I am teaching a head painting class this summer and after about of week of monochrome exercises, we moved on to limited palette. I decided to introduce the students to the possibilities of color that Anders Zorn's limited palette.
I have always been impressed with the color range Zorn was able to achieve with just two colors, Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red, plus black and white. There is some discussion as to what were the exact colors on the palette (Vermillion or Cadmium Red for example) as well as if additional colors were used, but for the purpose of this exercise, I used just those four.
I mixed up a number of hues for the benefit of the class before we got started in order to demonstrate what is possible. Above is a Richard Schmid style grid palette that shows the range of color you can get with these four colors including a surprising greenish gray arrived at by mixing the yellow ochre and black.
I gave it a shot in class, never having used it before and enjoyed the process. Between helping the dozen or so students, I managed a little more than an hour on this one. I think I will push the clarity of color a little more in upcoming classes, but I really liked the subtle shades of green and violet that I got in the shadows.