SAQA Seminar 2021 - Unit 5

Using Color

Artists in different media have used color in many ways, from vibrant primary color palettes to nuanced neutrals to striking black and white. In this unit, we will explore how various artists have used color throughout history. 

Questions like “What color is a shadow?” or “How does one make a color more effective by using it with other colors?” are important to ask during the design and composition phase of creating. This becomes an extension of the concept of intentionality in the use of color. 

Check out all the resources below which include videos, articles, and exercises. Plus, explore our Unit 5 gallery for some colorful work from our online collection that features the color Blue.

View Unit 5 Gallery

Join us at the end of the week for a live video conversation (scroll down for connection details) about how you, as an artist, use color, the exercises, and anything color-related.

Take a Color Test!
Here's some homework for the upcoming Ode to Color webinar with Lori Weitzner webinar on March 4 (4pm EST). Remember that you do need to register for this webinar.

Lori’s love of color is intertwined with her love of textiles. “...while [this book] contains many interior design ideas and explores color from a cultural, religious, and social point of view - it is foremost a journey through these distinct color worlds, each with its many powers, moods, and associations.”  The associated color test is great fun - find out your results.

Please share your comments with the rest of us on the SAQA Facebook Group or via our SAQA Seminar submission form.


SAQA Seminar (Article)
Noted thread painter Carol Shinn shares her process for creating her image and the colors used to complete them. Her use of color to create moods and shadow is masterful.
SAQA Seminar (Exercise)
Try this creative way to come up with a color scheme using words and the Fibonacci sequence. You will be surprised by the result!
SAQA Seminar (Video Conversation)
Nancy Bavor, Executive Director of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, talks about color trends by decade, what was happening inside and outside the contemporary quilt world, and how this is reflected in artworks.
SAQA Seminar (Article)
Linda Colsh, a long-time SAQA member, reflects on her use of color and why she has been working in neutrals for several years.

Color: A visual history from Newton to Modern color matching guides by Alexandra Loske. Using examples from fine art, this book covers the development and use of color from the 18th century to the present and looking beyond.

Use The Hidden Meaning of Color In Your Art by Lori McNee

Master Artists and Their Relationship With Color by Renee Phillips

How Artists Use Color 

Maria Elkins: Using Color Theory in Quiltmaking and her quilt gallery.

Sonja Delaunay is an abstract painter who uses light (color) by scientific laws. She is featured in the BBC video series The Rules of Abstraction with Matthew Collings video 2 of 6, the second half of the video. For more on Abstraction watch the complete series of six 15 minute videos.

Live Chat & Zoom Connection Details

We are at the halfway point in the Seminar. Let's catch up about the first four units and any exercises you may have completed. Note that Live Chats will not be recorded as they are just casual conversations and sharing among participants in smaller breakout rooms.

You will need to register separately for the webinar below. Once you register, you will receive a separate email confirmation that includes connection information for the webinar. The webinar will be recorded.

Webinar with Lori Weitzner: Thursday, March 4: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5). Register for webinar now



Friday, January 29: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, February 5: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
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Friday, February 19: 12pm – 1pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, February 26: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Friday, March 5: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Tuesday, March 9: 4pm – 5pm EST (GMT -5)
Thursday, March 11: 1pm – 2pm EST (GMT -5)



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