Using Colour in Portraits 1, Warm & Cool Colour

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Event description
Paint a portrait using a restricted palette, learning about colour temperature, an essential step on the way to using a full colour palette.

About this event

A contrast of warm and cool colour notes brings a painting to life and helps you avoid the dreaded ‘muddy colour’. This course with Christopher Clements will help you learn to use warm and cool colour effectively in your portraits.

Identifying exact colour can be confusing, so keeping the process as simple as possible really helps. Deciding whether a colour sits towards the warm or cool end of the spectrum is the perfect way start.

To study this you’ll work with a complimentary colour palette of Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White. This choice of colours will enable you to mix you a wide range of skin tones simply, enabling you to keep your colour mixes straight forward and clean.

This restricted palette will provide you with an excellent intermediary step between mass drawing and colour painting. The skills you’ll develop will give you the confidence to work onto more complex mixes later.

The course 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.

The course will take place via Zoom and a recording of the session will be available for the following 7 days week. This allows you continue to work on your portrait study, recap on the principles or catch up if you miss a session.

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 has limited numbers, 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 course will have plenty to offer.

Course 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.

  • Paint a well structured head with accurately placed features
  • Learn to identify and use warm and cool colour notes
  • Explore the relationship between tonal value and colour
  • Create 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.

You will have the option of joining A Whatsapp group to send you essential images and provide group feedback throughout the course.

A recording of each session will be available to participants for the week following each lesson allowing you to continue to work on your painting and recap on the week’s principles or catch up if you miss a session.

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 deposit via Eventbrite, you will then be invoiced for the remaining balance.

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

  • 2/3 pieces of primed canvas or canvas paper
  • Willow Charcoal
  • A putty eraser
  • Charcoal fixative
  • 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

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Date and time


Online event

Refund policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Organiser Christopher Clements

Organiser of Using Colour in Portraits 1, Warm & Cool Colour

Christopher Clements has been a working artist for almost 20 years. He studied Fine Art Painting at Manchester School of art before progressing on to three and a half years intensive study of Classical Realist Drawing & Painting at the Angel Academy in Florence.


In 2013 he founded Northern Realist Drawing & Painting in Manchester and teaches at the University of Salford. Christopher designs and teaches all of the studio courses at Northern Realist while continuing his own artwork alongside. He has extensive experience in learning, teaching and working professionally, he has plenty to offer art students whatever your experience or motivation. Drawing and painting is essential to his daily work and this practical experience and constant development is reflected in the courses he teaches.

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