Thursday, May 14, 2009

Color Theory

Did you know the color choices you make can transform an average piece of artwork into something spectacular? Be surprised and delighted by the effects and illusions you can create by understanding the mysteries of color. In this hands-on experiential class you'll learn key color concepts with visual examples, mix new paint colors, and create helpful charts, all providing you with the tools you’ll need to see color in a whole new light. The next online Color Theory Class starts June 1. If you would like to join the class send me an email following the link on the class description page.


  1. The fundamental red in this colour circle doesn't look like magenta... is it?
    I'm asking, because since Bauhaus times, it seems to be a widespread opinion that the fundamental colours are blue, yellow and red. Sorry, but that's wrong.
    With this red, the mixing concepts don't work. It has to be cyan, yellow and magenta. This is why the violet looks so dull: It contains yellow from the red. Just give it a try!

  2. I wish I lived nearer, I would love to do this class. I am forever changing works because I am not happy with them! When doing a landscape quilt I try to make the distance paler than the foreground but somehow struggle to get it right.

  3. Eva the violet does not have any yellow in it, it is made with a magenta hued "red" and blue. It is very likely the color in the photo is a little off making it look duller than it is. You are right the secondary colors are not made by mixing true red, blue and yellow combinations. I do not show magenta and cyan in my color wheel because that is more of a printers color wheel. There are many variations in color wheels depending on the different color theories.

  4. Goosey, this is an online class that you can take in your home at your leisure. If you would like to take the class, send me an email with Color Theory in the subject line.

  5. Your class sounds wonderful -and as an artist you'd think I would be better at color usage but I'm not that creative or daring when it comes to color usage! I could use your class...

    I'm glad you pointed out there are soooo many color wheels. People need to be aware of the difference between CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), RGB (like our computer monitors -red, green, blue) and primary colors, red, yellow and blue etc. and what happens to those repsective colors when converted. From my graphic designer days -when viewing colors on-line, readers should first make sure their computer monitors are color calibrated but understand that most monitors are rarely color true.

  6. I agree, the RGB mode is a different world, but I'm aware of it and was, when I posted my comment. Yet I think, the difference between print colours and paints is just in the purity. Pure magenta is pure magenta (here it is even available as a paint for graphic designers to work with the same hue as will be shown in the print). Of course, the painting results are somewhat pale if limited on the print shades. If you use transparent inks, however (or water colour/acrylics), working in layers can deepen the tones into the desired intensity.


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