Color for Painters: the Renaissance Palette

Come try your painting hand with the colors and strategies of the Renaissance. Combined with a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this exploration of painting’s past will surprise you with its continuing relevance and possibilities. The use of layering paints and preparing grounds will be covered, along with understanding the philosophical and color-enhancing effects of darkness, as well as some of the symbolism attributed to color then vs. now.

What you will learn:

  • Colors and reasons for grounds

  • Layering instead of mixing complementaries, especially green and red

  • The role of black

  • Tonal drawing in color

  • Colors you thought were modern

Required supplies

  • John recommends oil paints for this course, but acrylic paints would also be acceptable. If you wish to use acrylic paints, please use Golden Open Acrylics, which have a slow drying time, at least for your underpainting colors.

  • Paints: Titanium white (true experimenters might use flake white); Naples yellow; Yellow ochre; Raw sienna; Burnt sienna; Indian red; Cadmium red hue; Quinacridone red; Ultramarine blue; Terre verde; Viridian; Raw umber; Burnt umber; Ivory black

  • Paint brushes: hogs hair bristle flat # 10, flat #8, round # 4, round #2; synthetic brush round #2

  • Supports: gessoed canvas, canvas paper, gessoboard, or birch panel (8 X 10 inches to 16 X 20)

  • Refined linseed oil

  • Odorless turpenoid

  • Container for mediums

  • Paper towels

  • Wooden Palette or palette paper: for oil painters only

  • For acrylic painters: a wet palette