic, oil, acrylic and even watercolor-somewhat. It was developed by a Swedish portrait painter, Anders Zorn, who died in 1920. As a portrait painter, I was amazed to discover the beautiful nuanced skin tones achieved using this palette. Many oil painters today use variations of the Zorn palette. Read up on it and experiment, as there are many different whites and blacks with different mixing properties. Zorn recommends titanium white. I prefer ZINC white for color mixing with encaustic as it blends better and has more translucency. Titanium is bright and has excellent coverage when used by itself, but Zinc is my go-to for encaustic paint mixing.

I was reminded of this when I read R&F Paints blog article today about color mixing. Look at the beautiful palette Julie Snidle achieves using her version of the Zorn palette. Gorgeous work!

Learn more about the Zorn palette here:

The ZORN palette: photo courtesy of Jackson's Art

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