Bring This Not That

It’s hard to believe, but next Tuesday, May 3 is our final meeting of Color Theory.


*sniffle* Say it ain’t so!

As you know, we will be going out with a class chock full o’ important stuff. This includes our final exam, a critique on your class projects (particularly the final project) and a potluck to fuel all of the above (clearly the most important thing).


Remember that the final exam is a mandatory part of your participation for next week, but is not a separate grade. Wrong answers will not hurt you, but right answers will give you extra credit. To that end, it’s worth reviewing your notes and the posts on this blog to make sure you have all the many facets of color theory we’ve studied fresh in your mind.

What You Need for Our Final Class Meeting

  1. Project 1—Master Study with glazed color applied to grisaille
  2. Project 2—Warhol Series with all four panels completed
  3. Project 3 (Final Project)—Symbolic/Emotive Dreamscape (more on this below)
  4. Project 4—Color Collection including:
    • Value Scale
    • Color Wheel #1: Earth Primaries
    • Color Wheel #2: Limited Prismatic Primaries 1 (Warm)
    • Color Wheel #3: Limited Prismatic Primaries 2 (Cool)
    • Transparent Test Strips (in-class exercise with lines painted over one another)
    • Transparent/Tint Color Tests (2 sided sheet)
  5. Your paints; you will need these for our final exam
  6. The clip light and bulb you borrowed from me. I bought these with my own money, so please, please, pretty please with frosting-on-top bring them back
  7. Any paintbrushes, palette knives or other studio equipment you borrowed. Please return these so we have them to use for next year
  8. Food to share for our critique potluck (optional)

Please make sure your name is on all projects and parts of projects.

What You DON’T Need for our Final Class Meeting

  1. Your Project 2 still life/shadow box
  2. This.

Reminders for Your Final Project

As you know, your final project is a Dreamscape. This project is very open-ended and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You could represent an actual dream, a dreamlike mood, a personal goal or ambition or something else you relate to the idea of dreams. Whatever your chosen content, color should be one of the primary means of artistic communication in your piece. You may use color in any or all of the ways we’ve discussed in class this semester:

  • as a compositional tool (either by considering color’s impact on the formal principles of art and/or by utilizing one of the color schemes we studied)
  • as something to set mood or emotion
  • as as symbolic content.


weird_al_importantBe prepared to demonstrate that you have thought through your idea as it relates to the dreamscape theme and to discuss the artistic choices you made particularly in terms of color. Your grade will take into account how well you address your own work. As such, it’s worthwhile to take a few minutes to jot down three or four sentences that explain what you painted and why you painted it the way you did. You can read rather than speak extemporaneously if it’s easier for you.

Other Considerations

  1. Your piece can be any style or subject provided you can explain how what you make relates to the dreamscape theme. This means you can work realistically, stylistically, abstractly or non-objectively with the imagery of your choice.
  2. Your piece must be a minimum of 9″ x 12″ in size.
  3. Your piece can be painted on any material you like: canvas, paper, wood, metal, cardboard, found objects, etc.
  4. Plan to spend AT LEAST 6 hours on this project. It is 20% of your course grade, after all.

Thoughts on Working through Your Project


First off, if you haven’t started yet… ACK! Get going!! If you are struggling, I strongly recommend the following steps to jump start the process.

  1. Research
    Take some time to look at images associated with the ideas you’re considering: photographs, artwork, etc. Do an online image search using a variety of terms related to your concept and save any pictures that strike your fancy to a folder on your computer. You can then use the gathered materials as inspiration and reference.
  2. Generate Ideas Using Thumbnails
    Thumbnail sketches are a quick way to work out what you want to do. Even if you are struggling to come up with an idea, making thumbnails… the act of doing SOMETHING… can jump start the creative process. As Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.”
  3. Refine Composition with Thumbnails
    Once you have settled on an idea, experiment with different ways to lay out your imagery in the way that best suits the mood or concept you want to express.
  4. Plan Your Color
    Remember that color is central to this project (it is a Color Theory class, after all). Therefore, it’s important to consider how you want to use color before you start painting. Do you want to build your artwork using a particular color scheme (complementary, analogous, triadic, etc.)? If so, how will this help create the effect or meaning you are hoping to convey? Should you take advantage of certain colors to create a mood or to embed symbolic content?
  5. Make a Guide Drawing (optional)
    If it helps you to paint more confidently, you can develop your thumbnails into a more detailed guide drawing either directly on the surface or by transferring.
  6. Paint, Paint, Paint!
    Did I mention paint?


As always, if you have questions post a comment or send an e-mail. Now here’s a random batman GIF.



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