Deborah Shaw: Color Mixing Workshop

This workshop has been postponed due to COVID-19 recommendations. We will notify everyone as soon as we are able to reschedule. In the meantime, please stay safe and well.


Saturday, April 4 – Sunday, April 5, 2020
9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Deb Shaw's Studio, Newport Beach (Note: address and directions will be sent to all registered workshop participants.)

BAGSC Members: $150 both days, or $75 for Saturday or Sunday
Non-Members: $200 both days, or $100 for Saturday or Sunday

Maximum Registration
Sorry! The Color Mixing Workshop is full.
Please click here to request having your name added to the waiting list. We will let you know as soon as any spots become available.

No refunds after March 21, 2020
To register: Register and pay online using the button below! Please review the payment and refund policy in the right column on the "Classes" page. Prefer to register by check? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair by clicking here.

Please bring your lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Workshop Description

This fun, no-stress, pop-up workshop covers color mixing and theory for all levels—beginners through advanced. Come for both days or one day only (your choice). Choose watercolor or colored pencils. Learn about:

  • The hidden values in color.
  • Where colors fall on the color wheel, and how that affects mixing.
  • Transparency, lightfastness, granulation.
  • Basic color theories and changing color through the ages (how did Van Gogh get those sad violets?).
  • Color mixing and painting methods.
  • How to avoid mixing mud, AND how to (purposefully) mix mud, shadows and other nasty colors.
  • Mixing beyond the basics, including the ultimate color mixing exercise.

A few of the subjects for each day include:

Day 1: Saturday, April 4

  • Additive vs. subtractive color in brief (why you can’t match a color from your screen or digital device)
  • Mother Nature doesn’t waste pigment; how to find the colors
  • Complimentary colors and why they’re so important
  • The six-color palettes (LOTS of them—not just one!)
  • Mixing colors and convenient colors
  • Mixing grays
  • Creating references
  • The Ultimate Color Mixing Exercise (review and take home)

Day 2: Sunday, April 5

  • Different ways to mix color
    • Physical mixing
    • Layering (so many ways to layer!)
    • Optical mixing
    • Glazing
    • Combinations
  • Getting dark darks
  • Mixing shadow colors
  • Mixing browns
  • The Ultimate Color Mixing Exercise (review and take home)

Everyone will receive copies of all handouts for both days.

Color Mixing Materials List

Click here to download a PDF of the materials list.

Deb Shaw

About the Instructor

Deborah Shaw has a degree in fine art from Pomona College, The Claremont Colleges, where she also studied botany and native California flora. Her work has been displayed in juried and non-juried exhibitions around the world, is in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, is part of the Botanical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, and is in private collections.

She has received numerous awards for art, illustration, and design. Her preferred media include graphite, watercolor, colored pencil, scratchboard, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Ms. Shaw is an active member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, Northern California Society of Botanical Artists, the Southwest Society of Botanical Artists and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

She has taught botanical art at The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Virginia Robinson Gardens, among other venues. She taught illustration, digital design and information design at the University of California, Irvine, Extension where she was the recipient of the “Distinguished Instructor” award.

Deborah Shaw website (mostly there -- getting closer to completion)