COLOUR THEORY

COLOUR
THEORY

learn to mix and match colours with confidence

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This course will provide an in-depth exploration of colour theory, aimed at helping artists understand and effectively use colour in their artwork. Students will learn about the principles of colour, harmony, and the efficient navigation of colour space.

Exploring both the historical basis of colour theory and modern approaches such as the Munsell system of colour, students will take this knowledge and apply it practically in their own artwork.

Colour attributes, colour schemes, pigment mixing, and an understanding of the warm and cool colour relationship in paintings will covered. Through a series of focused exercises, students will learn through practical application how to control colour and use it to guide their artistic choices.

COLOUR THEORY

COLOUR
THEORY

COST

450

Materials included

REGISTER

BECOME A BETTER ARTIST
WITH OUR PROGRAM

CLASS BEGINS

technique

23 Feb 2024

8 weeks

Fridays 10am-1

KNOWLEDGE

TRADITION

COLOUR
THEORY

ARTISTIC PERSPECTIVE

In this workshop, students will learn how to harness linear and atmospheric perspective to accurately depict objects, interiors, buildings, and the rest of the natural world in a believable, spacial way. This course is great for anyone that has an interest in architecture or urban sketching and will help to make your pictures look more realistic based on the mathematical rules of perspective. We’ll use both rulers and freehand approaches to cover the subject and cover the procedure for drawing almost anything you can think of in one, two, and three-point perspective.

information covered

  • The history of perspective: We’ll explore the origins of linear perspective as it was developed in the Renaissance and compare it to other systems of spacial illusion from that time.
  • Perspective Basics: Eye level, station point, picture plane, cone of vision, vanishing points, orthoganals etc. There’s a lot of terminology in perspective, but it needn’t be overwhelming or confusing. Students will learn about all of the different elements necessary to create a proper perspective view.
  • One point perspective grid: Learn how to map out a view from a plan or from imagination. A perspective grid can help maintain spacial logic within a picture so that it appears as we see things in reality.
  • Two point perspective: Beginning from a plan, we will plot out a street view in perspective and learn how to place vanishing points and measure points to accurately depict buildings from a given viewpoint
  • Dividing, adding, and multiplying a construction: There’s a simple way to add on to or break down a geometric structure. We’ll show you how. A must for anyone that is interested in drawing buidings.
  • Sloping Planes, staircases, awnings, gables, and rooftops: learn the basics of how to add angled elements to your perspective view.
  • Circles, elipses, arches, and curved surfaces: It takes some effort, but these can be precisely plotted with some simple perspective guidelines.
  • Shadows and reflections: Even effects of light are subject to the rules of perspective. Learn how to accurately plot them in your picture.
  • Atmospheric Perspective: Learn how to enhance the appearance of space in your picture with some guidelines to create the illusion of atmospheric depth.

class work

Students will create a series of drawings throughout the course covering all aspects of one, two, and (some) three point perspective. We will begin with a technical approach using rulers, t-squares, triangles, French curves, and protracters. Although it’s all a bit fussy, it’s best to start in a controlled way with these precision implements. We’ll make plan views and elevation drawings so that we can get really deep into the precision possible with a rigorous perspective approach. In the latter part of the course, students will switch to a more organic freehand application better suited to most artistic situations whether sketching on the street in your sketchbook, or working things out in a painting. The course will culminate with a final project in which students can either create a work from observation/reference, or plan out a visual scheme from their imagination- an excellent exercise for anyone interested in going into the field of animation.

PORTRAIT DRAWING
(LIVE MODEL)

In this class, students will have the opportunity to work with live models to experience portrait drawing from direct observation. Throughout the multi-class poses (same model, same setup, over the course of at least two sessions), students will create finished works of art that attempt to capture the sitter’s likeness in a realistic manner. Students will receive group instruction during the sessions focusing on anatomy and facial structure. Individual guidance will be given throughout each class.

information covered

  • Setting up a live model with attention to point of view and lighting.
  • Beginning the drawing: strategies for starting a portrait and blocking in the proportions and gesture of your subject effectively at the beginning of the live model session.
  •  Working in stages: We’ll cover in-depth how to develop a drawing- going from broad sketch, to developed construction, to anatomical description, to individual features and details, and on to finished tonal statement.
  • Anatomy: Proportions, skull structure, features, musculature, gender, age, emotion.
  • Rendering: Understanding light and volume to create three-dimensional facial form and how to use pencil and charcoal in a technical manner when applying tone.

class work

Every session will have a model. Students can expect to finish at least three portraits using either graphite or charcoal. Classwork may involve exercises alongside the longer term drawings.

FIGURE SCULPTURE

In this class, students will work with water based clay to create figure sculptures from a live model. This class is open to everyone, even if you have never sculpted before. Students will receive detailed instruction of modeling techniques and the tools used by sculptors to create three dimensional form.
Throughout the lessons, students will receive group instruction on the anatomy of the human body and creating three-dimensional representations of anatomical form.

information covered

  • Building a Sculpture Armature: Students will begin the sculpting process by creating a wire armature to support their work (each finished figure sculpture will be approximately 40cm tall)
  • Working with water-based clay: There are many different types of clay- porcelain, polymer, plasticene and ceramic. For this course we will use ceramic clay since it is the easiest to mold and offers great flexibility depending on how wet or dry it is. Students will begin their experience with “sculpting in the round” with this versatile medium and create basic simple forms with an eye to correctness of volume from all viewing angles.
  • Using tools to establish and refine three dimensional forms: The use of files, rakes, shaping tools, chisels, sponges, and loops will all be covered.
  • Initial volume statement: Students will learn how to work from a broadly generalized base of blocky volume relationships. Without the correctness of this underlying structure, no amount of details is going to improve the work.
  • Anatomical Proportions: Students will learn the size relationships of the different parts of the human body and learn how to measure and translate those proportions into their sculpted form.
  • Developing further – defining body parts: how to sculpt the torso, pelvis, head, arms, legs, hands and feet.
  • Refining techniques: Sculpting details and refining the clay surface to make it smoother.

class work

Students will create one figure sculpture (approx 40cm tall) over the course of the workshop. We will be working with one live model throughout the 8 weeks but will begin the first classes learning how to build an armature and the basics of sculpture techniques without the model present. Throughout the lessons, students will receive individual guidance as well as group lectures discussing points of sculpting and the anatomy of the human body. Please note: we will not be casting the sculptures in plaster. Students may keep their work but it will need to be covered in order to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

COMPOSITION AND DESIGN

In this class, students will learn how to take control of a picture’s visual message through a deep study of all the elements that go into a successful compositional design.

It’s not by accident that great works of art command our attention. The compelling visual story they tell goes far beyond whatever style they are painted in or the scene that they show. The architecture of their pictorial design is essential in elevating them to a place of harmonious transcendence.

Even if we can’t describe what makes a picture work with snobby art terms, the picture “just works”. Why is that? What is it that is happening and how can we as artists take control over how a viewer visually interacts with the painted world on our canvas?

This course will help unlock the secrets to compositional success and give students the tools to take control over decisions of visual arrangement.

information covered

  • Dynamics of the picture plane: Every canvas onto which we paint our picture has a specific ratio which governs the visual design that takes place between it’s edges. Learn how to best compose within different formats: Every canvas onto which we paint our picture has a specific ratio which governs the visual design that takes place between it’s edges. Learn how to best compose within different formats
  • The basics- principles of design: Easy to learn, but take some practice to identify and utilize effectively. They are: balance, pattern, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, unity. We’ll analyze important works of art to hone our skills in understanding the building blocks of composition.
  • Compositional armature: Similar to sculpture, in which an armature is used as a structure to guide the direction or movement of a piece. We will learn about 12 types of compositional armatures which set up the visual movement within a work.: Similar to sculpture, in which an armature is used as a structure to guide the direction or movement of a piece. We will learn about 12 types of compositional armatures which set up the visual movement within a work.
  • Designing with abstract shapes: Even if a picture is “realistic”, it’s still comprised of an arrangement of flat shapes on a 2 dimensional surface. Learn how to put the puzzle pieces together to establish a harmonious whole.
  • Selection: Choosing the right amount of information to suit the artistic aim of your work.
  • Establishing a center of interest: and balancing it with subdominant elements to create a harmonious visual arrangement.
  • Massing: The importance of establishing the “first look”. Say 20 pictures are on the gallery wall, yet only one draws our attention immediately from across the room. What’s going on there?
  • Value: We’ll strip down the compositional process to bare bones, by studying design through the use of notans or two value arrangements. Moving on to three value arrangements, we’ll analyze works of art and create our own works based on their design.
  • Colour: Hue schemes and temperature relationships. Although colour is not the most important element in compositional design, it does play a role which we will touch upon as the workshop wraps up.

class work

Since there is a broad range of topics we must cover, the majority of classwork will be exercises along with one culminating individual project. The only way to get a deep understanding of composition is to analyze and make many works. Longer term individual projects based off of class work can be initiated by students but is entirely optional. You won’t finish the class with one masterpiece, but you will most definitely be armed with a whole new body of knowledge to vastly improve your own work.

BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION

Petals, leaves, stems, roots, seeds… if you are interested in learning how to make pictures of the world of flowers and plants, then this is the class for you. Working from real subjects or picture references (student choice) we’ll focus on drawing all parts of our subjects with accuracy.

Using a method called sight-size, each student will be able to easily check the accuracy of their drawing along with receiving helpful input from our instructor. Throughout the course, we’ll be using three different mediums: graphite, coloured pencil, and gouache.

Along the way students will learn all about making petals and leaves look three-dimensional through the use of light and dark, how build up precise colour layers with coloured pencils, and how to handle the opaque water-based painting medium of gouache. We’ll use a variety of surfaces for our work, including cotton rag paper, vellum, and primed paper.

information covered

  • Sight-size technique: What it is and how to use it to make your work accurate and free of drawing errors.
  • Blocking in, strategies for success: “Blocking in”, otherwise known as a work’s initial “sketch” is a really important stage in the successful development of a piece. Flowers and plants can be really complex and making sense of what you’re seeing can be broken down for better understanding. We’ll show you how to use simple concepts of geometry to simplify the complexity of a flower in a way that makes it easier to understand. Using angles, one-to-one sizing with our references, point relationships, and simple shapes, we’ll be able to peel away the layers of complexity and understand how to match what we see.
  • Rendering: How to make something look like it has volume. The delicate curving, twisting, overlapping, and turning of the plant world can only be represented through an understanding of light and shadow. Students will learn to logically interpret light and dark and map it out so that their pictures take on the illusion of having three-dimensional form.
  • Colour: You can’t talk about flowers without mentioning colour. It’s the aspect of botanical illustration that usually interests people the most. In this course we’ll start out with a conservative colour medium that most people have some experience with- coloured pencils. They offer a precision and control of build up that most people find relatively easy to control. Students will learn all about layering the medium to create richness of hue and gradations of light and dark. Special consideration to the intense hues and semi-transparent nature of flower petals will be given as these two characteristics together give rise to some interesting colour phenomina.
  • Painting: to get a broader colour range in our work, we will move on to using the water-based medium of gouache. An opaque medium, it’s much more forgiving than water colour. Students will learn how to build it up with hatching, blending, and layering to represent the soft colours of vegetation.

class work

Students will create three to five pieces over the course of the workshop along with some quicker exercises to familiarize people with medium techniques. The emphasis throughout the 8 weeks is on technical precision, but we will touch upon looser stylistic techniques as well for those that are interested. Students can expect to finish the course with richly coloured, three-dimensional works of art which express the beauty of the plant world in a precise manner.

FIGURE DRAWING

Working with a variety of live models, students will learn the techniques for drawing realistic figure drawings with anatomical accuracy and form.

Please note that the models will be nude unless otherwise stated as being costumed figure references. This course is open to beginners and intermediate students alike and is very much be a “how to” for the figure drawing process.

Drawing people in a life-like manner is hard, and so often in figure drawing courses, precious little (if any) instruction is given regarding a step by step process to tackle the complexity of the subject.

This workshop seeks to simplify the task of drawing a live figure, giving students a road map of what to do at each stage of the drawing process. This is not a “30 second gesture drawing, figure it out yourself” kind of class. We’ll give you the knowledge and a plan, you just have to bring the focus and determination to succeed.

information covered

  • How to start: Should you start at the head? The feet? Scribble a line of action? Measure out how many heads tall the model is? So many questions… we’ll give you answers. Although there isn’t one right way to begin, we’ll give you some solid options so that you can choose what works best for you and makes the most sense to start your figure drawing.
  • Proportions and Anatomical Landmarks: Having a grasp of the size relationships of the different parts of the body is important. Students will learn about artistic proportions and anatomical landmarks artists use as helping guidelines to represent the complexity of the human form.
  • Gesture: we’ve all thought it before- why does my figure drawing look like a stiff robot? If that’s ever been a problem, then we can offer the solution to that issue through our detailed explanations on what needs to be considered in capturing the natural grace of the human body. Understanding the relationships between different compenents of the body and how they interact with each other in movement is essential. Students will receive training on what to look out for and how to present what they see in drawing.
  • Anatomy and Structure: Students will receive basic knowledge of human anatomy through class lectures, model demonstrations, and analysis of works of art. Being able to spout off all the names of the muscles isn’t vital, but having an understanding of their structure can go a long way to establishing a realistic depiction of human form. We’ll look at the major components of the human body to understand their structure and how to draw them spacially in perspective on our paper.
  • Linework and Rendering: the human body is an immensly subtle set of parts. Understanding how linework can help to convey (or kill) the living quality of a drawing is important. With a knowledge of structure and anatomy, students will be better positioned to portray the contours of the body with line variation to represent overlapping forms. Once structure is established, it’s time to create volume with tonal mapping of bone, muscles, fascia, and fat. No easy task, but with an understanding of how light interacts with three-dimensional form, observational interpretation becomes a reachable goal.

class work

Each week students will work with live models set up on a platform with an optimally positioned light source. The model will take a variety of poses but please note that apart from shorter (15 minute) warm up exercises, the emphasis of this course is on long-pose figure drawing. One pose will span two classes so that students can develop their skills of observation and gain a better understanding of representing human form. The mediums used will be graphite or charcoal depending on the preference of the student. Students will work on A2 sized paper in order to have a large enough format for detailed anatomical description.

PASTEL DRAWING

In this course, students will learn to create richly coloured artwork with the chalk type of pastels. Our subjects will range from flowers and still life to people, animals, and landscape. Over the course of the 8 weeks, students will learn a variety of pastel application techniques and experiment with different paper surfaces to explore the variety that the medium has to offer.

information covered

  • Types of chalk pastels: Form factor- stick or pencil. Variation of hardness according to brand. Choices in using one type vs another.
  • Paper: Pastel mat, pastel card, velour, and Ingres to name a few. Each surface provides different opportunities for manipulating and building up colour and tone with the medium.
  • Application techniques: Using blending, layering, and hatching to build your surface.
  • Additional Tools: using blending stumps, brushes, and water to manipulate the medium.
  • Colour and the pastel medium: understanding colour range and the limits of mixing and tonal variation with chalk pastels
  • Realistic effects: Creating volume and light through rendering and colour control
  • The Munsell System of Colour: Understanding colour space through the qualities of hue, value, and chroma..
  • How to: Students will learn how to use pastel to represent a variety of different surfaces, such as flowers, fur, skin, clouds, water etc.

class work

Students will complete both exercises and finished artworks which put theory into practice. Students can expect to complete at least three finished pieces utilizing different types of paper, pastels, and application techniques. Subject matter for these works can be chosen by the student.

portrait sculpture

In this class, students will work with water based clay to create portrait sculptures from a live model. This class is open to everyone, even if you have never sculpted before. Students will receive detailed instruction of modeling techniques and the tools used by sculptors to create three dimensional form.
Throughout the lessons, students will receive group instruction on the anatomy of the human head and creating the features of the face with clay.

information covered

  • Building a Sculpture Armature: Students will begin the sculpting process by creating a wire armature to support their work (each finished portrait sculpture will be approximately 30cm tall)
  • Working with water-based clay: There are many different types of clay- porcelain, polymer, plasticene and ceramic. For this course we will use ceramic clay since it is the easiest to mold and offers great flexibility depending on how wet or dry it is. Students will begin their experience with “sculpting in the round” with this versatile medium and create basic simple forms with an eye to correctness of volume from all viewing angles.
  • Using tools to establish and refine three dimensional forms: The use of files, rakes, shaping tools, chisels, sponges, and loops will all be covered.
  • Initial volume statement: Students will learn how to work from a broadly generalized base of blocky volume relationships. Without the correctness of this underlying structure, no amount of details is going to improve the work.
  • Anatomical Proportions: Students will learn the size relationships of the different parts of the human face and learn how to measure and translate those proportions into their sculpted form.
  • Colour scheme basics: Triads, analogous colours, warm/cool, split compliments etc. We’ll explore these basics to make sure they’re solid in your understanding.
  • Developing further: defining features: how to sculpt the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, facial structure, and hair.
  • Refining techniques: Sculpting details and refining the clay surface to make it smoother.

class work

Students will create one portrait sculpture (approx 30cm tall) over the course of the workshop. We will be working with one live model for 7 sessions but will begin the first class learning how to build an armature and the basics of sculpture techniques without the model present. Please note: we will not be casting the sculptures in plaster. Students may keep their work but it will need to be covered in order to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

COLOUR THEORY

In this workshop students will learn how to take control of colour in their artwork, whether it be mixing, matching, or design.

Using the Munsell System, unmatched in it’s logic and simplicity, we’ll get to know the qualities of hue, value, and chroma, and how they can be used to clarify our understanding of colour.

Through in-class exercises and analysis of great works of art, we will explore colour as it is used for realistic rendering, impressionistic interpretation, and as a means to describe atmosphere and space in a picture. 

information covered

  • The history of colour theory and an introduction to the Munsell System.

  • Hue, value, and chroma: the identifiers of colour description.
  • Colour matching, a systematic approach: Learn in a logical and precise way how to mix any colour that you want.
  • Understanding palettes: There is no one right range of colours that an artist needs to use in order to successfully manage colour in their paintings. We’ll look at a range of different palette options one might choose and help you decide which one is best suited for your artistic purposes.
  • What’s in that tube?: Learn how to choose your colours based on a knowledge of pigment properties.
  • Colour scheme basics: Triads, analogous colours, warm/cool, split compliments etc. We’ll explore these basics to make sure they’re solid in your understanding.
  • Colour Gamuts: Making a conscious choice regarding a picture’s colour range through gamut mapping helps an artist to choose which colours to utilize and importantly which colours to leave out of a work.
  • Controlling colour for realistic painting: When modelling form, there’s a light side of an object and a side that’s in shadow. How do you make a colour darker or lighter to show this without having it go haywire? We’ll learn how to “control the local” so that there’s colour constancy across a rendered form.
  • Impressionistic colour effects: No doubt about it, impressionistic colour effects can be very exciting to look at in a painting. Learn how to amplify colours, or logically deviate from reality using some tricks out of the impressionist playbook.
  • Learn how to observe colour: We’ll learn to use a conceptual approach to observing colour so that decisions about light, shadow, the colour of objects, and reflected light all make sense and work together.

class work

All classwork will be based on direct observation or analysis of great works of art. For those of you that are more comfortable with working from photographs, we’ll wrap up the workshop with some practical tips for making better artistic interpretations of this kind of reference. Throughout the course we will work with a variety of still life reference and light sources to hone your colour observation, mixing, and handling skills. The artwork created during the workshop will consist of:

1. A colour map to gain clarity of where our paint tube choices fit in colour space.
2. Poster studies to learn how basic, first impression colour sketches are vital to the artistic process.
3. Daily exercises covering: observational colour matching, form modelling, warm and cool light sources, realistic vs impressionistic colour interpretation, gamut mapping, and reflected light.
4. Colour studies of master works by great artists.

historical painting techniques

In this class, students will learn all about traditional oil painting mediums and paint application methods. Alongside this we’ll learn about various types of brushes, painting surfaces, and indirect painting techniques that can be used to create sophisticated works of art based on the materials and methods of the great masters of the past.

information covered

  • Mediums: Oils, varnishes, solvents, wax, putty and powdered additives. What they do and how to use them in a painting medium.
  • Brushes: shapes, bristle types, applications during the painting process. What brush to use and how to get specific handling qualities or effects.
  • Surfaces/Supports: canvas, linen, wood, and their priming. How to prepare them and their effect on the painting process and outcome of the work.
  • Traditional paint application techniques: opaque, transparent, blending, broken colour, and multi-layered colour effects based on documented traditional methods.
  • Underpainting techniques: grisailles, ebauches, wipe outs, dead colouring. How to use them to construct a work through “indirect” painting methods.
  • Specialized traditional techniques: Glazing, velaturas, sfumato, impasto. Learn what these fancy terms mean and how to use them to create variety in your oil paintings.

class work

This course covers a great deal of material. The emphasis throughout will be on understanding materials and process instead of focusing on creating finished masterpieces. Students are expected to take notes, document their process through our exercises, and apply this body of knowledge to their own studio practice.

Thanks for your interest.  We’ll get in touch shortly.