Finding Harmony with a Limited Palette

IMG_8228 - Season's End

Title: Finding Harmony with a Limited Palette

Type of Class: Painting, Color Theory

Instructor: Theresa Grillo Laird

Time: 10 am to 4pm

Dates: Oct 22 and 23, 2021

Price: $300/275 members

This 2-day workshop is perfect for anyone wanting to eliminate the confusion of color mixing!

Do you own countless tubes of paint but still can’t find the right color when you need it? I know. I too had an impressive drawerful of colors but somehow still didn’t have that exact color I was looking for. Chaos reigned in my drawer and in my paintings until I found the simplicity of working with a limited palette. This workshop will show you how to gain control of color.

In this workshop, students will discover how to create the colors mixtures possible with various limited palettes. Students will then paint small simple paintings to try out their new knowledge.


Participants will learn

  • to mix a full range of values and temperatures from each palette.
  • how to create color harmony in their paintings
  • the benefits of working with fewer colors
  • How and why the same color can look completely different depending on what it’s next to


Reserve your place! Limited enrollment to assure safe social distancing.


3 -5 small panels 6×8 or 8×10

As many of these colors as you have-ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, permanent red or cadmium red light or medium, venetian red, alizarine crimson, any violet or magenta shade, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, Indian yellow, thalo green or viridian green. (I have some colors to share if you’re missing any.)

A palette or disposable palette to mix colors on. Painting knife for mixing colors. Paper towels. The usual brushes, thinner etc.

I’ll supply simple photos to practice with, or you may bring your own. But be sure they have simple shapes and distinct value differences.

“Painting, like the rest of life, is a journey filled with glimpses of the less obvious truth if you take the time to look. What is truly there beyond the impressions of a first glance?

 This question filled my mind after an early painting experience. I was younger than school age and was sitting at a child size picnic table in my back yard on a glorious summer day. The scent of fresh laundry that my mother was hanging, filled the air. In front of me was a coloring book with an image of an elephant already covered in a layer of black dots. There wasn’t much room to color between those black dots but I picked up a crayon and was about to begin when my mother set a brush and glass of  water beside me. “You need this.”I touched a dripping brush to the page and jumped back in startled amazement as a sea of viridian green raced across the page.

I was so intrigued by color hidden within black dots, that I started looking more closely at other things to see if there was another reality underneath. I scraped rocks to see if they held color under their dusty surface. I took pieces of bark off off tree trunks hoping to find hidden colors. I peeled the beige paint off the metal buttons of my shirt to see if the paint was masking other colors. When I didn’t find colors there, I dreamt dreams of buttons with layer upon layer of vivid colors. I knew I wanted to be an artist though I barely knew what that meant. I was still in elementary school when I began painting in oils.

Today I still paint in oils, and I’m still searching for what lies hidden within. What am I really seeing and what combination of line, brush stroke and color do I need, to reveal the true character within the seemingly ordinary? That is the journey I’m so fortunate to have been set upon. I invite you to enjoy the results”.

A $25 fee will be charged for all class refunds due to a withdrawal. Refunds will be given up to seven (7) days prior to class start date. Thereafter, no refunds will be given, unless the ESAC cancels the class.


A  fee reflecting 25% of the registration tuition will be charged for all workshop refunds due to a withdrawal. Refunds will be given up to one (1) month prior to the workshop start date. Thereafter, norefunds will be given, unless the ESAC cancels the workshop.


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