Powerful Design and Personal Color

9 Stages of Creativity to Discover Your Personal Voice

Sample Video from this Online Course

This particular video shows how I begin my paintings in the cold wax medium. Whether you like marks, shapes, colors or texture, you can begin anyway you want - it's all about PLAY in the early stages!

You Will Discover

Lots of Sharing

I will share with you the cold wax medium/oil techniques, tools and studio set up I use to increase my momentum and productivity. Over 40 lessons are provided in 10+ hours of demos and presentations, with 2 additional hours of bonus videos, and 12+ hours of recorded LIVE conference calls addressing student questions and providing additional content! And, unlike so many other online courses, with this one you have access FOR LIFE!

Always Know What to Do Next

I will show you demos, presentations and provide lots of downloadable content every step of the way so you always know what to do next. If you are an intermediate to advanced artist in a different 2D medium, you can also benefit from this course by gaining a solid understanding of design and color principles which you can apply to your medium!

Fill Your Artistic "Toolbox"

You’ll discover key principles of design and color to fill your artistic “toolbox”. While no artist should be without it, it isn’t always easy to find these tools in one place!

Follow Along With Me

My 9 stages of creativity will help you discover your personal voice, feature what you LOVE, and finish your paintings. I will provide you with exercises to help you become proficient in some of the most important areas of making art.

Convenient and FUN

You can work at your own pace and meet other dedicated artists in our private FaceBook group, always available to enrollees. Twelve recorded group calls address course modules and Q&A from artists in this course. Calls will be live through mid June, 2019, then available as recordings in our video library.


I will share my thoughts and process as I work through 16 paintings, just like you - and explain how each stage plays a crucial role in the life of my paintings. Though I am demonstrating in the cold wax medium, the concepts of powerful design and personal color can be applied to any 2D medium!

16 Paintings

8 Comprehensive modules and approximately 40 lessons (over 10 hours) to guide you through your art making journey, from a “playful” start of 16 paintings to the final stages of applying finesse and subtlety to your work to make it “stellar”!


A bonus section with special videos (almost two full hours of added content)! Topics include: Favorite tips for packing a suitcase fo a workshop, my favorite books in 2D Color and Design, adhering works on paper to wooden panel, how to paint large-scale with "drippy paint", and more!

Featured Testimonial

"I've taken maybe half-a-dozen higher level online courses now and although many teaching artists understand the elements of good design, I have been (before you) disappointed with the process of helping the student artist really "get it". I wanted to understand my process and how to improve it. PDPC has definitely delivered. You may notice that my online course list doesn't say I've completed the course because I am going through it a second time. Repetition works with me.

I had some concept of the initial PLAY stage before your course but the EXPLORE and CLARIFY stages (and especially the Flow Chart) have given me better tools as I develop my paintings. I now have a better understanding of the intuitive process that I've been following AND I have new realization of how to analyze and move forward.

I loved that, in my studio, I could run an exercise, stop your presentation and work and then when I completed the exercise could start up the video again or watch it over from the beginning (can't do that in a live class).

My Aha moment was that I had thought I had a pretty good check list of how to go through the steps of value, focus, etc. but Wow! after watching your videos I have twice as many tools as before AND a greater understanding of my process and things I can do when I get stumped. Even better, the checklist I go through to say "is it finished" has more things I think about that I didn't realize before your PDPC online course."

-Dana Grubbe

Frequently Asked Questions

I am completely new to cold wax painting; is this the right course for me?
Yes! This is definitely the right course for you, in fact regardless of how long you’ve been painting in this medium, I will cover all the basic techniques, tools, supplies so you will know where to begin. Students who are a little further or a lot further along in their cold wax/oil painting journey can benefit by seeing how I move work forward when it’s stuck, experiment when I find nothing interesting, and continue to conceal and reveal until I find my “gems” so I can then feature them and finish the painting.
I have a full-time job and don’t know whether I’ll have time for this course. How much time will it take to finish it?
That’s a great question! Because this is an online course, you can learn a lesson or two during your coffee break, after work, or first thing in the morning. This course is totally self-paced and is meant for busy people as well as the full- time artist. There are eight modules and over 50 lessons and several downloadable PDFs to help clarify and solidify your understanding of powerful design and personal color.
What will we be DOING in this course? I’ve done tons of workshops – why is this one different?
In this course I demonstrate how to "play", "explore" and "clarify" in the life of 16 new paintings I create in this course. I will show you how each painting develops, and along the way you will see me experiment, take risks, get stuck, get unstuck, dig for treasure, find my gems, edit out the things that clutter my work and use subtlety and finesse to feature what I love. I encourage you to do the assignments I've included to make your perception of color and value stronger. You will also gather information that is meaningful to you in your sketchbook, document your work along the way and learn key questions to ask yourself when you think you're painting is finished!
Can I finish all 16 paintings in this course?
Yes! The idea is to absolutely finish the 16 paintings you begin in this course. In my live workshops, some artists finish all of them in just 4 days, but it isn’t important to work quickly or try and win a race. There is no race. This is a self-paced course and if you fill your visual toolbox with the lessons I have for you and study each lesson thoroughly and really understand each concept presented, I believe you will be able to create work that is powerfully designed, personally you, and then go on to create future work with momentum, confidence, and joy.
What is the cost of the course?
The cost of the course is $599 (with options to pay over two or three months). (If outside the US, VAT taxes will be added and are not included in this price) How long will I have access to the course, videos and downloads? Unlike some courses, you will have lifetime access to this course! 30 Day Money Back Guarantee!


"Powerful Design and Personal Color proved to be an exciting introduction to painting non-objectively in the cold wax/oil medium. Pam took us through the step by step process of producing a painting and the questions to ask oneself when editing a painting. She brought out the best in students by using her left brained organizational skills to allow your right brained creativity the freedom to play.

Although I have considered myself to be an artist for many years and taken many workshops and courses along the way, I would say that this course was the most comprehensive, from setting up your studio to finishing and mounting a piece. There is always something more to learn and different ways to approach a blank surface and I feel her methods make cold wax/oil approachable and fun.

As a visual learner, the demonstrations were the most helpful and exciting and got my creative juices going. Her well-developed flowchart of the 9 stages of creativity was well thought out and will continue to be a tool I’ll use as I produce my art. Simply reinforcing the importance of shape, value, line and color is always welcomed as we often forget to address one or more of these aspects in our work, and painting with her was such a joy.

I recommend this course to any serious artist wanting to produce non-objective, expressive art in cold wax / oil medium."

Marion Lavery

"What I liked most about the course is that it gave me the tools to be able to analyze my work using the principles of design and value which Pam continued to reinforce. Playing is fun but at some point, you must pull your work together and I now have a better understanding of how to do that.

I think this course is good for all levels of artists, beginners and advanced. The nice thing about the videos and print outs is that they allow you to go back and review as many times as you like. And as you advance, you will come away with new information each time you watch them. Pam does a great job of explaining everything so that you can understand the information."

Pamela Hansen

"What fun it is to explore cold wax/oil through Art and Success! As a novice, I gained all the tools to fill my tool box, learned to play and explore tools and the medium, and am excited to be clarifying before moving on to my next works. Being at the beginning of this journey of communication through art with the warm and caring guidance of Pamela Caughey has been a fantastic experience. I have come away from the class with confidence to move forward in playing, exploring, and clarifying my artistic message. Powerful Design and Personal Color is a great course for everyone, novice to professional. I hope you enjoy taking this course as much as I have."

Theresa Duncan

"I'm really enjoying the online course, especially that this introductory part is a recap of what we learned last spring. LOVE the tip on lesson 9 about keeping the sides and back of the birch panels clean, will definitely do this in the future.

Looking forward to diving in with the painting part. My little cottage studio in my backyard doesn't have wi-fi so I'm watching everything so far from my desk in the house. The lessons that are downloadable I will have on my laptop in the studio. It's no problem, as I mostly I know the drill.

Also, I love being able to hit pause and print if I see something I want to add to my notebook. Often times in a class I might space out (shocking!) for a few minutes so the course allows me to back up and listen again, or hit pause and read the text on the screen so it sinks in. I wasn't fully engaged last spring when you explained glazes and using galkyd gel, so I'm excited to know now how to do glazes.

Anyway, thanks so much! Excellent job on communicating the intricacies of this amazing medium."

Donna Tye Murphy (FAM)

"At this point I've gotten through Lesson 6 in Mod. One, and, I'm absolutely THRILLED! I'm so excited for myself and for everyone I'm going to be sharing this opportunity with!

Prior to viewing any part of the course, I'd jotted down components of what would be "Must Haves" to make this course "Rock" for me, and, BABY YOU GOT IT! You're teaching and presenting from an intelligent MFA level which is soo important. I love how you incorporated the verbiage within the "Sketch Book" of the "Elements of Design"! Bingo! YOU truly are a GREAT Teacher! Wowie! THANKS! So happy!! Dancing!!"

Susan Stanton, Grand Junction, CO

"Today I watched the SATURATION video, and it really kicks A**! I love how you did the example with RED, showing all the tints, shades and tones, then worked them into a sample, high lighting the pure Red. I think its really effective! Also, the example with the pure color swatches in (RGBY) with the mid-tones swatches (with the square window cut out). I think that's a powerful visual example of how saturated color and mid tones affect each other. Wonderful!!"

Heidi Marie Faessel (FAM)

"Thank you, thank you for the amazing amount of work you've put into your online course! You leave no stone unturned and it's obvious that countless hours, energy and love have been poured into this amazing project! Without a doubt, you are the most giving, generous, patient and skilled teacher I've ever had! (please feel free to use this testimony)."

Lauren Smith-Nagel (FAM)

"The information is much “more than”, could be covered in a four-day workshop. I’m not sure a semester long course could even provide all this info to a student. All the information in this course could be divided into separate courses: a “how to” use cold wax medium, a design class, and a color class.

Students are gaining a treasure chest of knowledge by taking this class! This course would be a complete encyclopedia on cold wax medium, how to use it and so much more, including 2D design class, color, art history. The videos are vital for a student to see the mechanics of “how to”! Better than just the written word."

Deborah Bowen

Before Launching this Online Course,
it was Tested!

Three artists with different backgrounds - Meet Marion, Pamela and Terry - who discuss this course! Both Pamela Hansen (sitting far left) and Marion Lavery (seated in the middle) have been artists for many, many years and both have also painted in lots of mediums - but had never tried cold wax/oils so I invited them to join the online course as my "beta" testers to make sure everything is working properly and to make sure my lessons were clear. Terri Duncan, (seated far right), is actually a writer who had never lifted a paintbrush before this course - but she was enthusiastic to give my online course a whirl! I'm excited to share this course with you - it is now open for enrollment, but I carefully monitor how many students are enrolled each month so I can be sure new students get off to a great start! LIVE conference calls are included through June, 2019 and are open to all enrollees. The calls are designed to answer questions and critique work that is submitted for review. After June 2019, these recorded calls will be available in the video library and will add much additional content, approximately 15 hours, to this course.

Still Not Sure if this Course is Right for You?

If any of these questions below describe you, let me assure you the answer is YES! These are the questions I asked myself as I created this course!

I'll show you the ONE thing that will solve this problem; it's easy, fun and has worked for the many, many students I've taught, including myself!
I have several students who mainly work in acrylic and are taking this course – they are truly enjoying it and have given me extremely positive feedback. Of the 12 total hours of video included in this course (including the almost 2 full hours of BONUS videos), which includes 40 lessons – only about 5 lessons are strictly geared to the cold wax medium (ie, safety, setting up your studio, technique). IF you are proficient or at least have your materials and somewhat of a handle on technique in another medium, this course should absolutely help you make your artwork better, stronger and more personally you. This course will help you know how to get started, ask yourself the right questions along the way so you can FINISH your paintings, and both my “9 stages of creativity” and the heart of this course, “Powerful Design and Personal Color”, apply to ALL 2D mediums!
I’ll show you the very best way I’ve found to get started – no fear involved! In fact, quite the opposite!
I’ll share with you how to ALWAYS know what to do next with your painting, even when you’re stuck! My 9 Stages of Creativity will help guide the way!
Visual Art is a LANGUAGE – I will share with you how to speak this “language” fluently!
I will show you how to discover and exploit the things you LOVE, and quiet down the rest so it’s clear what you are really trying to say!
I will show you how I “know” when my painting is finished. It all boils down to filling your visual toolbox to the brim. After this course, your toolbox will be full and you will know how to determine if your work is finished!
If I can show you how to get started without any fear, get yourself out of a “rut” when you get stuck, and “know” when your painting is truly finished, can you really afford not to take this course? I offer an affordable 2 monthly payment plan as well.
This course is not on a timed “schedule”- it is a self-paced course and you have access FOR LIFE! You can work independently, learn something new each time you go through the course and meet other dedicated artists in our private FaceBook group, always available to enrollees. Twelve recorded group calls address course modules and Q&A from artists in this course. Calls will be live through June 19, 2019, then available as recordings in our video library. (Joining our private FaceBook group is optional; you are not required to participate if that is not your thing!)
Got it! I will SHOW YOU how I complete 16 paintings during this course, and I’ll walk you through each “stage” of the paintings’ progress.
There are 8 Comprehensive modules and approximately 40 lessons (over 10 full hours of videos) to guide you through your art making journey, from a “playful” start of 16 paintings to the final stages of applying finesse and subtlety to your work to make it “stellar”!
Sure! Ok – let me throw in almost two more hours of BONUS videos! (That's almost 12 full hours of training; comparable online courses cost more than $1500).

Here are some of the BONUS Video topics:
-Do you want to paint with drippy paint? Don’t just add solvent – there’s a better way!

-Do you want to mount your works on paper to panel, but don’t know how? Don’t make the big mistake I made – I’ll show you how!

-Are you packing your suitcase for a workshop, but don’t know if you can take solvents and cold wax medium? Yes – but you need to satisfy TSA!

-Are you curious if you can apply what you learn in this course to other mediums? One BONUS video will show you just that!

Your Instructor

Pamela Caughey
Pamela Caughey

Pamela Caughey grew up in Wisconsin, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from UW-Madison in 1983. After moving with her family to Hamilton, MT in 1986, she began her serious study of art, and in 2010 received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Montana School of Art. She works in many media, with special interest in cold wax/oil, encaustic, mixed media and acrylic. Her work is in the permanent collection of several museums and public buildings nationally and internationally and her work appears in the newly published book by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin, “Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, Conversations”. After teaching foundations courses at the University of Montana, Bitterroot College, Montana, she is now a full time studio artist and teaches workshops from her Hamilton, Montana studio, within the US and abroad.

Get started now!