Student’s Perspective: Color Theory I

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Pastel by student, Patty Rios after taking Color Theory I. Patty says, “My first pastel work after taking the CT workshop. I went for a tetrad. I did my value study first then decided on the color scheme of blue violet + yellow orange and red violet + yellow green. I really felt like I learned something! “


Like watching television in black and white and then suddenly being able to see a favorite program in color, the workshop, Color Theory I, seemed to open up new worlds in art from the first day.

I had learned how challenging mediums in color could be, simply by trial and error. While these attempts produced a few happy accidents, there were also many unhappy ones. The color theory workshop ended the guesswork with a logical explanation of the “how and why” of color.
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Beginning with primary colors, we learned how color temperature affects our perception of an image, and how to create various tints, shades and hues.

I’ve read plenty of material on color matching and making, but it certainly couldn’t go the distance that the hands-on workshop approach gave. Rather than stabbing in the dark to make and use the desired color, mixing and applying paint to make color wheels and color value charts allowed us to experience the performance of the paints and colors first-hand, and the charts are a wonderful tool for future reference.
Painting may be an art, but color theory is a science, and I found the hands-on, technical instruction to be invaluable.

Student’s Perspective: Making Time for Art

photo art courtesy Anna Laero, Flickr

As an adult student, one of the greatest difficulties to developing my art is making time. For that matter, making time seems to be the difficulty with most things– finding that precious and elusive balance between work and recreation, obligations and creativity.

When Audrey announced the three-day Color Theory Workshop, my immediate excitement was dimmed by my next thought, Where will I find the time? Playing back and forth in my mind were thoughts of my mounting to-do list versus the thrill of progressing my art skill. I noticed that with my contrasting thoughts came a swing of emotion as well. While I thought about art, my face and posture lifted, my mind saw endless possibility, and my energy level soared.

photo courtesy

What if, I thought, following this hobby that I love so much, this pursuit of art, could be the ticket to achieving balance? What if the energy I gain from my artistic progress would propel me through life’s more mundane tasks?

With the reward of the workshop before me like a carrot on a stick, I felt myself breeze through my work, as if the thrill of art was pulling me through to the other end, as my new thought became, How do I not have the time?

Color Theory I will be February 9th – 11th, 9:00 – 4:00 at 324 S. Campbell, Springfield, MO. See you there??


Color! Bloom and Grow as an Artist!

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Art is simply more than just playing.  Creating any kind of art uses a different side of your brain and it challenges you to solve problems creatively.  There is no set recipe, but you can use some tools of the trade to help.

Let’s take using color for example.  Colors evoke emotions by themselves regardless of subject matter.  Learning to use the right color for the emotion you want the viewer to have is critical.  Colors change when they are placed beside other colors too.  It’s no wonder figuring out color is challenging. 

Look at these two paintings of the same subject.  The color scheme chosen gives the viewer a different feel.  How does the blue and orange painting make you feel compared to the yellow and purple?  Do you know what color scheme the artists used in each?

If you want to learn more about color theory, I am offering a 3 Day Color Theory Workshop.  Through a study of Color Theory, you will be able to use color with the biggest impact, and you will know which colors to use and how to mix them. 

You will also learn the different colors of light.  Different times of the day have a different light.  Geographic locations also differ in their light.  Not all light is created equally!   Here’s some examples of the color of light at two different times on a sunny Missouri day.

Color of light 2:09 MO sunny day

Color of light 2:09
MO sunny day

Color of Light 4:15 pm MO sunny day

Color of Light 4:15 pm
MO sunny day







The world of color is an exciting one!   Let your artistic garden start to bloom today by reserving your seat in this 3 Day Color Theory Workshop!

324 S. Campbell Street, Springfield, MO

Monday – Wednesday – February 9th – 11th

9:00 – 4:00

Registration fee:  $200.00 

OZ, the Journey from Black & White to Color!


Color Theory I  – 3 Day Workshop

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about color. Not sure this Workshop is for you???  Listen to what student Kelsey Zink said about her experience:

“Imagine Dorothy on her farm in Kansas.   You could easily illustrate it with smooth graphite, rich charcoal, soft pastel.  I enjoyed learning to work with all of these mediums, but it wasn’t long before I wanted more.  What artist doesn’t long to go beyond the grayscale prairie and plunge into the exciting realm of the brilliant, colorful Oz?

I’m a Graphic Designer.  I know how color works.  I’d already taken color theory in college, so all I had to do was grab my bright tubes of acrylic paint and plunge in, right?  Wrong!  I soon discovered my textbook knowledge helped little in practical application when actually working with color.  And soon, instead of the Emerald City, all I had really been successful in illustrating was the color pallet of a swamp.

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

You know, familiar Kansas wasn’t so bad.  At least I know how to shade the landscape there…maybe I should just do a character study on barns.  Time to click my slippers and close my eyes – “There’s no place like home.’  

And then Audrey offered a course, “Color Theory I”.  I cringed, and signed up, pretending it didn’t scare me.

Audrey teaches a concise, hands-on, nuts and bolts course.  It wasn’t easy, but she was patient and soon the light-bulb of understanding was switching on for me.

Audrey was able to clear the mystery of color: value, temperature, intensity – all the keys to successful color mixing.  And that was just the beginning!  This course was an essential springboard to working with color.  It has enabled me to pursue working in colored pencil, pastel, acrylic and mixed media pieces that have been so much fun to create.  The reference book she provides has been a continual resource as I continue on the journey down the yellow brick road!”

Bring a little color to your world of art with:

Color Theory I

February 9th – 11th, 9:00 – 4:00

324 S. Campbell Street, Springfield, MO

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up to get the 10% early registration discount.  Full cost $200.

What Are You Waiting For?


Original pastel by student Sherri Davis

Treat yourself to the vibrant energy of color in this 3 Day Color Theory Workshop!  There’s still time to get your registration in for the discount.  You’ll walk away with a wealth of knowledge and tools to use with color.

Here’s what student Sherri Davis had to say about her experience after she attended a workshop.  “At the time I took Audrey’s Color Theory Workshop, I had read books about color, color temperature and used the color wheel a little bit.  My art was okay, but I knew it could and should be better.  This workshop opened up my world.  I am not only seeing and understanding why I like a particular piece of artwork, but I’m able to apply what I have learned to my own work.  After talking Audrey’s class, I can now look at a color and know what goes into mixing that color.  It is no longer a mystery.  If I don’t have a particular color I’m looking for, I mix it.

In addition to mixing any color you want, you have to know how to use it to get the feeling you want to express.  Yes, I learned all that.  I have taken numerous workshops and I believe taking this workshop has been the one that has improved my work more than any other.  Thank you, Audrey, for offering this experience to me and others.”

Open your eyes to an all new world of color!

February 9th – 11th

Hosted at the 319 Event Center on historic Walnut Street in Springfield, MO

3 Day Color Theory Workshop February 9 – 11



Original art by student Markus Pope

IT’S BACK!!!!  Join me for a 3 Day Color Theory Workshop and learn how to mix and use color!  This has been the most requested workshop that I offer.  Now you can see what all the buzz is about!

Here’s what student, Markus Pope, had to say about the workshop.  “In my opinion, understanding color theory is essential for any artist, whether you’re an expert or a novice, whether you’re working in graphite, paint, chalk, pastel or color pencil.  Before taking Audrey’s color theory class, I was merely trying to duplicate reference photos as closely as possible.  My ability to replicate textures, shadows, highlights and produce depth was limited by the number of differently shaded or colored pencils that I purchased.  Once you understand how the colors work together, and how they affect one another, you won’t worry so much about having the right shade of pencil and you’ll be able to concentrate on intensifying the affect that your art has on other people instead.  After taking the class, and utilizing what I learned, people started referring to me as an artist, and I LOVE that!  Thank you, Audrey!”

Take your art to the next level and learn how to use color to make an impact.  Spend three full days learning how to mix colors, understand color values and intensities.  If you’ve ever tried to read and understand color theory, you know it can be very confusing.  I will make it as simple as possible so you will be able to use this very valuable information and create powerful art this year!

It will be hosted at 319 Event Center on W. Walnut Street in Springfield, MO

February 9th – 11th  9:00 – 4:00 each day

Register by January 15th and take 10% off the $200 fee!

What is Your Finish Line for 2015?


Each year end I begin to reflect on the past year and look into the new year ahead.  What do I want to accomplish in 2015?  With a Finish Line on the radar I can begin to plan my strategy and mini goals to get there.    I want to challenge you to consider what you want to accomplish with your art this next year.

Having a coach help you along the way is a lot easier than doing it alone!  I’m here to help you achieve your artistic goals.  First, you need to write down what it is you want to accomplish.  Make it as specific as possible and give it a deadline.  If you need help here, just ask.  Your goal should challenge you.  If you are comfortable with your goal, it’s not challenging enough.

This year I challenged myself physically by running a half marathon.  I had never even run a 5K race before I took on this challenge.  I was way out of my comfort zone, to say the very least!!  I don’t even like running!!!  I learned some profound truths as I embarked on this challenge.  During the next few months, I will share how I overcame some of the obstacles to attaining my goal. 

The journey is about to begin and it’s not a sprint to the finish line!  You don’t have to  cross the finish line today.  Planning is the first step.  Identify your goals.  Write them down on a card that you can look at from time to time.  Do you have a time line for achieving your goals?  If so, write it down.

Once you have your goals set, then we can plan the steps you need to take along the way to get you to the finish line!  Consider the 3 D’s to get you started.  Desire – your first D is the desire to do something, but your desire alone will not get you to the finish line.  Why?  My desire to stay in my warm, cozy bed could easily overrule my desire to go run!  Desire needs Dedication.  Dedication says you will continue to do what you need to do to accomplish your goals regardless of how you feel at any given moment, regardless of your circumstances!  Desire and Dedication  coupled with Discipline will carry you to your finish line.  Discipline puts into practice daily activities that help you get closer to your goal!

Do you have a desire?  Great!  Commit to your goal by being dedicated and disciplined.  Set aside a given time each day to work on your goal.  It is an appointment with yourself.  Once you’ve accomplished your weekly goals you can give yourself a reward.  My daughter and I have set up weekly and monthly goals.  Our first reward for achieving our goals for January is a Spa Day!!  That’s motivation for me!  What’s your motivation?

Drawing an Emotional Portrait

I am experiencing the difficulty of drawing a portrait from a reference photograph that speaks emotional volumes to me. All the things that Audrey has warned about drawing people we know– the personal references that distract from objectively viewing the subject– are ringing true as my current work-in-progress creeps along at a snail-pace.

Reference photo for my drawing.

I’m drawing a triple portrait of my two daughters and me from this photo taken by my husband when our second daughter was a few days old and our oldest was six. While I should be judging shape and value, I am drifting away instead with the memory of the feedings that began at 12 a.m. and continued through the night every hour and a half, of hours walking the hall, and the state of dazed consciousness that I occupied for months. As I try to capture the expression on my oldest daughter’s face, my thoughts turn humorously to how her unbridled excitement over a new sister quickly turned to the declaration, “We should send her back.”
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Work in progress

 Drawing this portrait is a lesson in silencing distraction. And how exactly am I to do that? I’m returning to the basics, to what I was taught on day one of class: focus on seeing lines, shapes, values, and color. This is a difficult project, but I hope, one that will be worth the extra effort.
Student, Audrey Bottrell Fine Art & Instruction
Guest Blogger

Student Art Exhibit and Reception


Art students view the gallery with friends.


Art is a personal expression, and sharing something personal can be scary.  Sometimes in art class I feel hesitation to show others what I’m working on, and I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed the same trepidation in my peers. From somewhere inside, a voice says, “It’s not perfect yet!”


Jenna Beaver with her charcoal on gray paper portrait which won First Place in the 16 and under category.

However, to me one of the primary functions of creating art is to give joy and add beauty to the world, so clearly, artists sharing what they’ve created is crucial to that end.


Elaine Van Noy with her drawing of Johnny Cash which won Best in Show.

I remember being coached in public speaking in school. “Start with people you know”, I was always told. For art students, what could be a friendlier environment to share creations than an art reception with friends and family?


Susan Loop won Honorable Mention for her portrait of an infant.

At our art reception at The Library Station, a chance for students to share artwork and to express the joy of learning to draw was rewarding. It was easy to see the pride and enjoyment on the faces of friends and family as they toured the exhibit. Once again, it was an experience that stretches us past comfort zones and prods us on to greater accomplishment.


Students with their art.

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The exhibit will be on display at until the end of November. Be sure to stop by The Library Station to take a look!

Signature Style is a Journey



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I suppose I held at least a flickering fancy that at the end of six weeks’ time in the Signature Style Workshop, my very unique style would have emerged garnering approval from even my harshest critic– me.

The first hour of the workshop gave my naïveté a reality check. Georgia O’Keeffe, Audrey explained, gave up painting entirely for five years after winning an award for an exquisite, albeit not entirely unique, painting until she was able to emerge with a style now easily recognized as hers alone.
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A few hours more and I accepted the fact that finding my signature style was going to be, at this point, a matter of exploration.
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That’s when the fun began! Looking through the large assortment of mediums Audrey had provided was like browsing a candy store. I felt the joy of nursery school again– wielding a fat brush filled with paint and simply seeing what would happen.

Enthusiasm slightly dampened by the juvenile results, the next hurdle was to once again reign in left-brain symbolism while maintaining a loose creativity. Meanwhile, learning the advantages and limitations of the various mediums was challenging.

It’s easy to get discouraged trying something new without immediately having positive results, but the opportunity to play and experiment with so much new material was incredibly beneficial.
I’m entirely sure the experience forged new paths leaving us with greater awareness, heightened curiosity and a sense for the direction of our personal styles. An opportunity to be guided in dismissing fear of failure and be encouraged to explore new channels is not to be missed! That is success.