Magazine article School Arts

A Spectrum of Color

Magazine article School Arts

A Spectrum of Color

Article excerpt

How often we take color for granted. To illustrate the power of color, and to give life to ordinary objects, I engaged my students in the following project.

First they were asked to pick a small everyday object in which the color was not a significant aspect. Students decided on objects such as paper clips, pushpins, safety pins, scissors, paint brushes, etc.

Students were then asked to draw an enlargement of one of the objects they selected in contour line. The object was first drawn three times in pencil, on 18 x 24" (46 x 61 cm) white drawing paper. They decided on the placement and size of the object; the only restriction being that the subject was completely drawn within the confines of the paper. Next, the students used watercolor to paint within each shape. At least one of the objects had to be painted using the whole range of color in the spectrum. The use of color in the two other objects was optional--some chose to use warm and cool colors to develop these forms.

The Illusion of Three Dimensions

At this point there was discussion about the further development of their compositions. A joint decision was made to add to the complexity of the compositions by repeating the subject three more times. These three additional drawings were painted in a gray value scale. The concept was to repeat the subject and give the impression that the objects developed in gray were on a lower level. This was partially achieved by having the color objects overlapping the gray ones. In the process, the intensity of the application of the watercolor medium--both in color and gray values--was considered by each student. …

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