Thursday, November 09, 2006

Colour Theory

Week 6 at Art School - p.2

Our day today was all about colour theory with tutor Chris. The exercise was to make lots and lots of coloured squares - not the usual colour wheel, but just random colours. We all drew at least two sheets with 40 5cm by 5cm square boxes and stuck them to the walls. Then off we went with our acrylics. He didn't care whether we kept track of what colour we were mixing - it was more about just being free. He also suggested "chasing" a colour - as in if we found a colour we liked, to keep adding other colours to see what we got. Do one sheet first, then see what range of values we had - lots of dark colours, then make the second sheet with more light colours, and vice versa. At the end of the day we cut all the squares out and went home with those to do our homework. I came home and stuck them on the wall to have a look (above).

Homework was to make two sets of 9 squares of the same tonal value and one set of 9 with a mix of values. I cheated and looked at the squares through the digital camera set on black & white, which allows you to see clearly the values.

Light set:

Dark set:

Mixed set:

This is as far as I've got - the rest of the homework is to do some paintings based on these sets, and also to do something with the off-cuts (below, the bits of colour that spread out from the 5x5 boxes we were painting in). Lots to do!

Chris also suggested a few books if we were interested in colour and its use:
"Colour and Culture" by John Gage
"Interaction of Colour" by Josef Albers
"Elements of Colour" by Johannes Itten
"Colour Codes" by Charles A RileyII
"Basic Colour" by Egbert Jacobson (1948, Basic Color: An Interpretation of the Ostwald Color System, Chicago Theobald - out of print)


Nina Johansson said...

I really appreciate your sharing what you do in art school. It´s so great to read about your experiences there, and to see what you guys do in class. I´m an art-teacher, and it´s a great inspiration to be a part of your student-perspective on these things, and read your thoughts on what you do. Thanks a lot!

Jana Bouc said...

I love the first image of all the color squares. I took a color class years ago where we used a big box of that that wonderful silk-screened paper (I forget what it's called) and it was such a joy to work with. Isn't it interesting how so many colors are really in the mid-grey range even though they seem so different? I always have it as a goal to make paintings that when looked at in black and white are not all grey! Thanks for continuing to share your experiences--I'm so enjoying seeing them!

Anonymous said...

Clever idea, I must say. I might have to do the same as I'm finding it hard to choose as they all seem to be darker.