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The Art and Science of Color

Artist-instructor: Ian Jehle

Format: Online Live Workshop (livestreaming with class recordings and instructor feedback).

September 21 – October 26, 2023
– 6x Thursdays
– 6-8pm CET Online
(6pm in Berlin, 12pm in New York, 9am in San Francisco, 5pm in London)

Cost: 185 €
(includes 19%VAT)
Visit our ABOUT page for community pricing and other discount programs.

Supply List: See “Materials” section below.

What to Expect:

  • Understanding Color: Light & Perception
  • The Attributes of Color: Value, Hue & Intensity
  • Color Interaction: How one color affects another
  • Color Systems: Complimentary, Analogous, Tonal
  • Color Systems: Persian Miniatures to contemporary art

Learn color theory and how it applies to painting.

Dive deep into the world of color through a combination of hands on exercises and theory. Use acrylic paint to understand color relationships as well as how to mix and apply those colors to dazzling effect. Simple exercises using paint will help us analyze the inherent attributes of color and learn how to effectively work with those individual attributes.

Anyone creating visual content can benefit from a deep understanding of how to use color, a critical component of any visual communication. Artist and educator Ian Jehle explores color and its perceptual influence within his own artistic practice, including immersive installations, painting and interactive art. 

Color is emotional…

Color has the power to evoke emotion and trigger memories. For most of us, it is what we remember when we walk into a beautiful room or what we think of when we remember our favorite painting. But how does color work? How do we distinguish one color from another? What do we mean when we say that colors go together.

Color is fundamental…

Starting with the simple color wheel that most of us know from childhood, this course looks at how color operates in the eye and in the mind, as both light and biology. Taking examples from film, animation, painting, and advertising, we will look at systems that various cultures and media use to organize and choose colors. Whether you’re interested in fine art, video, design or digital media, this workshop will teach you the fundamental tools to incorporate color into whatever you do.


  • Paints in he following colours:  Black, White, Bright Red or Vermillion, Lemon Yellow, Cobalt or Royal Blue, Cyan or Turquoise, Bright Green or Spring Green, Magenta. (Paint colors may have different names depending on the brand.) You may choose between oil, acrylic, watercolor or gouache paint. It is best to use the type of paint you are most comfortable with. If you do not already use paint, then I recommend acrylics, 75ml tubes or larger. Avoid paints labeled as “student grade” as these have less pigment and therefore are not well suited for a class about color. Golden, Lascaux, Windsor Newton, or Schminke brand paints are recommended.
  • Paint Pad (for oils and acrylics), watercolor pad  (watercolors) or bristol vellum pad (gouaches) – A3 or 8.5” x 11” or similar size
  • Small sketchbook, pen and pencils for taking notes and testing colors
  • Brushes suitable for the paint you are using. If you are buying brushes for the first time I recommend:
  • Long handle Synthetic Bristle Flat #12 or larger
  • Long handle Synthetic Bristle Rounds: #2, 6
  • Long handle Synthetic Bristle Filberts: #4, 8, 12


Our Online Workshop Format:

  • Livestreaming classes take place via online video conference (using Zoom). The instructor conducts live demos with step-by-step instruction so that you can work together in real time. You also have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback during class time.
  • We keep class sizes small and the atmosphere is interactive and supportive.
  • Finish exercises or practice at your own pace, at home, outside of class time.
  • Receive individual feedback on your completed work and exchange comments and questions with the instructor and your fellow workshop participants in an encouraging environment.
  • Find supplemental material and watch the progress of other participants by visiting the workshop Dropbox folder in between classes.
  • Recordings from each week’s livestreaming session are available in case you miss a class or want to review a demo.


About Your Instructor: Ian Jehle

Ian Jehle is a Canadian artist and teacher based in Berlin and Washington DC. He is currently on the faculty at American University in Washington DC and previously was head of engineering at the construction firm P&J Arcomet. Jehle studied computer science, mathematics, philosophy and visual arts at American University, Kansas City Art Institute, Brandeis University and Columbia University.

Jehle’s work focuses on the intersection of math, engineering and visual arts. His large scale math-based installation projects are often participatory in nature, using games, puzzles and live events where participants are invited to create works of art by following a simple set of mathematical rules. Jehle considers his teaching an important part of his art-making process and often includes groups of students in the design and implementation of his project based works.