Foundations of Color

with Mary Jane Begin
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Foundations of Color
Video duration: 0s 1h 57m Beginner


Color is a fundamental element of our lives. Understanding how to use it for visual communication in a variety of contexts is essential for designers and artists. This course is about learning how to use color, not only to create more effective designs, but also to tell a story. Illustrator, professor, and author Mary Jane Begin explains how color intertwines with brand identity, how it affects the mood of a piece and directs the viewer's attention to areas of interest, and how it can connect images or create space between elements. She removes the mystery surrounding the color wheel and color relationships; shows how to layer, mix, and digitally alter color; and use light to integrate temperature, translucency, and contrast.

These lessons are applicable to a number of fields, including graphic design, photography, and illustration, and both traditional and digital media. Dive in and get a fresh look at color that is sure to revitalize your creativity and your work.

Topics include:
  • Understanding why color is essential for you as an artist, designer, or human being
  • Storytelling with color
  • Understanding brand identity and color language
  • Reviewing the history of color usage, from print to digital
  • Working with the color wheel
  • Understanding value, saturation, and temperature
  • Seeing through color: opaque, translucent, and transparent
  • Creating contrast
  • Exploring depth of field
  • Seeing complementary relationships in light
  • Achieving harmony and discord in a palette
  • Understanding color blindness


- Can you imagine if you suddenly saw your world without color? Unthinkable. Color lives and breathes all around us. It is a part of our every waking moment. We exist in a world of color. As artists, translating what we see from the three-dimensional to the two-dimensional world can be the greatest challenge. I love using color and talking about how it can be used most effectively. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional, I wanna share what I've discovered with you to empower your work and enhance your own color intuition.

We'll explore both digital and traditional media using examples of graphic design, painting, photography, and illustration. I'll uncover the basic elements of color, to the methods of mixing, layering, and charting color. We'll compare pigments to pixels and explore how light can be used dramatically with temperature, value, and contrast. So let's toss fear out the window and dive into color with eyes wide open. I can't wait to be your guide.

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