It’s Not Magic or Rocket Science. It’s a Step by Step Plan for Making Amazing Paintings. Put Together Just for You.

The Painter’s Language™: Composition, Color, & Light helps artists paint boldly and confidently, create more in less time, and make amazing paintings filled with color and light.

We’re Enrolling Soon!

It’s time to bust through your artist blocks and design your paintings to stand out from the sea of other paintings in the room. Click the button to enter your email address and we’ll let you know when we’re accepting new students.

Imagine sipping on a cool iced chai latté on a warm summer afternoon in the comfort of your own studio. You pull out paints, brushes, and knives…open the palette and set a fresh panel on your easel.
Then you open your tablet or computer, and log into the Composition • Color • Light course site to paint along with that day’s demo video.
All in your own studio without any of the packing or travel costs that go along with attending an in-person painting workshop.
Painting’s a mysterious pleasure: the richness of the pigments, the smell of the paints, the drag of the brush or knife, the blending and mixing of lush color.
But sometimes, as enticing as all those things are, painting can be more mystery than pleasure.
This course will take some of the mystery out of the process and help you get a stronger grip on composition, color and light, and a sense of control over how your paintings develop.
Most successful paintings grab the viewer’s attention almost immediately on a gut level, a perceptual level that comes from the way the artist has handled composition, value, and color.
Figuring out how to make that happen on your own can take a lot of trial and error.
With Composition • Color • Light I’ve combined the materials from my two most popular live workshops into an easily accessible online format that let’s you develop those skills in your own studio away from the stress of a live workshop.
We’ll explore how to make good compositions with strong focal points before diving headlong into color, from value and hue to intensity and temperature.
And before we finish our time together you’ll start learning how to weave all those mysterious elements together into your personal style, using your own voice to make paintings that capture a sense of color and light.
This could be the setting for the next stage in your painting journey.
Years of teaching (both in person and online) and being a working artist mean that I’ve already seen most of the challenges that painting students face. I’ll meet you where you are with a step by step system to guide you through the painting process, whether you’ve been painting for a while or just picked up a brush or knife.

“I’m not just giving you lovely painting videos to follow. I’m giving you the tools to make your own lovely paintings.”

~ Mary Bentz Gilkerson


  • Create compelling compositions
  • Know how to make definite focal points
  • Identify your focal point or center of interest, even when you’re painting outside
  • Know when a composition’s good or bad
  • Artistically “edit out” and simplify
  • See the value pattern or notan in your subject
  • See the differences in value that create form no matter what the subject is
  • Use a simple warm/cool primary palette
  • Confidently plan a harmonious color scheme
  • Mix colors without ending up with muddy colors
  • Use simple guidelines so that you can fix color problems
  • Play contrasts in color off each other to fill your paintings with light
  • Put color to work creating space
  • Build up a rich painterly surface
  • Setup your own regular painting practice

What You’ll Get in Composition • Color • Light

Eight modules plus introduction, each one a step in the process
A system for creating your own beautiful paintings
More than twenty videos covering concepts and painting demos
The keys to mixing vibrant, captivating color


INTRODUCTION: Mindset, Tools, & Materials
 MODULE 1: Composition, Emphasis & Focal Point
MODULE 2: Notan & Value Patterns
MODULE 3: Value Masses, From Thumbnail To Block-In
MODULE 4: Color Schemes, Palettes, & Controlling Hues
MODULE 5: Creating Light With Color Values
MODULE 6: Creating Light With Color Intensities
MODULE 7: Creating Light With Color Temperatures
MODULE 8: Shaping Space With Color

Take A Little Peak Inside The Course


  • This course is completely online so you’ll need access to a computer or tablet with high speed internet to participate.
  • The course uses 8 modules released weekly to cover topics like composition, notan (patterns of light and dark), value masses, color schemes, value, intensity, temperature and light.
  • Each module includes videos (concepts & demos), handouts, and exercises for that module.
  • The supply lists for the course will be included with your welcome materials but are also available here (click here to view the supply lists). Supplies aren’t included in the cost of the course.
  • You’ll have access to the course website and all the materials for one full year from the start date. During that time, you can watch (and rewatch) the course videos at anytime. You’ll also be able to download the materials to keep.
  • Each Tuesday for 8 weeks during the course we’ll hop online for an Office Hours Q&A webinar to check in on the group’s successes and challenges. Think of this as our group critique time. This is the only LIVE portion of the course. No worries if you can’t make it during the scheduled times since they’ll all be recorded and available on the class website.
  • You’ll get access to a private Facebook group where you can be part of the supportive community, post your work, ask questions and get feedback from other students as well as myself.

We’re Enrolling Soon!

It’s time to bust through your artist blocks and design your paintings to stand out from the sea of other paintings in the room. Click the button to enter your email address and we’ll let you know when we’re accepting new students.