Using Colour in Portraits 2: Limited Palette

21st / 22nd March 2020 Book Now

Northern Realist Colour Painting Workshop, student work in progress by John Clark

Learn how to keep the colour in your portrait studies vibrant by using a limited palette

To keep colour clean and bright it is best to keep it simple. The workshop will show you how to get maximum effect out of only three colours. What you learn will enable you to paint efficiently with a limited palette and use it as a foundation to create your own personal palette.

Christopher Clements will introduce you to palette consisting of just red, yellow, blue mixed with white. This introduction to colour in a limited way will help you understand the basic ingredients of a colour palette and the role of each colour. This palette is sometimes known as the ‘Zorn’ Palette after the 19th Century Swedish painter known for the incredible range he achieved using very few colours. It will give you a strong foundation and unity of colour in your work.

The workshop will also show you a direct painting technique, also known as ‘Alla Prima’. This approach involves painting in one sitting, working wet into wet. It is perfect for making stand alone sketches, studies for studio portraits or simply portrait sketching for your own enjoyment.

Limited Palette Portrait Painting Workshop Overview

The workshop will introduce you to an approach designed to help you develop your work in an organised way while pushing your technique.

You’ll start by making colour studies to explore the potential of the palette and the role of each pigment. Following this you’ll complete exercises to explore skin tones and the relationship between tone and colour.

Next you’ll look at drawing the head in paint, in particular gesture and  orientation, proportion and construction as well as compositional principles.

Finally you’ll put all this together to produce a colour portrait study from life. As you work towards the finished piece you’ll concentrate on one concept at a time. Each stage builds on the previous helping you make informed decisions throughout the process. This provides you with a framework to greatly increase the efficiency of your work and enable you to pace the painting according to the time you have available.

  • How to paint a well structured head with accurately placed features
  • Composition and lighting
  • Planes of the head and tonal value
  • Colour mixing and effective use of a limited palette
  • Creating focus through varied brushwork and selective rendering of detail
  • Efficient use of time
  • Direct oil painting techniques

By the end of the workshop you will have learnt how a limited colour palette works and how it can keep your colour clean, unified and lively. You will also have developed your painting technique and understanding of layering, mediums and brushwork. This will help you stay in control as improve your observational painting techniques, understanding the gesture and construction of the head.

The class is limited to 7 students meaning you can work towards your own personal goals whether you’re looking to learn fundamental principles or push your skills from a more advanced position.

Limited Palette Portrait Painting Workshop Booking

Date: 21st/22nd March 2020 Book Now

Price :£160 Reserve your Place with a £40 deposit on Eventbrite

Location: Northern Realist, AWOL Studios, Hope Mill, Pollard St. Manchester M4 7JA

Materials: Colour oil paint

Course Length: 12 Hours over 2 Days

Hours: 09:45-16:30

More info email or use the contact form