Deep Space: Building Depth with Color

Contributor:

Arkansas Tech University

PROJECT INFORMATION FOR EDUCATORS

Where?

Course level 

Foundations, Color Design, Color Theory, 2-Dimensional Design

Why?

Conversation points for instructors

This project addresses many skills required for a Color Design Course.

 

First, students are introduced to non-objective design, expanding from representational modes of thinking. Using the elements and principles of design, we focus on creating depth using visual cues, via overlap, color juxtaposition and size.  We also review geometric and organic shapes. (Many students take Color Design after 2-Dimensional Design.)

 

  • Students learn the differences between representational, abstract, and non-objective art.

  • Practice color mixing with a variety of tints, tones, and shades within a limited palette. 

 

Traditionally, I teach this in-person, but it may also be adapted for hybrid or online classes.

PROJECT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS

What?

Project Prompt / Challenge

Create a non-objective or non-representational painting using a monochromatic or analogous color scheme. Create the illusion of spatial depth.

How?

Strategy

Step 1: Make at least 4 different thumbnail sketches of your ideas.

  • Keep these simple and quick.

  • They should be drawn inside rectangles.

  • Scale to the dimensions of your board. (for example, 2.25 x 3 in.)

  • Include notes beside each sketch indicating how each sketch will depict spatial depth.

 

Play with:

  • size (smaller shapes appear to be further away)

  • color (warm, saturated colors advance, cool desaturated colors recede)

  • and overlap

 

Step 2: Choose your favorite design and make a larger sketch of it in your sketchbook.

Photograph all 5 sketches (4 thumbnails and 1 larger sketch) and upload.

 

Consider the following:

  • How have you created a sense of depth using only shape and hue

  • How have you employed unity or variety? Rhythm? Composition?

 

Step 3.  Choose a monochromatic or analogous color scheme.

If monochromatic, which hue will you use?

Step 4.  Lightly draw a 1 inch border around the edge of your illustration board, creating a 9" x 12" rectangle.

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Draw your design lightly and then begin painting. You may choose portrait or landscape format.

Optional:

  • Tape the border with painter’s tape.

  • At the end of each painting session when the paint is dry, remove tape (so it doesn’t adhere to the paper.)

  • The border of your paper should be neat and free of paint.

Step 5.  Upload your work.

Label your image in the description as either monochromatic or analogous and include which hues you used. Also, tag them: #deepspace

Materials:

11 x 14 in. Illustration Board

Acrylic Paints

Palette knife

Plates for mixing paint

Brushes

Cup for Water

Ruler

Pencil & Eraser

Sketchbook

 

And/or other drawing media: collage, colored pencils, watercolor, mixed media...

Timeline:

2 weeks

FURTHER SUPPORT INFORMATION

Student Examples:

Support Files:

Inspirational

Artists:

Joseph Albers

Yayoi Kusama

Ad Reinhardt

Bridget Riley

Vega Or

Victor Vasarely

Kenneth Noland

Karl Benjamin

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