Color Theory: Palettes of the Masters (five-session workshop)

This class is for experienced oil painting students who would like to advance their knowledge of color theory to set the tone and mood of their work.

Color has a vast language and complex system of symbolism, and has been used deliberately and thoughtfully by artists throughout history. By examining the work of artists who’ve come before us, we can learn to make informed choices about color – how its best used to convey a feeling, a tone, an atmosphere, a geographical location, or a narrative. This course will explore four different artists and their use of color through discussions, slides, and color exercises.

Each week, students will do an in-class still life study featuring the palette of a different artist. Students will develop an understanding of how color is a highly individualized language, reflecting the spirit of these artists, and their respective art movements in history. Furthermore, each week we will have a short discussion and exercise exploring color meaning and symbolism.

Required supplies:

  • Suggested colors: Naples yellow, Chrome yellow light, Yellow ochre, Cadmium yellow, Cadmium orange, Scarlet lake or Geranium Lake, Alizarin Crimson, Indian red, Cadmium red light, Cobalt blue, Prussian blue, French ultramarine, Cerulean, Cobalt violet, Viridian, Terre verte, Sap green, Zinc white, Flake white, Van dyke brown, Burnt sienna, Raw sienna, Raw umber, Burnt umber, Ivory black, Mars black. Student grade or hues are fine.*

  • Painting Medium: linseed or stand oil*

  • Solvent: odorless thinner or mineral spirits*

  • Brushes: Round, filbert or flat, bristle and sabeline or combination of both. Sizes 1,2,4,6,12*

  • Palette knife*

  • Palette cups or small jars*

  • Palette*

  • Stretched primed canvases, gessoed wood panels, or gessoed

  • Bristol paper – 8” x 10”, 12”x16”, or 16”x20” 4 needed

  • Items marked with an asterisk are available in Fleisher’s school store. Members receive a 10-percent discount on purchases.