Building Your Palette : A Colour Theory Series with Lauren McKinley Renzetti

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Join Artist & colour expert Lauren McKinley Renzetti for this series designed to hone your colour-mixing skills. This is a perfect foundation for your painting practice and getting to know your palette. Workshops are interchangeable. Descriptions below.

Join Toronto Artist & colour expert Lauren McKinley Renzetti for this series of 3 hour Colour Theory Workshops designed to hone your colour-mixing skills. This is a perfect foundation for your painting practice and getting to know your colour palette. Sign up for one or more - they are interchangeable and good for all levels.

Materials are not included, but ARTiculations students are offered a one-time 20% off in store coupon that can be used towards your materials list! See Materials List Below


COLOUR 7: Luminosity and Lustre | Saturday, May 27 ,10-1pm, 2023
Using a simple still life set up we will work our way through the primary, secondary and tertiary colours within a pair of colour compliments to explore how lustre and luminosity works.

COLOUR 8: Value Contrast and Simultaneous Contrast | Saturday, May 27, 2-5pm, 2023
Through creating several studies to acquire a better sense of reading the true value of a colour . We will create 4 simple studies : achromatic, monochromatic, polychromatic palette with 5 different values and one with all of the same value to eliminate toe variety of value. This is a great workshop in honing your visual acuity.

Scroll to the bottom to see descriptions for COLOUR 1-6 (New sessions coming Fall 2023!)


Bring your own colours to explore your chosen palette!
Acrylic, Gouache, Watercolour or Water-mixable Oil paints welcome - Please no traditional oils or solvents.

Titanium White 
Mars Black or Lamp Black
Cad Yellow Medium
Red - Magenta or Cad Red Medium 
Blue - Ultramarine, Cyan, or Phthalo 

*If you need to purchase paints for this class, we recommend Holbein Acrylic Gouache Primary Mixing Set for best results.

-Soft synthetic brushes. Suggestions; HJ Taklon Round Series 970 Size 4,6,10. HJ Taklon 950 flat ¼”.
-HB Pencil
-Masking Tape
-Mixed media sketchbook or good loose thick cardstock or bristol paper around 8x11
-Folder for bringing work home

*Hand outs and test strips will be provided.


All ARTiculations workshops require advance registration, unless otherwise noted. In the event of insufficient enrolment, registrants will be notified prior to the workshop start date and a full refund will be given. No refunds/credits will be provided for withdrawal fewer than one week prior to the start of class. ARTiculations does not provide make-up classes or substitutions. This policy is subject to change without notice.

Some reviews from students:

5/5Lauren is a colour master and great teacher! Her course gave new insights into how colour theory and provided practical tips on application to painting and printmaking. Highly recommended!- DG

5/5The balance of content with hands on painting was effective. It was a fun day, but we sure worked hard. Lauren is amazing at keeping a fast pace and yet continually touching base with each student. I look forward to taking other courses with her.- PS

5/5Lauren was excellent, well prepared and her teaching method was first rate. The only thing for me was that by 2-2:30 my brain was fried, have no idea how this could be dealt with.-DM

5/5Lauren is awesome! She is patient and approachable. The course design is amazing. I learned so much in one day. Loved that we were put to “work” right away. Lots of great exercises and learning activities. Thank you so much Lauren!! -LS


COLOUR 1: Value, Basic Colour Wheel & Tertiaries with your Palette | Saturday, February 25, 10-1pm, 2023
Looking at the grey scale, your own personal colour wheel, and complimentary colour strips, students will explore how colour works in relation to its neighbours on the colour wheel. We will paint our way through true primary, secondary and tertiary colours along with homogeneous, analogous and complementary colours.

COLOUR 2: Goethe Colour Triangle to create colour Harmonies | Saturday, February 25, 2-5pm, 2023
Using a simple formula created by Goethe, learn to work with colours that might not normally harmonize through mixing and creating tertiary colours. This is a great workshop in getting familiar with your preferred palette. It is great to keep a palette minimal. This exercise is helpful for portraiture, still-life, abstract or landscape. Tertiary colours are the support colours that help liven up the brighter purer hues.

COLOUR 3: Theory of Extension | Saturday, March 25, 10-1pm, 2023
Itten proposed that certain colours need to be used in harmony with their opposites. In this workshop, we will use Itten’s ratios for extension; Yellow 10% with Purple 90% Orange 30% with Blue 70%, Green 50% with Red 50% . We will explore how this works through a series of exercises.

COLOUR 4: Vibrating Colours and Bezold Effect | Saturday March 25, 2-5pm, 2023
Ever wonder how to make optical illusion art and Abstract hard edge painting really work? In this colour theory workshop we will look at artists like Bridget Riley, Victor Vaserely, and Wes Wilson and explore how they made their work POP.

COLOUR 5: Depth with Tonal variation | Saturday, April 22, 10-1pm, 2023
How do you make things recede and have true depth in a landscape? This workshop answers this question. Bring some photos you are interested in making really deep.

COLOUR 6: Fauvist Self Portraits | Saturday, April 22, 2-5pm, 2023
Colour has been viewed as a way to express yourself and your emotions. Using the fauvists like Henry Matisse, Raoul Dufy, and Georges Braque we will delve into your own Fauvist portrait.

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