Gareth Bate

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It's time to MASTER Colour Mixing
and transform your paintings!


The Colour Mixing Detective

How to stop mixing MUD and solve the mystery of your paints
once and for all.

DEADLINE: Fri. Jan. 5, 2018 at midnight.

This is a Toronto technical painting course that runs this winter on
Tuesday afternoons from 2 - 5 pm and Saturday mornings from 10 am - 1 pm.

My studio at 401 Richmond St. West is the location for this course.


Have you ever wondered if there's some secret to colour mixing that no one has told you?


When you mix a great colour does it feel accidental?

Have you ever mixed a colour and then had no idea how to recreate it?

Have you been frustrated by a previous colour "theory" course with zero practical value?

Have you taken painting courses and wondered at what point the teacher would finally explain how to mix colours properly? Only it never happened...


Yellow Day.


Are you constantly mixing MUD instead of the colours you want?

Are you washing paint and money down the drain?

Do your paintings look unsophisticated because you use paint straight out of the tube and boring obvious colours?

Do you go to the art supply store and have no idea which tubes to buy?

Are you intimidated by your paints or scared to experiment with new colours?

Are you stuck repeating the same colour palette on every painting?


If you answered yes to most of these. You're in the right place.

"I would say, if you want to really understand colour mixing and want a deep structure and understanding take the course."

- Alison Fleming



Careful! This is a crime scene!

There's been a murder and it's YOUR PAINTING!

Sometimes painting can be more dangerous than Midsummer County. It all started out so well. Sadly bad things happen to good paintings. You were working away and then suddenly it all turned into an awful mess. What happened? Who's the villain of this story? Well in my experience it's almost always the obvious person - MUD!

But you're about to lay down the law when you become The Colour Mixing Detective.


Ok, let's solve this mystery.

Welcome to your first case Sargent! We have an investigation to get to so it's time to put those little gray cells to work. It doesn't matter if your paintings are realistic or abstract, landscapes or portraits every one who paints needs to know how to properly mix their colours. No more obvious, boring colours. Knowing how to mix beautiful sophisticated colours will take your paintings to a whole new level.

Learning colour mixing is like doing scales on a piano. It’s not the creative part like performing the song in a concert, but it’s all part of the process of learning and practice. What most people do is avoid ever addressing this problem. They don’t want to do the work.

To understand paint you need to understand it's nature. I want colour mixing to become effortless for you so you don’t have to waste any more time worrying about that stuff. It's time to end the frustration. This is a course you do once and then never have to think about how to mix your colours again. You'll gain a deep understanding and then be free to pursue the real work of finding your artistic vision.

Making art is about so much more than mixing colours.

Trust me on this. The problem isn’t you. It’s the way colour mixing is taught. Oh pardon me, I should say ISN’T taught. Finding TECHNICAL painting courses is increasingly difficult these days. There seems to be an expectation that you should miraculously know how to do these things without any training. I can totally relate to your frustration. I had the same feelings when I was a student. I got around this by doing every colour mixing exercise in multiple books. Luckily for you I’ve created a course that doesn’t require you to spend this ridiculous amount of energy. The Colour Mixing Detective is the course I would love to have had as a student. This course is far better than anything I learned in my 6 years in art school regarding colour mixing.

There comes a point in your artistic practice where you have to just do the work that needs to be done. Consider this course as a chance to learn what you need so you can finally move forward in your work. This is a totally learnable skill.

It's time to take yourself seriously as an artist.


"I have a much better idea now of how to mix the colours I want, I am less afraid to experiment with colour and I have a greater appreciation for neutrals and their value in making non-neutrals "pop" in a painting." - Catherine Turl



Green Day.


Here's How the Class Works

I created Art School Untangled to teach one of a kind courses that you can't find anywhere else. These courses get right to the heart of problems students face and focus intensely on a single issue.

For The Colour Mixing Detective each class has a different colour theme. I select a variety of art history images that are dominated by that colour. You then try to match all the colours in the painting as closely as possible. Assignment 1 is bright colours and assignment 2 is subtle and greyed colours. We'll keep detailed notes on exactly what's happening and why. Students have described this course as like CSI. Kind of like dissecting a painting and doing forensics!

Weekly Colour Themes:

Week 1: Blues
Week 2: Reds
Week 3: Yellows
Week 4: Oranges
Week 5: Greens
Week 6: Purples
Week 7: Earth Tones
Week 8: Coloured Greys

Learn from the great artists of art history. You'll start seeing how beautiful and sophisticated the colours are in famous paintings. These assignments are very doable and every student in the previous classes was able to do them. You'll be training your eyes to see a huge level of nuance. Students have described suddenly seeing colour everywhere they go differently. The whole point is to get you mixing colour combinations that you've never thought of.

When you are finished you'll create a beautiful scrap book with different colour mixing excercises and swatches paired with art history images that match the colour schemes. When I was a student I created the colour book and I've kept it for 14 years. I love looking at it!

The emphasis won't be on theories of colour but rather on how to actually mix pigments properly. 

Sometimes the results are surprising. Matching the colours in art history images can become quite captivating. Students get obsessed with the nuance of colours. You might find yourself walking around trying to decipher how to make that colour on the street.

Homework: I'd like you to complete the in-class excercises. If you have time there are also lots of colour charts that can be done. Doing them at home is the best option because you can go at your own pace. Seriously, get ready to mix a ton of colour charts! I will give you detailed lists of charts to do and you can complete as many as you can.

Let's be clear - this course requires discipline. 

You need to arrive with the right mindset. It is not about doing creative paintings and expressing yourself. This is about doing the hard stuff that most people never bother to do. You'll be taking your paintings to the next level. When it comes to the homework you have to be self-motivated and willing to push through. It's important to understand the big picture rather than fixating on how "boring" it is. For me it's kind of mindless work, it's not something to stress out over. If anything it's fascinating and even meditative.


"During the abstract painting class Gareth brought in his colour mixing book. It was and is very intriguing and beautiful. What got me excited was the process involved in creating a book like that. And the fact that I wanted to learn about colours & how to make colours." - Romana Huq


Violet Day.

Blue Day.


Art School Untangled


The Colour Mixing Detective

Solve the mystery of your paints once and for all!



Registration: OPEN!

Instructor: Gareth Bate

City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Class Location: My studio at 401 Richmond St. West, Studio S-17 in the Basement orange section. (At Richmond & Spadina.) See Google Map.

Number of students per class: 7 maximum

Class 1 Dates: Tues. Jan. 9 - Feb. 27, 2018. 2 - 5 pm
Class 2 Dates: Sat. Jan. 13 - Mar. 3, 2017. 10 am - 1 pm

Class 1: Spots Remaining: 7
Class 2: Spots Remaining: 5

Duration: Eight Weeks

Important Note: You must be able to attend the first class. It's essential. If you are unable to do this first class but are available for the rest of the course let me know. We could make an arrangement to do a private lesson during the week. Or you could attend the first class with the other class.

Your painting supplies are not included - see full list below.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Fri. Jan. 5, 2018 at midnight.


Tuesdays: 2 - 5 pm

Week 1 - BLUES: Tues. Jan. 9, 2018
Week 2 - REDS: Tues.. Jan. 16, 2018
Week 3 - YELLOWS: Tues. Jan. 23, 2018
Week 4 - ORANGES: Tues. Jan. 30, 2018
Week 5 - GREENS: Tues. Feb. 6, 2018
Week 6 - PURPLES: Tues. Feb. 13, 2018
Week 7 - EARTH TONES: Tues. Feb. 20, 2018

Week 8 - COLOURED GRAYS: Tues. Feb. 27, 2018

Saturdays: 10 am - 1 pm

Week 1 - BLUES: Sat. Jan. 13, 2018
Week 2 - REDS: Sat. Jan. 20, 2018
Week 3 - YELLOWS: Jan. Jan. 27, 2018
Week 4 - ORANGES: Sat. Feb. 3, 2018
Week 5 - GREENS: Sat. Feb. 10, 2018
Week 6 - PURPLES: Sat. Feb. 17, 2018
Week 7 - EARTH TONES: Sat. Feb. 24, 2018

Week 8 - COLOURED GRAYS: Sat. Mar. 3, 2018

Important thing to know:



You can SAVE $50 off your course price if you sign up a friend who hasn't taken my courses in the past.


Need to miss a class?

No problem, I got you covered!

I'm offering one FREE BONUS Sunday morning makeup class - Dates coming soon.


Red Day.

Course FAQ

I did a previous Colour Theory course and it was boring and repetitive. If I have to do another colour wheel I'll scream. I still don't know how to mix colours. How will this be any different?

No colour wheels. The Colour Mixing Detective is completely different from regular colour theory courses. I don't care about theories at all. They're irrelevant for mixing actual pigments. This is the course I would have loved to take as a student. I created it based on what I think is essential to learn to understand colour mixing based on 17 years of painting experience. I'd say don't worry about that previous course. Consider it your intro to theories and this one as the practical side.


"The class was hands on, not theoretical colour theory. I did that course before somewhere else. Learned nothing in the other class - learned tons with you." - Mary Ann Grainger


I'm worried this might be too hard for me. Will I be able to do it?

I've now taught this class six times and over 40 students of all levels were able to get it if they put the work in. The first two classes might be challenging at first but you'll get it for sure. It gets much easier and faster by the time you get to class three. By the last three classes most students are pretty casual about it.


I'm worried that this will be boring. How interesting can it be to make these charts?

I would honestly say that the majority of students have ended up obsessed with colours after a few weeks of the course. They start seeing colours everywhere and wondering how to mix them. Fixating on an art history image and really going into depth on how that historic artist made those colours can be captivating. It's intensive and focused work but very rewarding.


How does doing these charts help me to mix colours in my own paintings?

By studying the work of famous artists you'll see how sophisticated their colour is. You'll learn to be able to match the colours so that when the time comes with your own paintings you'll be able to recreate that colour you came up with. Before you had no idea. You'll learn the subtle variations that make all the difference in creating beautiful nuanced colours instead of obvious straight out of the tube colours. You'll also be exposed to colour palettes that are different from your own inclinations. This will help you to open up to using colours that might not feel natural to you but will enhance your range.


What does the homework involve?

You'll need to complete the in-class assignments and ideally technical colour charts in advance of the classes. Students who put the time in at home do really well in this class. You should be willing to put in at least an hour ideally 2 hours of homework each week.


I need to miss the first class, can I still take the course?

You can't miss the first class. However we could try to make some kind of arrangement. Missing the first class will make it impossible to follow. If you are able to make the first class on the other day that would work. Or we could arrange some time before class 2 to do a private lesson in my studio where I teach you the lesson.


Can I pay by credit card?

Yes I can accept online credit card payments.


Red Day.

Materials FAQ

I'm unsure about this course because of the cost of materials. Do we really need all these colours?

I totally understand the concern about the cost of materials. Trust me I have the same experience every time I go to the art supply store! Making art in not cheap. I've taught this course for 2 years now and I've refined the course material list to the essentials. You won't regret buying any of these colours. They will be the foundation of your colour palette from this point forward. I've selected colours that allow you to mix nearly every colour you'll encounter.

Unfortunetly your sources have been lying to you. You can't mix every colour using blue, red and yellow! That is way too simplistic. The problems most students have is previous teachers telling them that they only need a few colours to do their paintings. This is bad info and leads to a lot of frustration. That being said, you also don't need millions of colours. This list is the essentials in my opinion. I promise you that you will waste considerably less paint in the future after taking this course.


Can I leave things at your studio?

Yes, you can leave all your supplies and paper at my studio. However there is homework so you'll need your paints.


What brands of paint should I use?

Below I list brands and the full material requirements. I think you should always use artist quality paints from day one. One of the biggest issues students have with painting is using crappy student paints. By starting with professional paints you learn to paint once rather than having to learn twice when you end up switching. Good paint makes good paintings.


What medium should I use?

Acrylic: Most students work in acrylic as it's easy and dries fast. But if you plan to work in another medium for your paintings then use that medium.

Oil: It's fine to use oil as long as you regularly use oil for your paintings. You can't use solvents in the studio and they are not necessary.

Watercolour: It's fine to use watercolour as long as you're commited to it as your medium of choice. Keep in mind that watercolour is very challenging. If you're just looking for a medium to use then I'd go with acrylic. If you intend to use watercolour then I have a separate paint list for you. I also have separate images that are watercolours to work from. Be sure to let me know if you intend to work in watercolour.


Unsure if this is for you?

If you're brand new to painting I reccomend that you don't take this course just yet. If you have some basic painting experience - like you've used paint and made a few paintings then this course is perfect for you. If you're looking to do creative and imaginative work you'd be much better off in my Outdoor Abstract City Drawing or Abstract Painting class at Central Tech.

If you've never handled paint this course probably isn't right for you just yet. I'd say come back here after playing with paint and making a few paintings.

If you're interested in this course but don't feel ready for it yet be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you get updates from me about future courses. Also shoot me an email to let me know that you're interested but don't feel ready yet.


If you're ready, continue on to join us this fall!


About Me

My name is Gareth Bate and I’m a full time artist, curator and art teacher living in Toronto. I work in painting, installation and photography. I have an email newsletter called "Art Untangled" where I talk about art every week. You can subscribe here. I've been asked if everything I do revolves around art and the answer is pretty much yes!

I've travelled extensively and visited all the major museums in London, Paris, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Montreal and Cape Town. I'm Festival Curator of the World of Threads Festival an international festival of contemporary fibre and textile art in Oakville. I graduated with a BFA from OCAD University and a diploma from Central Tech's adult art program. I've been teaching since 2008. I’ve been featured on CBC News and Radio Canada and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Now Magazine and La Presse among others.

Here are the courses I teach:
Art World Untangled: Museum Tours
Art History: The Masters: 1400-1850
Art History: The Moderns: 1850-1980
Abstract Painting
Outdoor Abstract City Drawing

The Colour Mixing Detective


Orange Day.

Essential Class Materials

Art Supplies are not included in the course fee.



So it’s time to make a decision.

You can continue to play with mud...

Or you can join us this fall and learn to mix your colours properly.



Register Now to

Reserve Your Spot!


Registration is OPEN.



Eight Week Course + Two Free Sunday Bonus Makeup Classes: $399

Class Material Fee: There is a $40 fee for the art history colour photocopies and in class paint demonstration supplies. You'll receive two colour photocopies per class.



You can SAVE $50 off your course price if you sign up a friend who hasn't taken my courses in the past.



How to Pay

When you book I'll send you an invoice. You can then send me an online e-transfer or pay online via credit card. You could also pay by check or cash during the first class. Payment is reguired during the first class.



"I liked that you gave us honest feedback, helped us see where we had not matched colours correctly, indicated when YOU couldnt quite get the colour at first stab and mainly your supportive, warm style." - Alison Fleming


Here's how to register...

Send me an email:

Subject Line: Registration for The Colour Mixing Detective

What to include:

Full Name 

Your Email

Your Cell Phone (so I can communicate with you if necessary)

What medium do you plan to work in? 

Which class are you joining? Tuesday or Saturday

Payment Method: Online: e-transfer or credit card or In Person: cash or check on the first class.

Your Expectations: Anything in particular you're hoping to learn?

How did you hear about the course?


What happens next?

After you register I'll confirm in an email and then send you an invoice and full course info and pdfs of the art supply list. If you want to pay online you can do so when you get the invoice.


Still Got Questions?

Send me an email:


I'm looking forward to seeing you!



Please share my courses with anyone you know who might be interested.


Violet Day