Review: Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing by Scott Gellatly (Craftsy)

Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing is a truly insightful course on colour mixing. This course is usually sold at USD $40 but thankfully I was able to get it free from Craftsy for this review. Look for for discounts when you want to get the course because it's worth it.

This course is conducted by Scott Gellatly, a landscape painter living and working in Portland, Oregon. He has taught for a few years but recently is more focused on putting out his own exhibitions.

His 167-minute course is divided into eight lessons, namely:

  1. Intro to Color Mixing
  2. Color Characteristics & Mixing
  3. Color Palettes Throughout History
  4. Underpainting
  5. The Classical Palette
  6. The Impressionist Palette
  7. Refining the Impressionist Palette
  8. The 20th Century Palette

Scott uses oil paint in this course but you should be able to replicate his process for mixing with other mediums such as gouache and acrylics with some practice. Watercolour artists will find it a bit more difficult to follow the exercises because the watercolour medium is applied mainly from light to dark. However, the colour mixing concepts are pretty universal and should be useful to any artist.

The colour mixing principles mentioned in this course are value, hue and chroma. Interestingly, Scott has picked three palettes, each specifically to teach one of those principles.

For the classical palette which consist of mostly the muted colours as they are used by old masters, you'll learn how to mix colours to produce the value you want. In the process, you don't have to worry about the hue (colour that you use) and chroma (saturation of the colors).

The subject matter is a still life set of flowers, vase and lemons. With the different palettes of colours used, you can see exactly how each palette evokes a different mood, and that there is not such thing as the perfect or correct palette or colours to use. I find that particularly insightful.

The lesson on hue teaches you how to use colours to match what you see in real life. And for the 20th century palette, Scott teaches you how to be more expressive and use more saturated colours and push yourself to paint beyond the colours you see.

Throughout the course, you'll hear Scott mention the Gamblin Artists Colors that he uses. I later found out that he's actually the product manager for Gamblin Artists Colors.

Overall, it's a really enlightening course on colour mixing. Highly recommended for beginner oil painters.

Another excellent course on oil painting that you should check out is Paint Better Portraits: Realistic Skin Tones by Brian Neher.

You can check out more reviews on the course page below.

Check out other video courses from Craftsy that I've featured at

Disclosure: This course was provided to me by Craftsy for review purposes. You can support Parka Blogs by using the affiliate links as I get a little commission from each sale. :-)


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