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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.
When we talk about palettes now, we aren't necessarily referring to this but to the colors chosen for an image. Choosing a palette for a project is often the greatest challenge. We're charged with trying to decide what colors to use and why they make sense. Then figuring out how to use them with the medium of choice. A palette starts with a core cast of characters. The parent colors that all the mixes and layers in a piece'll come from. Otherwise known as a limited palette. Limiting a palette requires using a set number of parent colors that then spawn all the other colors, and create a harmony or unity that make them all related.
The group of colors must work together to create the sense of whole. If there's no connection between the colors, they aren't a family. A palette can be limited by 2 colors, limited by 3 colors, limited by more than 3 colors, but less than every color available in nature, Photoshop, or the art supply store. The reason for limiting a palette has to do with two things: Telling, what am I trying to say with an image? And showing, what colors will best express my intention? If you choose a group of colors with intention, you've accomplished something.
Am I talking about a warm place? A cool place, a neutral place, an idea that speaks to pain, or to play, or fantasy. Using a color study or charting the pallet will help to make the journey to the right pallet easier. And of course, medium plays a role here. No matter what palette you choose or what medium you create your image in, editing down to particular colors based on why they make sense for your project is the best place to start.
Testing the choices for an image by creating color charts and studies can let you know what works and what doesn't. Trust your intuition about the idea, story, or the expression of your image. And what palate speaks to that let your gut be your guide.
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