Georgina Johnstone – Using a Limited Palette (Acrylics only) – FULL – wait list available

Georgina Johnstone – Using a Limited Palette (Acrylics only)

Five Sessions 2 1/2 hours each
Class Dates: March 22, 29 and April 5, 12, & 19
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please arrive at 6:15 to help to set up the studio
You are expected to help set up and clean up the studio
Open to 15 Members Only

“If you’re anything like me you have bought dozens of paint colours because you were enchanted with the colour, and you had every intention to use them at some point. The problem is that having all those colours available can get very confusing. Don’t get me wrong. I love colour but having 14 different blues and 12 shades of yellow make it hard to match that one particular green that you really liked and want to use again. After wasting time and paint on numerous occasions I decided to organize and use just a handful of colours—a warm and cool version of the 3 primaries. I still have all those others waiting on the sidelines if I want to invite them as ‘guests’.”.

Using a limited palette simplifies things and it also challenges us to make the most of the few palette colours we now have available. We have to think about colour differently—how can we mix the right dark green for the evergreens in shadow and also a fresh spring green for the grasses in the sunlight if we only have 2 blues and 2 yellows? That’s where understanding the temperature of colour comes in. Understanding the magic of complimentary colours is important too. Once you have established your limited palette it will become part of your style. People will be able to recognize your paintings because of the colours you use. This helps if they are looking to buy your work.”

In these classes, I will be presenting the advantages of using a limited palette of colours.
Some of the subjects covered will be:

  • Mixing neutrals.
  • Mixing a range of interesting greys.
  • Recognizing colour temperature. Without blinding you with science I’ll talk about warm and cool colours and how to make use of them.
  • Glazing
  • Protecting your finished painting.
  • And whatever else comes up!

In addition to demos at the beginning of each class, I will be available to give one-on-one help with your painting during the class. There may also be some loosening –up exercises!

Oh, and we will have fun!


My limited palette: Warm and cool versions of the 3 primary colours.

Warm Yellow, Cool Yellow, Warm Red, Cool Red
Warm Blue, Cool Blue, Titanium White

I also invite a few ‘guest colours’:
Payne’s Grey
Hooker’s Green
Cadmium Orange
Dioxazine Purple

(Bring all the yellows, reds and blues that you have. We will sort them in class.)
Make sure you have brushes designed for use with acrylic paint—man-made fibre. No natural or hogs’ hair brushes, especially not watercolour brushes. Acrylic paint will ruin them. Using specific acrylic brushes allows the paint to slide off easily onto the canvas. Hogs’ hair brushes are especially frustrating to use and you won’t enjoy the process of painting. Make sure you have some larger brushes too.

16” x 20” or any size you like. Also, bring your photos for reference. The subject is your choice.

Make sure you bring a good-sized water container. You need plenty of water when using acrylics. Check out thrift stores and dollar stores for Tupperware-type containers, square or round. Large yoghurt tubs (the square kind) are good too. You will need a water spritzer too to mist your paints occasionally.

Bring a good-sized palette. We will be using a lot of paint so you need plenty of room on your pal-ette! If you’re able the large size of the Stay-Wet palette is worth the investment. It can keep your paint workable for days and sometimes weeks. It has a snap on lid which keeps your acrylic paints from drying out. A large dinner plate or cookie sheet works too.

Shop towel is available at Home Depot and Canadian Tire. I prefer it to paper towel as it is stronger and reusable.

COLOUR WHEEL: If you have one.

Thursday evening classes are NOT run on a drop-in basis. Those that sign up for these classes are expected to attend each of the nights the class is offered. Once you have signed up please make note of the class(es) you have signed up for. A reminder email will go out in advance of the class BUT please be sure to make note of all classes you sign up for.

If, after you have signed up for the classes you find that you can not attend please notify the workshop chair as soon as possible so that someone on the waitlist or another member can take advantage of this wonderful learning opportunity offered to the SSWR Art Society members.

Please Note: If the course is full please submit your name to be added to the wait list. If a spot becomes available you will be notified.

If you have ANY questions or have to cancel please contact the Workshop Chair, Violet Smythe at and not the instructor. Thank you!