Vibrant Color

Discover the 3 Pillars of Color and Dramatically Improve Your Painting

Course Dates:
September 30 – November 11, 2023


Vibrant Color

Discover the 3 Pillars
of Color and Dramatically
Improve Your Painting


Vibrant Color

Discover the 3 Pillars of Color and Dramatically Improve Your Painting

Course Dates:
September 30 – November 11, 2023

As a painter, you are drawn to color. You want to capture the rich colors you see around you…
or perhaps you want to emulate the stunning colors
of masters like Sorolla or Bonnard or Wolf Kahn.

This is one of the most common problems that painters face.

And the reality is, learning to paint with vibrant color requires a LOT of foundational work with structure, design, and value.

Without mastering these core principles, painters simply don’t have the foundation to create the vivid colors that they desire.

But that’s not you. Because you’ve already learned these essential skills!

Mastering vibrant color - Landscape - Evening on the poppy field

You’ve Laid the Foundations for Vibrant Color…
Now Reap the Rewards!

When you took the Mastering Bold Brushwork course the focus, as in the drawing course, only now with paint, was on value, design and structure.

And in doing so, you’ve learned how to create the foundations that your color will rest on.

In Mastering Composition, the drawing course, and Bold Brushwork, we stripped away some of the complexity, so you could learn how to construct a strong painting from the ground up.

That’s why in the composition course, we worked only with pencil and paper. And in the brushwork course, we painted only in black and white.

You’ve done the work, you’ve mastered the skills, and now it’s time – FINALLY – to work with rich, vivid colors.

Now you get to discover the secrets that will enable you to create gorgeous paintings that lets your colors sing.

Discover the 3 Pillars of Vibrant Color,
and Produce the Vivid Paintings You’ve Been Dreaming Of

There’s an old saying you may have heard: “Color gets all the attention, but value does all the work.”

This adage is absolutely true – and it’s why we focus so intently on mastering value in the Bold Brushwork course.

Most students, when they think of vibrant color, think the more the better. But, in fact, the exact opposite is true.

Mastering vibrant color requires understanding and controlling muted color.

In other words, you need to be able to work skillfully with color intensity.

Color rests on three pillars:

  • hue (red, blue and so on)
  • value (what we’ve been studying in both drawing and brushwork, but now that value is embedded in a color)
  • intensity (also known as chroma and saturation)

Most students have a vague intellectual grasp of color intensity. But they have little practical experience of how it works and how to control it.

And NOTHING will derail all your work on compositional structure and design as quickly as a confused understanding of color intensity.

Color mastery means knowing how to harmonize color intensities. Knowing how to orchestrate mute colors. And how to release color’s intensity right where you want the viewer to look.

That’s what you’ll discover in…

Mastering Vibrant Color

In this course, you will learn how to guide a viewer’s attention with color – just the way you did with value.

You’ll discover how to control your painting by muting colors knowledgeably and intentionally.

And just as you did in the drawing and brushwork courses, you’ll complete practical exercises, deliberate practice in several specific arenas, that will enable you to master color.

We’ll have a weekly live Zoom call with slide-show illustrations to introduce the week’s ideas. On your own time, you’ll watch detailed lessons for the week, with demonstration videos. As homework, you’ll produce two paintings, 8” x 10”, which you’ll then post and critique.

“The color course taught me how to create more drama in my compositions with value and nuance, instead of relying on just more color. I have learned the thoughtful and judicious use of color.”

Ramona Bagley, Angel Fire, NM

“Before taking the class I had paintings hanging around that I wasn’t happy with, but I didn’t know why. After taking Ian’s Color class I applied his principles to them, and voila! great paintings that sold right away!
I’ve taken so many classes but you have made it all understandable!
I’m in a nice show with my art group right now. I would’ve been reticent to do this before, but your classes gave me the courage!”

Diana McLaughlin, Redlands, CA

What You’ll Learn

The course will follow the same structure as the brushwork course: we’ll begin with the most foundation skills and build upon them each week, until you’ve mastered the art of vibrant color.

Week 1 – Learning to Play the Entire Color Field:
Understanding the Color Wheel in Three-Dimensions

Through a series of color mixing exercises you’ll learn the richness and range of color. You’ll feel your relationship with color go from a 2D color wheel to something you perceive as a series of 3D relationships.

Week 2 – Mastering Color Intensity:
Gaining Experience with the Least Understood Dimension of Color

Although everyone wants to push color, make it more vibrant, in fact, it is not until you know how to pull all the intensity out of a color that you start to gain mastery of color’s vibrancy.

Week 3 – Understanding Color Harmonies:
Inventing Color to Increase Impact

Of the three pillars of color, hue, the red, green part, is in fact the least important. By setting up an initial condition we can learn to create our own color harmonies and relationships.

Week 4 – Finally Full Color:
Using the Full Range of Expressive Color

This week we’ll practice using transition colors. By enlivening small areas of color on the edges of a shape we can learn to enhance and enliven the color in our whole painting.

Week 5 : How to Paint Green

Most students find green overwhelms their paintings. This week you’ll learn how to create a rich variety of natural greens.

The Color of Shadows

A common problem with student paintings is shadows just default to a muted dark. Yet every color in light has a very specific color that works in harmony with it in shadow. Learning this will make your shadows more luminous and enhance the sense of light in your paintings.

Week 6 – Putting Everything We’ve Learned into Practice

This week we have you take all you have learned in the drawing, brushwork and color courses and apply it to your own selection of images.

The course is designed to give you deliberate practice with key skills,so you can make fast progress and see dramatic improvements in your paintings.

“My excited kid half, the one that loves bright colors, learnt to coexist with the patient parent. My color feels way more in control now.”

Catherine Mix, Sequim, WA

“I’m a bit in awe of how well you have crafted these lessons actually.”

Donna Stevens, Bloomington, IN

“Like drinking from a fire hose.”

Marilena Schmidt, Vancouver, BC

“By the end of the Color course, I was surprised that my paintings looked like what I had always wanted them to look like, but had never been able to successfully get onto the canvas. It was one of the most worthwhile and productive classes I’ve ever taken.”

Gabrielle Sivitz, Wyncote, PA

Now Open for Registration

Vibrant Color

Course Dates:
September 30 – November 11

Where Will
Your Artistic Vision
Take You Next?

You’ve shown tremendous dedication to your craft over the last several weeks.

And you’ve developed an understanding of composition that elude many painters for years.

I’m sure you’re seeing the results in your painting.

And you want to keep growing, expanding, and expressing yourself artistically… because that’s what artists do.

So honor that impulse. Continue the artistic journey you began this year, and master the skills you’ll need that give expression to your unique artistic vision.

Join me for Mastering Vibrant Color and see where your inspiration will take you next.