Scott Gellatly


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing

Earlier this year I was invited to teach an online workshop through the Craftsy website. This gave me the opportunity to explore a subject that has fascinated me for years – color.  Ok, not just color, but exploring how color has evolved over the history of oil painting and the profound effect that the expansion of artists’ color palettes have had on the evolution of painting.

This workshop also explores a theme that I have shared with painters through my work with Gamblin – namely how to make color personal.  We all come to painting with unique intentions and interests.  We as painters should build a color palette that supports those intentions. Sure, we could use a standard impressionist palette for a lot of uses, but how can we build a color palette that is truly personal – one that expresses our unique artistic vision?

Explore these concepts in my new online Craftsy class Master Palettes:Exploring Color Mixing, and develop and define your artistic voice with the foundation of color theory.

Using the distinct color palettes of Classicism, Impressionism and Expressionism, we’ll create three paintings that evoke the elegance and energy of each respective era. You’ll begin your foray into color theory with an exploration of the key concepts behind successful color mixing; value, hue and chroma. Learn how to accurately replicate any shade, lighten and darken value, and use complimentary colors to alter intensity as we explore color’s prismatic principles and analogous properties. Once you have a firm grasp on color theory, you’ll develop an underpainting that serves as the compositional road map for each of your paintings, informing your work with tonal and spatial relevance.

Next, we’ll use the muted earth colors of the Classical palette to capture the timeless elegance of the classical masters. Derived from the natural world, these shades allow you to expand the value range of your underpainting, refining your work with light and shadow. Using negative space and contrast to create visual interest, you’ll complete a sophisticated still life that embodies the style of the Renaissance.

In our second work we’ll move on to the Impressionist palette, a high-impact array of colors made up of the brighter metal-based mineral pigments of the Industrial Revolution. We’ll focus on achieving greater visual vibrancy through true replication of natural colors, color harmony and defined details, creating a luminous painting that reflects the era’s emphasis on light and movement. The intense pigments of the 20th century make up our final palette; here, we’ll modify and replace colors for a more expressive approach to our subject matter.

Enroll in Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing, and join me on a journey through the three eras of pigment history to find your unique artistic voice.