Using Colour in Portraits 1, Warm & Cool Colour

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Improve the colour in your portraits by learning about the balance between warm and cool colour, helping to keep your portraits lively!

About this Event

Course Price £120, reserve your place with a £30 deposit, the remainder will be invoiced before the course.

Identifying exact colour can be confusing, so keeping the process as simple as possible and looking only at whether the colour is at the warm or cool end of the spectrum is the perfect way to become a better painter.

A contrast of warm and cool colour notes brings a painting to life and helps you avoid the dreaded ‘muddy colour’ which can so easily develop.

To study this you’ll work with a restricted palette of Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White. Even with such a limited palette, you can get a wide range of colour and the small number of pigments keeps your colour mixes simple and clean. This will give you the confidence to work onto more complex mixes later.

The workshop will also introduce an approach designed to develop your painting in an organised way by making one decision at a time. You’ll look at the technicalities of oil paint, including layering, mediums and brushwork.

What you’ll learn will be perfectly suited to making stand alone portrait sketches, studies for studio portraits or simply developing your knowledge of general colour use.

Is this course for me?

If you’ve not painted in colour before this is a great first step. So if you’re looking for a course to help bridge the gap between drawing and painting then this is the course for you.

If you already work with colour but find your mixes getting muddy or lacking clarity, learning about the fundamental principles covered in this course will help make your paintings more vibrant.

The class is limited to 8 students, giving you plenty of personal feedback and helping you work towards your own personal goals. Whether you’re looking to learn fundamental principles or push your skills from a more advanced position the workshop will have plenty to offer.

Workshop overview

Each week, Christopher will begin the session with an explanation and demonstration of what he will cover. You’ll then work on your own painting using reference images sent to you, getting plenty of personal feedback as you progress.

You’ll develop your portrait study in stages enabling you to concentrate on one concept at a time.

  • How to paint a well structured head with accurately placed features
  • Identifying and using warm and cool colour notes
  • Creating focus through brushwork and selective rendering of detail

By the end of the course you’ll be familiar with the principles behind identifying and mixing warm and cool colour and developed your portrait painting technique.

About Christopher Clements

Christopher Clements is a professional painter and founder of Northern Realist Drawing & Painting. He has exhibited internationally and featured in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and Pastel Society annual exhibitions. He studied Fine Art at Manchester School of Art and Classical Drawing and Painting at the Angel Academy, Florence. Christopher has been teaching drawing and painting at Northern Realist and the University of Salford for 7 years. He combines his extensive subject knowledge and friendly approach to bring out the best in his students. Classes with Christopher are always informative, constructive and fun.

How the course works and what you’ll need

The workshop will be done using Zoom, you will be emailed a reference image and an invitation to the sessions after booking.

Bookings are made by paying a £30 deposit via Eventbrite, you will then be invoiced for the remaining £90 balance.

You’ll need an internet connection and webcam and the following materials:

  • One piece of primed canvas or canvas paper
  • A range of hog bristle painting brushes
  • 1 House painting brush
  • Turpentine, Odourless Mineral Spirits, Sansodor, Zest it or similar
  • Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
  • Painting Palette
  • Dipping Cup
  • Titanium White Oil Paint
  • Burnt Sienna Oil Paint
  • Ultramarine Blue Oil Paint
  • Cadmium Red or Cadmium Red Hue Oil Paint
  • Rags and Kitchen Roll

Essential Info & Booking

  • Price :£120 (£30 Deposit via Eventbrite to reserve your place)
  • Date: Thursdays 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th February 2021
  • Time: 18:30-21:00
  • Location: Online via Zoom

Questions: Use Contact Form above right or visit the Contact Page or email

Course Price £120, reserve your place with a £30 deposit, the remainder will be invoiced before the course.


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?


What's the refund policy?

No deposit refunds, remainder refunds up to 2 weeks in advance.

Full refund if the course is cancelled

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Date and Time


Online Event

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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