Colour Theory for Artists and Designers
Learn about color theory and understand the theories and principles that are most relevant to artists and designers.
Take this certificate on your own.
Start now and learn at your own pace.
CertificationView course modules
An accurate understanding of colour theory is essential for graphic designers, artists, photographers, and anyone involved in the visual arts. The course will first introduce you to several important aspects of colour and light perception such as hue, lightness and chroma. It will then go through the concepts of brightness and saturation and how to apply these concepts in your profession or hobby.
You will then learn highly practical skills such as mixing paints, and additive and subtractive colour mixing, before finally going through the core psychological components of visual perception of colour. The course also offers you interactive graphics that further explain the concepts in the text and make things clear and simple.
If you want to practice the visual arts, or just want to enhance your knowledge and understanding of colour theory, then this is the course for you. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be (or want to be) a professional. Anyone who wants to make their home, photographs, garden, or even desk a little bit more beautiful can use this fantastic knowledge about colour. It’s interesting, it’s fun, it’s useful, and it only takes 4 hours to learn.
Start Course Now
The Dimensions of Colour
Basics of Light and Shade
Additive Colour Mixing
Subtractive Colour Mixing
Colour Mixing with Paints
Lightness and Chroma
Principles of Colour
Basics of Colour Vision
The Dimension of Hue
Brightness and Saturation
Colour Theory Assessment
Basics of Light and Shade - Interactive Graphics
Basics of Colour Vision - Interactive Graphics
Additive Colour Mixing - Interactive Graphics
Subtractive Colour Mixing - Interactive Graphics
Principles of Colour - Interactive Graphics
Upon completion of this course you will understand the dimension of colour by observing colour relationships, and selecting and mixing colour. You will know the meaning of chroma, saturation, hue, lightness, colorfulness and brightness. You will know the basics of colour vision, adaptation, colour constancy, simultaneous contrast and assimilation.
You will learn about colour mixing such as additive and subtractive colour. You will understand the principles of colour that are relevant for painters.
All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:
Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning
Alison offers 3 types of Certificates for completed Certificate courses:
Digital Certificate - a downloadable Certificate in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
Certificate - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Certificate, posted to you with FREE shipping
Framed Certificate - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Certificate in a stylish frame, posted to you with FREE shipping
All Certificates are available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Certificates, please visit our FAQs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Certificate, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Certificate pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.
Need Some Help?
Color theory is a body of practical advice for how to best mix colors, and the visual effects of specific color combinations. Color theory first emerged as a field of study in the 18th century, and today often involves itself with the fields of colorimetry and vision science in order to best understand the use of color in art and design. This free online color theory course will teach you about the theories and principles of color science as they apply to visual art and design.
The best free online color theory class available on Alison is Design - Applying Design Principles.
Each of the online visual arts courses on Alison are free, as are all of Alison's online courses. Alison's learners do not have to pay anything to take these courses unless they want a digital or physical copy of the course certificate.