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Color Theory Boot Camp - Colored Pencils

May 13, 20, noon-3 p.m. Pacific

Offered via Zoom - $80


**Note, I don't seem to be able to get rid of the shipping charge, so when you register and get to the check-out screen, choose the "Store Pickup" option in shipping and that'll get rid of the shipping charge.**


Two consecutive Saturdays: May 13 and 20, noon-3 p.m. Pacific

(Any participant in any of my workshops always is welcome to attend the free open studio/drop in session every Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Pacific, most weeks of the year.)


Color theory is an incredibly important foundation upon which to build successful artwork, yet it is often overlooked. This workshop will offer a high-level review of the most important topics to know about:

  • The color wheel and why it's valuable

  • What are primaries, secondaries and tertiaries

  • Complementary colors

  • "Singing neutrals" and complementary browns

  • Warm / cool colors

  • Color saturation as value tones

  • Color in shadowed areas

  • Using color to create depth and form

I was taught color theory by Margaret Davidson at the Gage Academy in Seattle. She's since retired, but boy, was she a great teacher! She insisted on teaching color theory using colored pencils rather than in watercolor, in order to avoid adding yet another variable (water) into the "mix" when you're trying to learn. I questioned her approach at the time, but I've since decided she was absolutely right.


So in honor of Margaret, and because it's the right thing to do, this workshop will taught using colored pencils. If you haven't used professional grade colored pencils before, you are in for a treat! 


We'll work on several drawings that will allow us to get some practice in, and you'll have some homework as well.


Materials list:*

  • Pencils: Just one or two to draw out shapes you want to color, and preferably in the H range (vs. B range) as you don't want them mixing with colored pencils and making everything look dull.

  • Erasers: Some people really love to use electric erasers for colored pencil, like this one. It's entirely up to you if you want to invest in one of those – certainly not needed for this workshop.  

  • Paper: Nice Bristol board paper is wonderful for colored pencil as the tooth will allow you to build up quite a bit of color. Here are suggestions.

  • Pencil sharpener: lots of different ideas on what's best, but I have settled on buying less expensive ones and replacing them frequently as the blades dull quickly. Some colored pencil folks love electric sharpeners like this one, as you spend a lot of time sharpening! Others don't like them as they eat up your expensive pencils too quickly. Entirely up to you!

  • Colored pencils. For this workshop, a basic (but professional quality) wax-based set of pencils like this 24-set from Prismacolor will work great. (If you fall in love with colored pencils, you might some day want to upgrade to oil-based colored pencils like these Lyras.) Some of the exercises Margaret taught that I'm going to share require some "open stock" Prismacolor pencils as well, so get these, too:

    • cloud blue​

    • cream

    • light peach

    • greyed lavender

    • dahlia purple


*Some of the provided links go to products at Blick, but these are standard items that can be purchased at many different stores. 


Just the pecans and shell
Yellow lemon and spools
color wheel
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