Johannes Itten - Bauhaus - The Art of Colour

Revitalising Colour

Mixed Media / Oil - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Revitalise your painting and use colour with renewed confidence. Inspiration from Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten contrasted with the lyrical approach of Winifred Nicholson, will open a whole new world of possibilities.

Develop a new understanding and confidence in your use of colour. The Bauhaus artist and teacher Johannes Itten contrasted with the more lyrical approach of Winifred Nicholson are the principal inspiration for this exciting practical course.

Explore the difference between the scientific versus emotional approach to colour. How do we balance the heart and the mind as artists when we paint?

Learn to enrich and enhance your application of colour. Benefit from structured exercises, using imagery from inside and outside the studio, to revitalise your studio practice and awaken your eyes to new colour and painterly possibilities using oil paints.

Day to day plan

This is a rough indication of what to expect over the course. However sometimes the structure of the days may alter depending on the nature of the group and weather.

Day 1

A day of demonstrations, exercises and painting, using oil paint. Based on Itten, we will explore contrasts of light/dark, warm /cool and complimentary colours. The focus will be on the relationship of tone to colour, saturation, tints and shades. After drawing in charcoal, working broadly from still life, we will use non-local colour to create a convincing image.  

Day 2

We will start the day looking at the sketchbooks of Barbara Rae, Turner, Percy Kelly and others, then go out sketching to create tonal and line drawings with strong ,dynamic compositions. Back at the studio, we will mix a range of greys from complimentaries and develop paintings using a limited colour palette. 

Day 3

A day starting with the wonderful paintings of Winifred Nicholson, and a consideration of her essay ‘A Liberation of Colour’. This is a less cerebral approach and provides a valuable contrast to Itten. We will paint swatches according to the chart in ‘A Liberation of Colour’ then each student will develop a small array of harmonious colours. We will conclude by comparing their results with those of the students of Johannes Ittens.

What will I learn?

  1. A good understanding of the relationship of tone to colour
  2. Enhanced visual awareness of colour nuances 
  3. More self-awareness of colour preferences 
  4. New paint mixing/handling skills 
  5. Better understanding of composition, tone and line 

Who would this course suit?

The course would suit those who would like to develop their confidence in the use of colour and handling paint. There will be a focus on expressive mark making with an abstract approach. There will be time spent out in the landscape so ideal for those who like to spend time working outside.

Revitalising Colour

Mixed Media / Oil – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Jill’s Work

My practice begins with drawing, often taking me to wild and wonderful parts of Cornwall, capturing fleeting moments where light and colour create atmosphere and expression. These underpin my largely figurative paintings, which convey a sense of incompleteness; of place and mystery.

You might also like...