Sunday, December 27, 2009

Color Works

What can you do when you limit your palette? Students were asked to take a high contrast image, preferably one of their own, and transfer it twice. The finished works were rendered using a set of three analogous colors (colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel) plus black, white, or gray. The other palette consisted of a pair of complementary colors, allowing them to  intermix the complements, or add black, white, or gray.  Getting your values right works every time!

The following three examples include using a simplified image and using four color ways: an achromatic palette of 7 tones from white to black;  three analogous hues with the option of mixing in a bit of black, white, or gray; and two sets of tetradic color relationships. Tetradic color schemes employ four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

When you fail to alter the saturation of color it can be a bit overwhelming...or thrilling, depending on your own response!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Let there be light

"All perceiving is also thinking,
All reasoning is also intuition,
All observation is also invention."
Joseph Kosuth, Conceptual Artist

Joseph Kosuth, 1965, neon

Color is light and light is energy.  We love how it looks and it can profoundly affect how we feel.
Not everyone sees color the same way.
Some people even "hear" color.  I once taught a student with synesthesia.  Letters and numbers each had their own color.  Sounds appeared in her mind as colored textures.  David Hockney is a synesthete.  He is now deaf.  How much of his world is he missing?

Students worked on color wheels and color scales: tints, shades, monochromatic, and complementary color pairs.  They were forced to work with the incredibly cheap tempera paints.  The end result was often dreadful, but it also bordered on the sublime.

Both of these students broke with the idea of the wheel, instead exploring their own vision of how a system of hues can be mixed and presented.

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