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Get a feel for colour in this online class run by the colour master, Evan Woodruffe. Investigate theories, origins, mixing, combinations, historical and contemporary artists who use colour and see how to use colour in your practice.

These classes will lay out ideas and information, demonstrate technique, discuss opportunities and challenges arising from the previous class, and encourage curiosity as a motivation for new work. Evan will suggest exercises for completion before the next session, to provide learning impetus and grow tangible results over the 6 weeks. This completed work and questions arising from it can be uploaded into a class folder to be reviewed and comment upon it prior to the next session. 



Session 1 Getting a feel for colour. Evan will introduce the course with an overview of historic colour theories, both scientific and poetic. We’ll discuss how these different approaches may help problem-solve and devise charts to map colour based on observation and intuition.

Session 2 Where do we get our colours from? We’ll be referencing colour from our environment, and consider how Monet’s “thinking in terms of paint” influences colour choices, both planned and unplanned.  

Session 3 Mixing. We’ll examine colour’s complex relationships when combined: pre-mixed, mechanical, glazing, scumbling, layering, and optical mixing.

Session 4 Where does one colour end and another begin? We’ll use colour combinations to create space, and fine-tune these with techniques of uniformity, blending, and modulation.

Session 5 Colour heists. As a group, we’ll examine the work of historical and contemporary artists, steal their colour ideas, and see how they can be adapted to our own practices.

Session 6 Continuing. We’ll discuss how to use colour as a motivator, how we can let colour keep our thinking fresh and agile, and our painting moving forward. 

Course requirements: 
Reliable desktop computer/smartphone/laptop

Internet connection /wireless

Webcam /microphone

Zoom account can use a free version


Artist quality paints: acrylic, oil colour, watercolour or gouache.No student quality paints as these will not achieve desirable outcomes. Although artist quality colours are initially more expensive, they go further and provide clean, brilliant mixtures, so will last you longer and bring more pleasure.

Helpful colours: Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue or Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Transparent Orange, Vermillion, Quinacridrone Magenta, Titanium White, Zinc White. Minimum: Lemon Yellow or similar, Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Magenta or similar, Titanium White.

Paper: initially, you’ll need 300gsm or heavier paper (Britannia or Andalusia is inexpensive/suitable) with 1 coat for acrylic or 3 coats for oil colour of gesso; or 300gsm watercolour paper (Harmony is good quality/inexpensive) if using watercolour. At least 20x roughly postcard A5 size.
Later, finished painting surfaces are discussed.

Paint brushes: to suit your chosen media. Evan is happy to advise.

plusPalette (disposable palettes are very effective) and palette knife.Scissors. Gluestick. Purple painters’ tape. Ruler. Notebook and pen.

Course Code: OPC421 [eve]

Tutor: Evan Woodruffe

When: Wed 6.30 - 8.30pm 

Dates: 3 Nov - 8 Dec 2021 

Duration: 6 weeks

Level: L1+

Cost: $190      

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