Photo of Scott Gellatly

Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing

with Scott Gellatly
Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing
Explore foundational color theory in oil painting as artist Scott Gellatly defines three art movement color palettes and their characteristics.

Capture the timeless elegance of classical masterpieces, the visual splendor of the impressionist era and the vibrant rhythm of modern artworks—all with your color palette. Let artist and oil paint developer Scott Gellatly walk you through the characteristics of value, hue and chroma as you paint three paintings using the color palettes that define the classical, impressionist and 20th-century art eras. By the end of the class, you’ll be able to match any color when mixing your oil paint and develop your own personalized color palette that supports your unique artistic vision.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Intro to Color Mixing

  • Meet instructor Scott Gellatly and go over the tools and materials used in this class.


Lesson 2. Color Characteristics & Mixing

  • Learn about hue, value and chroma, and how to achieve any color you can see when mixing your palette.


Lesson 3. Color Palettes Throughout History

  • Discover the common color palettes of three different eras in art history: classical, impressionist and modern.


Lesson 4. Underpainting

  • Develop an underpainting, learn about additive and subtractive painting, as well as painting shadows and highlights.


Lesson 5. The Classical Palette

  • Scott walks you step by step through a painting using the classical palette.


Lesson 6. The Impressionist Palette

  • Discover the process and techniques for painting a still life with the impressionist palette.


Lesson 7. Refining the Impressionist Palette

  • Further refine your impressionist painting by continuing to define form and shadow.


Lesson 8. The 20th Century Palette

  • Finally, use the robust arsenal of modern colors to paint the still life, then compare all three pieces.

"I studied painting/fine arts at the university level many years ago, but this class provided several "aha!" moments. I can't begin to tell you how much of an impact this class has made on my notions of color, and I am looking forward to utilizing my new learnings in upcoming projects. Thanks again for a great class."
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