Portrait in Oil: Zorn Palette with Ben Young


Registration Opens 4/30/21 at 8:00 A.M. P.S.T.

Audit: Watch instructor warm up, demo and receive photo reference every week.

Full Participation: Watch instructor warm up, demo, receive photo reference AND receive instructor critique every week.

All videos will be available until two weeks after week 5 of the term.


SKU: N/A Category:


Instructor Critiques for Full Participation Students will be uploaded for viewing approximately one week after each class. 

Date : 11 May – 9 June

Length: 5 Weeks

Videos Uploaded: Tuesday

Level :  Beginner – Intermediate

The focus will be on a direct approach to painting the male and female portrait from photo reference. We will work on application, indication and manipulation of edge, value and ultimately color to indicate the head in oil. Frequent instructor demonstrations and critiques are routine. We will be working in the 4 color Zorn palette to mix a variety of hues to execute a portrait. Greater knowledge of color relativity and color temperature will be gained by the use of the limited Zorn palette.


  • Painting Grounds (Preferred Brand: Fredrix)
    • (2) to 11”x14”  (6) 8″ x 10″
    • Canvas: Fredrix prestretched canvas: red or green label
    • Panels: Fredrix archieval canvas panels
    • Gessoed Masonite Panels, sanded down
  • Brushes
    • Below is an assortment of recommended sizes in bristles and sables.
    • Bristles (Robert Simmons):
    • Flats 2, 4, 6, 8
    • Rounds 2
    • Sables synthetic
    • Rounds  2, 4
    • Flats 2, 4, 6
  • Cleaning
    • Solvent: Gamsol Oderless Mineral Spirits by Gamblin
    • Solvent container
    • Brush Soap
  • Palette
    • Wood, plastic or glass
    • Note: Freezer paper is another option.
  • Paints: the “Zorn Palette”
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Cadmium Red Light
    • Titanium White
    • Ivory Black
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Roll of absorbent paper towels Viva or Scott brand recommended
    • 100% clove oil (optional)
    • Retouch Varnish Spray can (optional)
    • painting Medium (optional)
    • Palette knife (optional)

Ben M. Young

Ben Young has studied and taught at Watts Atelier for the past 20 years. He has worked as a freelance illustrator and conceptual designer. Clients include Sony Entertainment, Reflexive Entertainment, Upper Deck and Blizzard. Ben is currently working on his career in fine art. View more of Ben’s work at www.benmyoung.com

Additional information

Class Type

Full Participation, Audit