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Oh, The Colors

By April 7, 2021February 3rd, 2024No Comments

Art Clinic Workshop: Oh, the Colors!

Fridays, 10:00 – 4:00pm, April 5 – April 12

with J. Jordan Bruns

We’re reinventing the wheel.  The color wheel that is!  In this color theory workshop, we’ll explore everything from how we see color to how we manipulate colors on our canvas to create painting illusions.  We’ll divide our time between lecture and exercises designed to strengthen your use and mixing of color.  Visit to see the class syllabus and supply list or email Jordan at with any questions. Minimum age 14.


I first one to start off with emphasizing that even though we have 10 hours to dedicate to color understanding that it is still only the tip of the iceberg of what can be learned.  True understanding of color comes from years of practice and countless hours of mixing, comparing, and scrutinizing.  Our workshop outlines what you should be considering while you are practicing color mixing so that color becomes more intuitive in in the future.


I do want to provide a disclaimer that this class is universal to understanding all color theory, but each medium (oil, acrylic, watercolor) is different and behaves differently when mixing colors.  Watercolor, for instance, is always dealing with transparencies and has to contend with and also utilize the white of the paper.  How a watercolorist thinks of color should be a little different from how an oil painter thinks of color.  While I will address as many different mediums as I can, I will focus more on oil painting because there is more theory on oil (due to it’s been around for so long), I have more experience with the color theory of oil paint, and oil paint provides the user time to think about their mixing choices and revisions to a color mixture can be made easily.

If you are working in other mediums, it will not be a problem, just be sure to ask lots of questions if I don’t relate how color relates to you specifically.


Schedule of Classes:

Class 1) April 5 – Welcome! Introductions

The Science! – how we see colors

Understanding the colors you are using, choosing a core pallet of colors

Harmful paints

Color Permanence


Working in the “greys” – canvas paper



  • Mixing a NEW color wheel CMYK
  • Mixing light, actual light RGB
  • comparing student grade vs artist grade paints
  • comparing brands of paint
  • mixing “convenience colors” from core paint tubes



Class 2) April 12 –

Paint Brands, differences between them

Liquid Acrylics, Watercolor, and Inks (transparencies)

Color Balance vs Harmony

Limited pallet

Choosing a color pallet, C0lor Gamut

Studio practices, conserving mud

Mixing paint exercise- manipulating the colors

Color connotation, symbolism

Exercises: Mixing and matching greys/neutrals

  • mixing dull vs vibrant colors
  • Working with a limited palette or color gamut
  • Mix a color string based on a image