Colour Workshop (Oil Painting): Exploring the Tri-Colour Palette

The focus of this workshop is the use of colour, and how it interacts with tonality (light and dark). To explore mixing colour I let you use a very limited palette with the aim of exploiting its possibilities to the hilt.

This palette, combined with just the right handful of concepts for thinking about colour, simplifies the problem of mixing colours and makes it less daunting.

In this workshop we explore a few three colour palettes (plus white). Using such a limited palette initially feels like painting with one hand tied behind our back. But with time it becomes clear that it actually allows us to mix an enormous range of colours. It also helps us avoid garishness and discover the riches of muted colours we might otherwise not have explored.

My workshops are hands-on. Participants spend most of the time painting. I give feedback to individual students, and sometimes address the whole group when a specific point will interest others as well. I also show images of some paintings by great artists and invite discussion about how they use colour. There are no formal lectures.

My approach is non-directive. I explore with each person how his or her style of working can be developed further. A wide range of participants, ranging from beginners to established, award-winning artists, has found these workshops valuable.
If you’ve done this workshop previously, you can do it again as an advanced colour workshop devoted to limited palettes you haven’t used yet.

About The Instructor

Andries Gouws ( is well known for his small meditative paintings of unremarkable topics such as interiors or feet. He studied Fine Art at the Michaelis School of Art (UCT), the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and the Staatliche Kunstakademie, Dusseldorf. His last three solo shows, “Hiding behind simple things,” “Pedestrian paintings”, and “Vertoef/Linger” travelled to museums and major galleries all over South Africa, and his work is featured in collections such as the Iziko National Gallery (Cape Town), Pretoria Art Museum, Durban Art Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Oliewenhuis Museum (Bloemfontein). His satirical piece “Bluff your way in postmodernism” is often prescribed in university courses on postmodernism. He and his novelist-artist wife Ingrid Winterbach recently featured on the TV programme Kwela.

What To Bring
  • The paint needed is included in the course price. A list of the other materials needed (available from My Smart Art Shop in Swellendam) will be provided on registration.
  • Please bring your own easel if you have one; if not we will arrange to provide you with one.
  • Please also bring along some examples of recent work – or high quality photographs of them – so that Andries can relate his input to your previous work.
Course Dates

28 July – 1 August



Your package includes:
Tuition, materials*, excursions*, refreshments and meals during the course. Accommodation, dinners, and transport at own cost.
*Applicable to certain courses. See individual course pages for details.

Creative Arts & Design