Oct 28 2008
Tonight I’m inspired to use the example of a friends’ collages as the basis for an exercise for a student project. The following exploration of Color, Space, and Pattern can benefit students from the approach of Color Theory, Painting, as well as Mixed Media applications.
All of the textile-based collages represented on this post are the creations of Janet Silver (a fellow artist at Six Days Art Cooperative).
The composition at left is a quilted collage, using a combination of bold and subtly patterned fabrics. Janet selected varied colors of different sized rectangles and squares, in this case, she stitched several fabric pieces to an underlaying fabric.
A similar type of composition could be created using either acrylic paints or mixed media collage:
Color and Repetition
1. Create design that includes 6-10 divisions of space, using geometric shapes or free-form patterns (this number is fairly arbitrary… the aim is to keep it simple)
2. Create each segment in different tones of either CONTRASTING or ANALAGOUS colors (choose 3-4 colors, in a range of varying values). You could also choose a split-compliment or triad theme for the composition.
3. Create a simple, repeated PATTERN or TEXTURE into each of the divided spaces. These patterns can be achieved by direct painting, or by collaging painted papers.
Combining painting and collage, you can might begin with the painting and then add collaged papers, or begin by painting papers, then decide on the design as you glue them to your substrate. You might choose to paint directly onto tissue papers, then paint more details into the composition. (See my article on creating texture, for a multitude of surface techniques).
Think of ways to achieve a BALANCE of visual weight (i.e. larger shapes counter-weighing multiple smaller forms). Decide on a COLOR THEME before you begin (analagous, complimentary, split-compliment, triad, etc). Use a color wheel, and try to match the hues of chosen colors.
If you are skilled at using image editing software, it can also help you to decide on a color composition. To illustrate this, I’ve taken images of Janet’s quilt/paintings and altered them through Photoshop software, to experiment with different palettes:
The first panel in my illustration shows her original compositions. By selecting “Image”, then “Hue/Saturation”, you can alter the hue to a gradually shift it to multiple settings. In addition, you can affect the brightness/contrast, or even invert the colors. It’s a quick way to make some color choices before you even get out the paint! This is also a good way to use photographs as a source material for artworks.
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