Knowing and Using Color with Pat Thornton

Artist and designers from Impressionists to the current day are aware that a knowledgeable use of color can achieve wonders in one’s work. Whether producing a luscious landscape, vivid abstraction or spare poetic insight, color can attract the eye and skillfully guide it through the many faceted elements of a composition. Properties such as value, hue and intensity are integral to the ultimate effect and success of a work of art or design, and working with these elements is a pleasure unto itself.

In this course, students will use water based paints and mixed media. Through thoughtful exercises, students will explore the formal principles and expressive use of color, while developing a practical know-how of color mixing and a discerning eye. Students will finish the course with an original work, reflecting their own ideas and sensibilities about color.

Materials List – Please bring the following to the first class:
1. A pad of paper for waterbased media. All those listed below are excellent.

  • Cartieri Magnani – 140 lb. – 12” x 12” Watercolor block
  • Fabriano Artistico – 140 lb.  – 9” x 12” Cold Pressed Watercolor block
  • Arches - 140 lb. ­–­  hot pressed 9” x 12” or 12” x 16”
  • Union Square 140 lb. hot presses – 9” x 12” or 12” x 16”
  • Strathmore Bristol Board – 9” x 12”  or 11” x 14”
2. A set of Gouache paints –set of 12 or 24 tubes.

There is a quite a difference in the range of price. Some are very expensive…such as Windsor Newton. These all will work for getting started.

  • Reeves – set of Gouache – set of 12 or 24
  • Savoir Faire French School Opaque Watercolor Gouache – set of 10 or 20 tubes
  • Utrecht – Set of 8
  • Windsor Newton – Primary set of 6
  • 3. A variety of  brushes (minimum of 4 soft bristle) for waterbased paint – both round and flat.

    These vary greatly in price, depending on the quality of the bristle (from synthetic to sable) and the brush holder. If the bristle feels “bouncy” when wet, that is good. If it becomes limp when wet – they will not work as well.) You will need some rounds and flats…from small to larger. You can also find sets of brushes that work well. You can start with any of the following or anything similar.

    • Richeson Plein Air Travel Brush set
    • Blick Scholastic Ox Hair Brushes
    • Brushes can also be bought individually. Below is a group of brushes I use on a regular basis for both gouache and watercolor
    4. Sketch Pad & pencil (HB and or 2B) and eraser – Notebook - pink pearl and/or kneaded eraser.

    5. Plastic Water Container – Containers such as those for ice cream are good.

    6. Flat (white mixing plate: paper, enamel, ceramic or plastic will do and covered holders for  saving mixed paint colors; paper towels

    7. Round end palette knife

    8. Optional: Watercolors, water soluble colored pencils, colored pencils


    Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)