Practical Color for Painters

Practical Color for Painters

“Not only can color, which is under fixed laws, be taught like music, but it is easier to learn than drawing, whose elaborate principles cannot be taught.” — Eugene Delacroix

If you’re interested in studying chemistry, you need to know the periodic table of elements. You run skill drills when you’re playing soccer because without them, you wouldn’t have the physical endurance or the ball handling skills you need to play a game. Similarly, if you want to make art, you need to know, understand, and be able to use color effectively.

This course is designed for painters at all levels.  The lessons lay a solid foundation for beginners while offering an expansive perspective to mid-level and advanced artists.

I put “practical” in the title because the course is packed with immediately usable tips, exercises, and ideas for you to integrate into your own work.  It’s labeled “for painters” because the class exercises are designed to help those who use paint in their artwork.  Mixed media collage artists and printmakers are welcome to join — as is anyone who uses acrylic media in their artwork.  There are copious color take aways for your own practice.

Practical Color for Painters is based on the problems I see across the board from students in my classes – from beginners to even advanced students. Their ability to use color effectively in their work is limited due to a lack of working knowledge of how color works.

If this sounds like you, don’t let that lack of knowledge limit what you can create.

Color theory, as a study, is huge and scary and very complicated.  You can spend your entire life studying color and its interactions.  With this class, my goal is to create something for you that is practical – there’s some theory, but the focus of every lesson is on how you can get better results.  We start basic and each lesson adds on more complexity.  It’s a style of teaching I’ve used with thousands of students over the last decade — building their knowledge and confidence step-by-step.

Practical Color for Painters is a six lesson course – but it’s spread out over the year – one class every two months.  The space between classes gives you plenty of time to complete the lessons and use the homework assignments to master the various skills.  In my experience, very few students complete a six-week class.  Life gets in the way.  This is a course designed to be compatible with the ups and downs of your life. I want you to be successful and I’ve designed even for the format of the course to set you up for success.

By the end of the course, you will have created a reference book for yourself to use over and over for the rest of your life AND you will truly understand how to use color to get the results you want.

Color theory is the study of how colors work together as well as how they affect our emotions and perceptions. Practical Color for Painters provides you with the essential color knowledge you need minus the overwhelming complexity. Don’t let confusion dim your creative spark—embrace my simple and practical approach to color theory today and become color confident!

Workshop Format:

  • Six live online classes conducted over Zoom.  Live classes contain a mixture of pre-recorded art demos and live content.
  • You do not need to attend the live classes.  All classes are recorded.
  • Recordings will be posted in the online classroom along with a written summary of the content.
  • All pre-recorded demos are posted to the online classroom.  For January’s workshop alone, there are 10 pre-recorded demos, totaling almost 2.5 hours of pre-recorded video content!
  • Each lesson contains suggested homework assignments to reinforce skills and cement your color knowledge.
  • You have lifetime access to all class content.  Work at your own pace.
  • Private online classroom with a comments section for asking questions.
  • Each lesson includes downloadable worksheets and photos of all demos done during the livestream.
  • Each lesson includes a recommendation for a book about color if you’re interested in a deeper exploration.

You will Learn:

  • Introduction to fundamental color concepts.
  • Understanding basic color terminology.
  • Understanding the color wheel — including how to build a color wheel and how to USE a color wheel.
  • How to Mix Colors – including how to look at a color and match it. (And WHY mixing colors matters.)
  • How to mix your own neutrals as well as why/when to use neutrals.
  • Understanding the impact of desaturation on color harmony and mood in artwork
  • How to create sophisticated color variations.
  • How to make your colors coordinate into a cohesive palette.
  • Exploration of the importance of value in art.
  • Understanding the role of value in composition and its visual impact.
  • Tinting and shading colors to create a value scale.
  • Exercises for seeing and exploring value in your artwork.
  • The basics of color harmony and its role in creating visually pleasing compositions.
  • Application of color harmony principles to enhance the emotional impact of artwork
  • How to identify and use color schemes (complementary, analogous, triadic).
  • Understanding color relativity.
  • Techniques for glazing and layering colors.
  • Exploration of warm and cool colors in glazing and layering processes.
  • Understanding opacity and transparency when layering.
  • Exploration of the psychology of color and its impact on viewer perception.
  • Guidance on developing a personal color palette that reflects individual style
  • How to save and catalog custom colors.
  • And Much More!!

Throughout the series, students will not only gain technical skills in working with color but also develop a deeper understanding of the expressive and psychological aspects of color in art.  You can watch this video all about the class.

Live classes will be held from 12-2pm EST on the following schedule (every other month in 2024):

  • January 16: Getting Started with Color: Your Basic Toolbox
  • March 16: Adding Sophistication: Desaturation and Mixing Neutrals
  • May 16: Color Gets all the Credit, but Value Does all the Work
  • July 16: Color Harmony & Color Schemes
  • September 16: Glazing, Underpainting, and Layering Color
  • November 16: Developing a Personal Palette and the Psychology of Color Theory

“The point is to know how to use the colors, the choice of which is, when all’s said and done, a matter of habit.” — Claude Monet

Don’t miss this chance to enhance your painting skills and embrace the joy of color – reserve your spot today!