Pleasing Color Combinations

Mark Whitmarsh

September 20th - 22nd, 2018

10 AM - 4 PM


Applying The Philosophy of Shibui

Shibui is an ancient Japanese aesthetic applied to color mixtures for painters that can be used in all mediums. In this workshop, we will use a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive mixtures of color to establish a transcendent beauty.

Course Description

This workshop is about how to achieve a timeless quality to color relationships for all painters. The focus is on mixing an ancient Japanese theory on color mixtures used for centuries with a practical application to modern day painting practices.

Demonstrations that will be given each day on color mixtures:

1. Colors will be mixtures that can be easily applied to the artist's ongoing practice.

2. The elusive nature of color theory will be examined in an intuitive nature and freely expressed.

3. Keen observation of color relationships will be observed and how they please the eye will be explored.

4. The timeless quality of how color affects the human spirit and why certain color combinations excite the eye will be discussed.

5. Layering passages of color to achieve a rich surface that is inviting to the viewer will be demonstrated.

6. How to relay old, unsuccessful paintings and revive the spark of creativity will be discussed.

7. The secrets will be revealed as to how the instructor has used these color combinations and has sold over 5,000 paintings in three decades.


Supply List

Paint:  Because of time constraints, the workshop will be done in acrylic. 

1. 2 large tubes of white acrylic paint & medium tube of black acrylic paint

2. Large can of black gesso

3. Large tubes of the primaries

4. Your choice of the earthcolors

5. Your choice of the brights ( inks and liquid brights are recommended)

6. Large bottle of Liquitex gloss gel medium

7. Large bottle of modeling paste (instructor will provide a variety of textures for demo)

Support: Gessoed canvas, wood, and old acrylic paintings. (Feel free to bring in old works that have not been resolved.)

Size:  Over 30" but no bigger then 50" (No small easel paintings please!)

(For those artists who have already taken the course by Mark Whitmarsh, bring the supports that are in progress from the “Go Big or Go Home” workshop)


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About the Instructor

Mark Whitmarsh has been painting professionally for over three decades. He was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado, near the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where backpacking and ski racing were his favorite outdoor activities during his early years. Art has always been very important to him from grade school through high school. He showed in galleries during his teenage years, winning an award in the national watercolor society exhibit at 18 years old. 

Mark studied at the University of Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design. During this five-year period, he had the opportunity to study with Mark Dickson, the great abstract landscape painter from Denver.

This was a pivotal period for the artist, and during this time, he gravitated towards a more reductionist attitude toward painting landscapes. Strongly influenced by the Abstract Expressionism movement throughout the 1990s and into the turn of the century, Mark developed a freely expressive mode of creativity. 

Mark's work has been exhibited throughout the southwest, including New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. He has had 22 solo shows at Southwest Gallery in Dallas, Texas. He has also participated in many group shows throughout the U.S., including, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. His paintings hang in many public and private collections, including Fountain Place in downtown Dallas, and Lincoln Plaza in North Dallas.

Selected Exhibitions:

2009-2018 exhibited at Southwest Gallery (group shows)

1994-2012 exhibited every year at Southwest Gallery (all one-man shows) 

2000-2010 included in select art gallery shows

1999 World Fine Art Gallery one man exhibit (New York City, NY)

1994-1996 included in the group shows listed below:

Contemporary Southwest Art Gallery (Santa Fe), Texas Figurative Show, Newman Gallery (Dallas), Jack Meier Gallery (Houston), Monte Wade Fine Art Gallery (San Antonio), Boyd Levinson Gallery (Dallas) and Circle Fine Art Gallery (Denver)

Selected Collections:

I.M Pei building at Fountain Place (Dallas)

Pacificare Corporation (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio)

Mary Kay Cosmetics private collection

Roger Staubach private collection

Brinker Corporation

Rocky Mountain Investors (Denver)

Hugh and Walters (Houston)

Justin Leonard (Professional Golfer)

Fujitsu Corporation private collection

Central Bank of Westminster (Colorado)


Cover Design Modern Poetry

Cover winner for Artist Encyclopedia of Living Artists

Artists' Community Partner Award (Colleyville, TX)

Greyhound Adoption League Award (Dallas)


Art in America

Dallas Observer

Southwest Art Magazine

Luxe Magazine

Patron Magazine

American Artists Series (45 images published)