Understanding Color & How to Mix It

Teaching Your Colors to Play Well With Others
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  • Lectures 46
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

* How often do you mix muddy colors without intending to?

* How often can you match what you are seeing with confidence?

* Do you really understand your colors and what you are capable of having them do?

In this self-paced course you will learn color theory (it's pretty simple), why colors work the way they do, and how your colors can play with the other colors on your palette (and stay best friends).

Who Should Take This Course

* If you are a beginner, this course will put you MILES ahead of others because at the end you will have an excellent understanding of how color works, how to match colors, and even more fundamental, where to start with colors!

* And if you are a working artist you also will get a tremendous value from taking this course because it will clear up misconceptions about color, teach you how colors work and therefore completely speed up your mixing process.

* If you have been looking for that 'perfect' primary red, primary blue, and primary yellow, this will absolutely demystify this dilemma.

* If you mixed that perfect color but can't remember how you did it, this class will teach you which 3 questions to ask yourself so that you can not only mix 'that' color, but match it, over and over again.

* If you want to introduce other colors to your palette but don't know if it will be a good fit, this class will teach you how to analyze a tube of paint and what all that information is telling you.

* Do you have a drawer full of colors but none are quite right? By the end of this course you will know which ones are redundant, which ones might be really helpful, and which ones you might want to use more of.


* Whether you work in Oil, Acrylic, or Watercolor, you will learn to break colors down and then rebuild them so that you will understand each color on your palette.

* You will learn how well your colors will play with the other colors on your palette, and how to choose colors you might want to add or take away from your palette.

* You will be able to choose the paints you need to get the broadest range. In other words, you will learn about the colors you choose and then have total control over your palette.


* In addition to all the class lectures and videos, you will have my email address so that if you have ANY questions about what you are learning I will answer them very quickly.

* Plus, if it's something that will take more than just a simple answer by email we can arrange to speak by phone or Skype. I want you to succeed.


  • A Thorough Understanding of Color
  • How to Choose Your Colors
  • Which Way a Color Leans and How That Affects Color Mixes
  • What a Color Can and Can't Do
  • How to Match ANY Color Easily and Efficiently
  • How To Read a Paint Tube and Why This is Important
  • How to Better Use a Color Wheel
  • Complete Control Over Your Painting Palette

What are the requirements?

  • Make sure you have your supplies
  • Mark your canvas into 1" grids

What am I going to get from this course?

  • A Thorough Understanding of Color
  • How to Choose Your Colors
  • Which Way a Color Leans and How that Affects Color Mixes
  • What a Color Can and Can't Do
  • How to Match Any Color Quickly and Efficiently
  • How to Read a Paint Tube and Why this is Important
  • How to Better Use a Color Wheel
  • How to Choose Paints that Will Give You the Broadest Range of Color and Value
  • Complete Control Over Your Painting Palette

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for Oil, Acrylic or Watercolor Painters
  • Any one who wants to make clean colors
  • Any one who wants a better understanding of how colors work and why
  • Any one who is making 'muddy' colors and wants to understand how not to do that
  • The 3 questions you need to ask before you start to mix
  • How to match colors
  • Any painter that wants to know more about color and color theory.
  • Beginners and Intermediate painters

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Start Here

WELCOME!! I'm so excited you are taking this course. Color is AMAZING. It's all around us and affects pretty much everything we do. It's even in our metaphors.....I feel blue, out of the blue, I'm so mad I'm seeing red, red tape, things are rosy, green with envy....you get the idea.

And while we all see color slightly differently from each other, there are physical laws of color that are pretty simple to understand.

As you go through each part of this course you will not only develop a much deeper understanding of color and what happens when you mix colors, you will also have a much more developed and nuanced relationship with color.

Whether you are a watercolor, oil, or acrylic painter this course will work. While I won't be talking about colored pencils or pastels, some of the information in this course will certainly help you in those other mediums.

If you are a beginner, this is a GREAT way to demystify color letting you concentrate on other parts of your creative process. And if you already are a working artist, this also will demystify and clear up a lot of questions. I've had some really excellent painters take this course and then come back later letting me know just how valuable these classes were.

Primarily I will be working in oil, but you are welcome to use whatever mediums you choose. You may also want to use several mediums to compare them with each other. But no matter if you use oil, watercolor, or acrylic, the same 'rules' will apply. I only ask that you actually take the time to do all the work. I PROMISE YOU it will be so interesting and helpful. And FUN!!

Let's get started!!

Supply List
1 page

In the Resource section you will find 2 Color Wheels. One is the Quiller Color Wheel which was designed by the very well known watercolor artist, Stephen Quiller, and the other is the Color Bias Wheel which was designed by Michael Wilcox.

Please download both of them. You can get them laminated or you can tape them to a piece of cardboard and cover it with a plastic wrap to keep it clean.

Let's Start to Paint

In this short video you will see how I set up my palette and how to begin finding the value range of the colors on your palette


Tint: A color that is lightened with the addition of white. They will move toward pastel colors

Shade: A color that is darkened by the addition of black. The color will not only darken but also become duller.

White is a cool color. Not only will it lighten a hue, but it will also cool it and dull it. White is also used to see which direction an extremely dark color is leaning.

Hue: The name of a color, i.e. red, brown, green, etc...

Value: How light or dark a color is. Sometimes the word Tone is used to mean the same thing.

Chroma: How bright or dull a color is. For example the color of rust is an orange hue, middle to dark in value, and dull in its chroma. If something is described as highly or very chromatic it is considered to be colorful and purer in color, therefore not dull.

Color is made up of Hue, Value and Chroma.

5 questions

1. Color is made up of which 3 things:


Congratulations! You've finished the first part of your course and are on the road to learning about color. In this section you have begun to master 2 ways we 'talk' about color. With words such as Hue, Value, and Chroma you are using the vocabulary that is used to describe color. By mixing various tints of your colors you are learning and seeing the visual vocabulary of your colors. WELL DONE!

In the next section you will be learning about your color wheel and what it can do to help you make the colors you want to make.

Ready? Let's go!!

Section 2: The Color Wheel and How to Use It
Color Wheels: Introduction
Primary & Secondary Colors
Video: How to Use a Color Wheel
Tertiary Colors
Introduction of the Quiller Wheel
10 questions
Section 3: Color Bias and How it Affects Your Color Mixes
What Color Bias Means
Every Color Has ALL Colors in It
The Color Bias Wheel
The Double Primary Palette
Complementary Colors and How They will Affect Your Colors
A Second Look at the Quiller Color Wheel and School of Color Wheel
A Quick Note and Suggestion
Your Most Chromatic Secondary Colors
Less Chromatic Secondary Colors
Least Chromatic Colors
9 questions

This will test what you know about Compliments and Color Bias

Section 4: Making a Variety of Purples
Video: Mixing Purples
Section 5: Making a Variety of Greens
Video: Mixing Greens
Section 6: Making a Variety of Oranges
Video: Making Oranges
Section 7: Mixing Greys
Using Complementary Colors
Split Complementaries
Video: Making a Variety of Greys Part
A Final Note on Greys
Section 8: Matching Colors
Where This All Comes Together
Sequence of Mixing
Video: Matching Wood
Video: Matching a Green Stem
Video: Matching Fuschia Stem
Video: Matching Dying Leaf
Video: Matching an Orange Stem
Wrap Up of Matching Colors
Section 9: Side Bar
Why the Squares are Important
Tinting Strength
Pigment Notation
A Name By Any Other Name....
Section 10: Branching Out
Other Colors
Section 11: Congratulations! You've Finished
Summary of What You've Learned
Section 12: A Final Congratulations

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Instructor Biography

Elizabeth Tucker, Artist and Teacher

Originally from upstate New York, I moved to Southern California in my early 20’s. While I've always worked with my hands in the needle arts, it was my husband who encouraged me to begin drawing and painting when he gave me an easel as a gift. Knowing I wanted to pursue a classical tradition I sought out teachers who would help me develop my skills in still life and portrait work and enrolled at LAAFA (Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art) and Art Center College of Design for more instruction in Anatomy. I continued my education with Ryan Wurmser and Aaron Westerberg and then went on to become a Certified Instructor in the Michael Wilcox School of Color.

For over 5 years I taught in a children's program of a well known Southern California art school and now teach privately out of my studio as well as conducting workshops on both the east and west coasts of the United States.

I am a juried member of both the Pasadena Society of Artists and Women Painters West and I'm the current president of the Angeles Crest Art Guild. I'm happy to say that I've won several awards for my work.

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