ARTiculations > Workshops > Colour Theory 1

Colour Theory 1

Artist Instructor: Lauren McKinley Renzetti

Materials not included 

In this full-day workshop, students will explore how colour works in relation to its neighbours on the colour wheel. We will paint our way through true primary, secondary and tertiary colours along with homologous, analogous, complementary, split complements, triads and tetrads. Along the way, we will gain some language about colour from hue, warm, cool, tint, tone, shade. intensity, and what each colour’s value is on the grey scale.   We will also look at Colour Theorists, Itten, Munsell, and Goethe. This is a hands-on workshop where you may use the paint you already have to create useful colour wheels and value scales that help you further understand what your chosen palette can do.

Materials list:

We supply paper for exercises, water containers, paper towels.

you bring palette,  brushes, paint, a lunch and a beverage

As the true nature of this workshop is getting to know what your paint can do mixing wise bring what you have of the below. You can top up at the store if need be.

However, if you are really keen about learning colour theory the Acryla Gouache by Holbein is an amazing product as it does not have any sheen and is opaque. It was designed for colour theory in mind.

PAINT: The minimum colours needed for this workshop are: 

titanium white

mars black

primary yellow

primary red or primary magenta

primary blue or cyan

If true primaries are unavailable then owning a medium red, magenta, lemon yellow, medium yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue (green shade) are your best options.  Paint can be Holbein Acryla Gouache, Gouache or Acrylic.  Avoid oil, watercolour or tempera as they have challenges that do not work well with colour theory.

Take the test!

Try these two colour tests that helps you know what you really see:

Lauren passed on these handy links for your perusal:



These are two free games for phones or tablets. They are fun and great at getting your colour IQ and acuity up.

For people who want to see what a mix looks like without using up paint or possibly without the paint. Super cool!