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Dec 25, 2010

Fall 2010 - Color Theory

Next up in my end-of-semester round-up posts is my Color Theory class with Cameron Wasson.  First and foremost, Cameron is such a delightful and knowledgeable teacher!  Her metaphors--which, for the record, she concocts in an improvisational manner--make learning fun, and her zest for art both classic and contemporary is truly inspiring.  I have made a couple of previous postings about my work for this class: my first Design Project and my analogous split-complimentary color scheme portrait painting.  Here are some of the other projects I created for this class, starting with the Optic Mix painting:

As you can see, I started with the blue bird on a branch photograph, which I then cropped.  Next, I created a black & white Value Study of the image, followed by a Color Study.  The idea behind an Optic Mix painting is that the colors are mixed in the viewer's eye as opposed to the artist mixing them on the palette.  Therefore, the final image is a series of tiny dots created with a ruling pen.  It was a mind-bending experience, for sure, and I was never pleased with my control over the tool or the limited palette we were allowed.  Next unposted project was a Color Temperature painting:
Here, Cameron gave us a box of colored blocks from which to pick and create an interesting arrangement.  We then photographed that arrangement under a filtered light, in this case a warm filter.  After the standard value and color studies, a final painting was created.  The yellow block is all but lost in this painting, and the shadows were far too blue.  Since this was a "learning" class--as opposed to a "create amazing portfolio artwork" class--I didn't choose to redo any projects.  As long as I was learning from them, I felt they were as successful as they needed to be.  And finally, we have the final project for the class:
The final project was a landscape illustration that showed Atmospheric Perspective.  I went to my not-so-massive library of personal images and found some great ones from Lake Tahoe (from when my parents were kind enough to fly out here to San Francisco to visit me and free me--for the weekend--from this dreadful city).  Following Cameron's advice to cater the image towards our Majors, I decided to use a cinematic aspect ratio, so I had to move around a few of the elements from the photograph before I created the usual value and color studies.  You can also see a rare work-in-progress image just above the final painting.  One thing I definitely learned from this final painting--besides how far I've come in my knowledge of painting with gouache paint and of color theory itself--is the importance of designing everything thoroughly in the early stages.  Lack of design (as seen in the far-to-rough value study) lead to problems with the foreground plant life and ultimately really ruined what was otherwise a very pleasing painting.  Lesson learned for next time!
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