Color for Painters

Kimberly Trowbridge is a two-time Neddy Award Finalist (2014, 2016), and an Artist Trust GAP Grant recipient (2014). She received an MFA from University of Washington, 2006. She is a plein-air painter, figure painter, installation artist, and performer. She leads plein-air painting tours in Portugal, and Twisp, WA. Trowbridge is passionate about perceiving color relationships in nature and approaches the painting process as a means for self-discovery.
9:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
Please come prepared with all of the following materials for the first day of class:
Oil Paint Colors. Required Palette:

  • Cadmium red (medium)
  • Cadmium orange
  • Cadmium yellow light (Gamblin)
  • Phthalo green (Winsor Green, blue shade)
  • Phthalo blue
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Dioxazine purple
  • White, titanium or mixed (titanium + zinc) – large tube

Buy the above oil paints in Utrecht, Gamblin, Winsor & Newton (NOT Winton), Williamsburg, or Old Holland brands (Daniel Smith no longer makes cadmiums, do not purchase equivalents). Avoid pigments with the word “hue” following the name—they are cheaper because they do not contain the actual pigment you want. You may need to buy additional tubes of the above paint as we go through the course.

Tools and Accessories:

  • Medium-size palette knife (curved/spade/bent handle, not straight—2″ – 3″)
  • Oil brushes—get an assortment, medium/small, rounds/filberts, smooth and bristle: (get at least one smooth round), 1/4″ – 1/2″ – make sure they are oil brushes
  • Palette—(glass is best, and the larger the better for mixing, at least 16″ x 18″ recommended; place a sheet of white paper underneath it and cardboard for backing, attached with tape around the edges. (Perkins glass on Broadway is good for glass, ¼ inch, sanded edges)
  • Razor blade scraper (window scraper)—to clean palette
  • Odorless Mineral Spirits , OMS ( “Gamsol” or “Turpenoid” preferred)
  • Linseed oil (small bottle)
  • Plastic squeeze bottle with pointed tip, and small funnel for filling (This is very important—fill this with half odorless turps, and half linseed oil. This will be your painting medium. I do not allow open jars/containers of turps in my classes)
  • Paper towels or Rags

Optional, but very nice to have:

  • Disposable latex or vinyl gloves
  • Plastic palette box, or tuperware, with lid, for preservation of paint (doesn’t need to be large –this can just be used to store extra, unused paint for the next class)


  • 3 pieces of foam-core or cardboard (at least ¼” thick), all cut to equal size, around 12″ or 14″ square (the exact size is not crucial, just as long as the 3 pieces are the same, we tape these together on the first day, so please have them pre-cut)
  • Packet of assorted colored artists paper/construction paper
  • Masking tape or artist’s tape
  • Scissors


  • Pre-primed canvas paper pad (around 16 x 20″ ) – the thicker the better. (I prefer Canson Canva-Paper Pads)
  • Acrylic Gesso (White)
  • Canvas paper will be used for short and extended studies. Please come to every class with a prepared sheet (I recommend adding at lease 2 additional layers of gesso, sanding lightly in-between to eliminate edges if necessary)
  • 1 Stretched, Gessoed Canvas, around 18 x 24 for final painting (Week 9 & 10)
Improve your ability to perceive color and to express that vision in your paintings as you learn to accurately observe color relationships and to mix equivalent analogies with oil paint. As you work from still-life set-ups, interior space, and the life model, you will build on your understanding of color as value, temperature, and intensity with Atelier instructor Kimberly Trowbridge. You will spend a great deal of time mixing on the palette, making personal color charts, and working on color studies from observation.