Art 10 Color Intro and Color Mixing


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  • Visible light has a wavelength in the range of about 380 nanometres (nm), or 380×10−9 m, to about 740 nanometres – between the invisible infrared, with longer wavelengths and the invisible ultraviolet, with shorter wavelengths.
  • Art 10 Color Intro and Color Mixing

    1. 1. Introduction to Color Theory and Color Mixing
    2. 2. The visible colors of the spectrum. (All these individual wavelengths of color are found together to create white light--either artificial or natural white light.)
    3. 3. Check it out!
    4. 4. The Electromagnetic Spectrum extends from below the low frequencies used for modern radio communication to gamma radiation at the short-wavelength (high-frequency) end, thereby covering wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atom. The limit for long wavelengths is the size of the universe itself…
    5. 5. There are two kinds of color: Additive Color (made with light.) Subtractive Color (made with pigments that reflect light.) In the additive system, the three primaries mixed together create white light. In the subtractive system, the three primaries mixed together create a muddy, murky brown pigment.
    6. 6. The additive color system again:
    7. 7. Look closely at your computer screen to see the additive system at work!
    8. 8. Red and green makes yellow? You bet!
    9. 9. “Cathode Ray Tubes,” “Light Emitting Diodes,” “Cold Cathode Florescent Lights” (LCD), etc.
    10. 10. The Subtractive system is different, however. In this system, all of the wavelengths of light hit a particular pigment, and the unique molecular structure of that pigment absorbs all those wavelengths except the one you see, which is reflected back at your eyes. This is why this system is called subtractive: all the wavelengths are absorbed except the one(s) you see.
    11. 11. In this Piero Della Francesca painting from 15th C. Italy, the blue on the Virgin’s dress is ground-up Lapis Lazuli, which is a semi-precious stone. (An example of the Subtractive system.)
    12. 12. In this Roman fresco from the first C. AD, the background is made of ground-up glass that was heated with scraps of copper to turn it green. (Another example of the Subtractive system.)
    13. 13. Johannes Itten’s color wheel: a classic example of how one can organize the subtractive color mixing system. The Primaries: Red, Yellow, and Blue The Secondaries: Orange, Green and Violet. The Intermediaries: Yellow-Green, Yellow- orange, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, and Blue-Green.
    14. 14. Franz Marc (20th Century German) loved to use primary colors in his paintings:
    15. 15. (This is also known as a Triadic color relationship.)
    16. 16. Piet Mondrian (20th C Dutch) The ultimate Primary man!
    17. 17. Remember this Mondrian from the “Line” lecture?
    18. 18. Elizabeth Murray (20th C American) uses both primaries and secondaries here:
    19. 19. Claude Monet (19th C French) often liked to use Analogous color relationships.
    20. 20. (Analogous colors are located next to one another on the color wheel.)
    21. 21. Also: warm colors verses cool colors…
    22. 22. Look how Monet combines warm and cool colors so effectively in this painting. He creates the sensation of atmospheric “temperature” here:
    23. 23. Note the high key (or highly saturated) colors in these paintings. Highly saturated colors are close to their original spectral form--without being very diluted with other colors or black or white.)
    24. 24. Note the low key (or highly diluted) colors in these paintings. Low key colors colors are far away from their original spectral form-- they’ve been diluted with other colors and/or black and/or white.)
    25. 25. Monochromatic relationships: when principally one color dominates the design.
    26. 26. Penelope Gottlieb’s installation of drawings at the Kim Light Gallery in Los Angeles in 2009:
    27. 27. (Examples of artworks with monochromatic color relationships.)
    28. 28. HUE refers to the “colorness” of a color--its distinctness from other colors. SATURATION refers to the purity of a color--the more saturated it is the closer it is to its spectral form. INTENSITY is related to saturation to some degree--it refers to the brightness and brilliance of a color.
    29. 29. Red, Yellow and Blue verses Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan (CMYK):
    30. 30. Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan are cooler colors:
    31. 31. The four color commercial printing process.
    32. 32. Optical mixing with the four color commercial printing process
    33. 33. Optical Mixing:
    34. 34. Chuck Close, Contemporary American (Optical mixing in painting.)
    35. 35. Chuck Close
    36. 36. Project Number Four: Color Mixing   You are going to make a painting in Acrylic that has 12 distinct shapes—each  shape painted with one of the 12 colors (3 Primaries, 3 Secondaries, and 6  Intermediaries) on Johannes Itten’s color wheel. First, create a composition in  your sketch-pad that has 12 flat, smoothly interlocking (but recognizable)  shapes. Then transfer this composition with pencil and ruler onto your 15”x20”  illustration board. The particular outside dimensions you select for this  composition will be up to you, and can be irregular if you wish. (I will  demonstrate this concept.)   Once you’ve completed penciling in your design, mix and paint each shape with  a different color from your wheel.  Mix your paint to match each color of your  wheel as carefully as you can. Think about where to place the individual colors  to create a balanced overall design.  Do you want to disperse warm and cool  colors around the design, for example, or place analogous colors next to one  another?  Also: which of your shapes will get what particular colors? Will you  assign your favorite colors the bigger or more dominant shapes in the design,  and relegate your lesser favorites to the smaller or less important shapes?    One more thing: you’ll need to select at least 2 of the 12 colors to optically mix  in your design.  There were a number of examples of optical mixing in the slide  show; use one of these methods, one that I demonstrate, or some other  interesting method of your own devising.  
    37. 37. (Student work)
    38. 38. And now for the demo…