Rigorous Color System for Artists

This online course is designed for artists who want to seriously understand color and utilize the understanding to guide their artistic practices. Using videos and presentations, this course will introduce a scientific way to manage the color system.

Simple mathematics will be used to establish an unambiguous theoretic model to describe colors rigorously. Accurate measurement methods will help students to evaluate the colors they are using directly. Combined with this online lecture, multiple hands-on exercises will provide the students to practice on using the theory and obtain the first hand feeling of the colors they use.

The course has 5 parts:

Part 1: Color Theory (50 min) $20

This is the foundation of color management. ​This part covers: Munsell color system, the concepts of hue, chroma, value, and their quantitative presentation in the color space, the correct color wheel to use, how to measure a color sample and see its location on the color wheel, computer color system and how it is related to Munsell system.

Part 2: Color Mixing (120 min) $20

Genuine experience of moving color in the color space is mandatory to an artist. Through hands-on exercises you will learn how to manipulate colors according to your needs. This part will cover: how to vary the hue, chroma, and value in a controlled way. With a demo, you will see the strategy of color matching in a real painting situation.

Part 3: Color Relativity (55 min) $20

Human eyes identify colors in a relative sense. This part will establish the color relationships. We define the "color contrast" in the color space, then describe the color variation due to "color relativity". We demonstrate color relativity effect can dramatically change our color perception. Qiang has investigated and presented the rules of the color relativity effect. The understanding of these rules helps artists to visualize colors correctly in any multi-color situations. This study lays the theoretical foundation for painters color practices.

Part 4: Color in Real World (under development)

We see color because of light. This part covers the effects of light on realistic situation. We will understand the relationships of light and shadow, and establish the concepts of color temperature, unification, and harmony.

Part 5: Color Design (under development)

Color is a powerful tool for artists to show their creativity. This part will discuss aesthetics and the psychology of color and cover various kind of color schemes artists can use for create impacts to viewers. Working as music notes, colors can be rhythmic and melodic to compose your dream painting.