Learning Color Theory with Stephen Quiller

Learning Color Theory with Stephen Quiller

I became fascinated about color theory after reading the book "Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory" by Stephen Quiller.

I wanted to learn more, so I shelled out $99 for his DVD course "Color Foundation for the Painter." I've been following along with Quiller's watercolor demos, and painting subjects I wouldn't normally paint.

Like this:

Red Rocks Watercolor Study

It's supposed to be a study of monochromatic color, but I think it leans a little too far to the blue side to be truly monochromatic. I still like the way it turned out, though. Reminds me of the red rocks in Sedona.

Color Wheels & Charts

I've also been painting color wheels based on Nita Leland's book Confident Color: An Artist's Guide To Harmony, Contrast And Unity, which I checked out from the library. It feels almost meditative to mix colors in such precise, calculated ratios.

One of the exercises in Stephen Quiller's Color Foundations DVD is to create a hue and value chart with two complementary colors.

Quiller Color Chart

Here's one I did with pthalo blue and cadmium scarlet. It was much harder than I thought it would be. The blue is  stronger in value and intensity than the orange, so you can't just mix them 50/50 to create a completely neutralized blend.

Quiller recommends doing six of these color charts for a 12-color palette. But after doing just one, I think I need a break.