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Friday, May 24, 2013

More of the "Training our Eye for Color" adventure

I know, I know... I left you-all hanging for over a month on the educational adventure. And I do feel guilty about it. But it was homework or blog and homework had a deadline and a grade to inspire first priority. (Sometimes it took priority over sleep...)

But I'm back now and ready to play school catch-up after blog "hooky". {wry grin}

We last visited my Color and Composition class adventures in early March with "Scales of Grey to a whole Color Wheel".

Our next assignment was to create another 9-chip scale in one of these color combinations: Red to Black, White to Magenta (which means lots of Pink), Black to Yellow (which turns an amazing avocado color), and White to Blue.
The teacher randomly assigned a color combination to each student and I received the White to Blue color scale homework. As previously noted in the "Scales of Grey" post, our blue was very dense and a very little bit of paint would go a reallllllly long way. So gradation in that color was a bit of a challenge.
I agree, the chip down near the white end of the scale was a little too blue.
The results of my painting (lots and lots and lots) of blue-tinted color chips to create a 9-Chip White-to-Blue Color Scale went pretty well. I only had one chip that was a little too blue (not surprising considering my too-blue Color Wheel).
And yes, the blotchy stuff on the chips are my fingerprints in glue. 

We then started using a Color Aid packet for our next color-training exercises.
The Color Aid is essentially 4.5" x 6" paint chips. Here's the description from the Color Aid folks: "The Standard Set consists of 220 matt-finished colors. An instruction leaflet describing the organization of the colors provides a grid for designating the colors as these re not printed on the back. The Standard Set was the prevailing system from 1948 until 1989, at which time the full set was released."

We did 3 exercises based on the Color Relationship exercises of Josef Albers, who taught at the Bauhaus in Germany and is well known for his book,"Interactions of Color". I found quite a few folks referencing his book and exercises on the internet. There are actually many more of the exercises than the 3 we did.  {I found our exercises to be marvelous and magical.}
This quote from Mr. Albers sums up two of our exercises rather well: "A knowing colorist can make equal colors look different and different colors alike."

The purpose of the first exercise was to take 1 color and make it look like 2 colors by changing the background to affect the foreground color chip value, hue, & intensity. I believe it is called Simultaneous Contrast. (An "unadulterated" sample of the foreground color chip appears at the bottom of the project.)

The second exercise was to make two colors look like the same color. We did this by changing the background color to influence the foreground color chips (again, "unadulterated" sample of the foreground color chips appear at the bottom of the project.)
{I thought I was a little off on this one - the photo makes it a little more off, but still...}
The last exercise was to show transparency. The effect of Color A crossing over or under Color B - would it be lighter/darker based on the mix and placement of the two colors?
We did a variety of placement tests to find colors that would support transparency and then cut out the pieces we needed to meet specific measurements and to create this arrangement:
The orange bar on the left was going Over the two reds and
the yellow bar on the right was going under.
{Yes, glue-n-paper is not a graceful medium for
me - fingerprints galore.}
We later did some in-class exercises to consider color gradation/value and intensity.
We selected a range of Color Aid cards on purpose (the blues) and 10 were selected randomly, organized them from dark to light - and then we mixed the two to see effect on each range.

We also mixed these colors with a range of neutrals:

I floundered a little with these exercises (not finding a 10-card color range) before defaulting to the 9 blue I had found, but I was pleasantly boggled with the nifty results/effect.
I cannot take credit for this gradation-combo. It was
put together by one of my table-mates.
When arranging these as above, an imaginary light source could be suggested or some colors hightened by the color combinations.

Our adventures with the packet of Color Aids were not yet over.
We were asked to create a 7" x 7" design that we would re-create with the 4.5" x 6" Color Aid Cards to show a focus on pattern, dimension, light, or transparency (or a combination thereof).

And that adventure will be continue in a future blog. Night, all!


  1. WOW !! WOW!!! W*O*W*!*!*!!!! AWESOME !!! I'm a hard-core color obsessive and this post RULES the game. The white-to-blue color study would have made me tear my hair, I would be saying "can't we just do it in Photoshop?". The way you can doctor the SAME color to look like 'pale mauve' or 'true purple' just by its neighboring contrast hue is fantastic. I will play with fonts/backgrounds in gmail by the hour doing this. I would go nuts with this stuff. The over-under stuff. The colors in your gradation/combo study are SO jazzy and sweet! This is my favorite blog post so far. I could color-play all day every day for the rest of my life with no problem. Mindfully, of course ;->

  2. Oh, and what a fitting entry for Bob Dylan's birthday. Happy Birthday, Bob!