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Color is a fundamental element of our lives. Understanding how to use it for visual communication in a variety of contexts is essential for designers and artists. This course is about learning how to use color, not only to create more effective designs, but also to tell a story. Illustrator, professor, and author Mary Jane Begin explains how color intertwines with brand identity, how it affects the mood of a piece and directs the viewer's attention to areas of interest, and how it can connect images or create space between elements. She removes the mystery surrounding the color wheel and color relationships; shows how to layer, mix, and digitally alter color; and use light to integrate temperature, translucency, and contrast.
These lessons are applicable to a number of fields, including graphic design, photography, and illustration, and both traditional and digital media. Dive in and get a fresh look at color that is sure to revitalize your creativity and your work.
It's one thing to talk about something, another to actually do it. Making textural colors and balancing textures against areas of quiet, is worth reviewing and seeing for yourself. I'll demonstrate with materials I have here in the studio, a variety of ways to make textures that can be replicated in Photoshop, and can be scanned and saved as your own textural colors. We'll start with water color, and contrast a smooth gradient against the surface using kosher salt and sponges. It can easily be moved and removed giving it's flexible nature.
(UNKNOWN) is another water based medium, that in this case we'll play with on a tone paper ground. It has the properties of being laid down in a very flat method, or as a thin clear string of color. The mark is very consistent and clean. Acrylic paint is also water-based and a very flexible medium, as it was invented to mimic many of the properties of oils. It can be laid down in a smooth tone much like water color and (UNKNOWN).
And can be used as a glaze with medium, just like oils. Oils are not only able to achieve results like all of the previously mentioned media, it has the added advantage of physical weight and heft. A palette knife can be used to create texture with actual depth. The variety of tools used for oils gives way to many textural effects that makes colors with less homogenous results. In the dry media, pastel sticks and pencils are highly reactive to the surface that you put them on.
Playing with a variety of paper textures will have an effect on the marks made on paper. The medium also allows for smooth translation, or as a rougher texture depending on whether the color sits on top of the paper or is pressed into it. Colored pencils are similar to pastels, and can be used to graze the surface or be pressed into it. Colored pencils tend to make much smaller, more rigid and really less movable marks than pastel.
And finally, ink pens make the most rigid mark of all. They provide a way to keep the color clean while making the texture, either controlled or loose and gestural. Textural ink marks can be made with pens with thin or fat tips, or with an actual pen dipped in ink known as a croco pen. Similar techniques can be replicated in applications like Photoshop or Painter. Or textures made from traditional media can be scanned and saved to be used in those applications.
Using texture is another way to create variation and contrast in a piece. And we know that having contrast is a good thing.
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