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Monday, August 19, 2013

Intense Critters

This week we will look at a Color Theory class project from my first semester as an art major. The students were asked to choose from a number of color theory concepts, and then find an interesting way to demonstrate them. I went with "Intensity", which in this class was defined as "the shifting of one color to another, showing gradations in between". I think intensity is a poor term to describe the incremental changes that occur between one color and another, but I decided to play along anyway. I chose to use purple and yellow which are on complete opposite sides of the color wheel from each other. This would allow for the opportunity to show a substantial shift of color. I worked with acrylic paints because of familiarity, and ease of use.
This was a wide-open assignment with only a few parameters. So I took this opportunity to begin exploring that mysterious Third Dimension that I had heard so much about. In order to reinforce the idea of a visual color change, I wanted to also show a physical evolution of some kind. After a few sketches and prototypes I had a population of whimsical little "critters", that showed nine different points in the "evolution" from purple to yellow. The critters were molded out of a clay polymer that is then fixed, and hardened by baking in an oven. Then I mixed and made quite a few paint swatches where I worked out the color progression. Not an easy thing. Most of the transitional colors are muddy and unappealing but they are necessary to illustrate the concept. It took several coats of paint to get decent coverge on the critters.
The wooden base was originally going to look like a painter's palette, but I was cautioned against that as it was "too obvious".  So, I chose instead to make it an ambiguous organic shape, painted in a medium blue-gray.
I post certain things from this blog onto Pintrest, and I'm pleased that this particular project has been "re-pinned" a few times onto other people's art boards. I do indeed appreciate that kind of validation from complete strangers.

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