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White Freesia II

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Zorn Palette Portraits

Paint looser, and simplify your color mixing during this three-day oil painting workshop with Oregon artist Sarah Sedwick!

Do you love painting portraits but struggle with capturing a likeness or mixing beautiful flesh tones? Would you like to work from photos but feel the resulting paintings lack that spark of liveliness? Do you want to loosen up your brushwork and be more free to experiment with color in your portraits?

Working from a live model, you’ll use the famous Zorn palette – three colors plus white – to create beautiful, naturalistic skin tones. There are many benefits to using a limited palette, and the technique can be applied to any kind of painting you want to do – landscape, still life, even abstract! The alla prima painting style, in which a work is begun and finished in one or two sittings, while the paint is still wet, is lots of fun and perfect for exploring the portrait in oils.

Our focus will be on seeing and simplifying the way light travels over the planes of the head, mixing color and applying it in a loose and painterly style, and gaining an understanding of facial features while capturing a likeness of the model. Instruction will be in oils, but acrylics are also welcome. The workshop welcomes beginning to advanced artists, ages 15 and up.

A combination of demonstrations, short exercises, and longer-duration paintings will familiarize you with Sarah’s approach to the portrait. Instruction will be in oils, but acrylics are also welcome. Great for artists of all experience levels.

Zorn Palette Portraits – Materials:

  • Palette – New Wave 11×16” white pad disposable palette, or similar
  • Palette knife – not a teeny one. You want to be able to scoop up a pile of paint with it. I like the RGM softgrip no. 45 (blue handle)
  • Rags or paper towels (blue shop towels are the best!)
  • Gamsol 16 oz.
  • Medium: walnut oil or Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel
  • Can, jar, or other container for solvent
  • Paint – I use M. Graham brand.
  • Titanium white
  • Cadmium red medium
  • Ivory black
  • Yellow ochre (not Gamblin)
  • Viewfinder – I like the ViewCatcher by The Color Wheel.
  • Brushes – I use Princeton Summit Series 6100 white Taklon, Trekell Spectrum, and Rosemary Ultimate bristles, but please use what you’re comfortable with. A good starter kit is a #2 round and a #4 flat.

To view these products, and more of my favorites, visit my Amazon list: https:// www.amazon.com/shop/sedwickstudio

  • Canvases or other painting surfaces:
    o A pad of Yes canvas paper, Arches oil paper, or similar, for studies.
    o A rectangular canvas or panel – any size you’d like to work on for about 3 hours. You’ll need at least 2. 9×12 or larger. I use Raymar – their Arches oil paper panels, and their smooth texture canvas panels.
  • o Bringing a couple of extra canvases can be helpful.
  • Easel and side table A standing travel easel. (A french easel or plein air easel) *HCA has some easels and side tables for student use (please reserve in advance of class), but bring your own easel if you prefer.
  • Pencil, sketchbook, masking tape

Got a friend you think might be interested? Share!

Date: February 25, 26, 27 (Fri., Sat., Sun.)

Time: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm with a 1 hour lunch

Age / Level: 18 +

Class Size: 12

Location: Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Ave., Room 11

Deadline to enroll: Feb. 5th

Fee: $550


“One of the greatest things in the world is to train ourselves to see beauty in the commonplace.” – Charles Hawthorne

Sarah Sedwick is an oil painter whose still lifes celebrate the beauty of the everyday, inspired by color combinations and dynamic compositions. Her paintings explore the undercurrents of meaning we impart to the objects around us – whether through a system of personal emotional symbolism or through a buildup of familiarity over time.


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah has lived in Eugene, Oregon since 2007. In 2001, she earned a BFA in Illustration from The Maryland Institute, College of Art.

A passionate teacher, she conducts workshops on still life and portrait painting in oils, as well as an Online Art Mentorship program, working intensively with students all over the world.

Facebook and Instagram are great ways to follow Sarah’s

work! Don’t hesitate to get in touch!


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