Foundations of Color
Illustration by John Hersey

On temperature


From:

Foundations of Color

with Mary Jane Begin

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Video: On temperature

Why do we respond to warm tones and sunlight more positively than cool tones and darkness? Warm sun connotes positivity and upbeat sensibilities. Neutral tones, something inbetween. And cool tones evoke emotional coolness or even sadness. As emtional beings, content or meaning of an image is directly linked to the temperature of the overall color or light used in a piece. This is essential to remember when considering a pallet and a light source.
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  1. 5m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Traditional media to digital: The long and winding road of color
      3m 48s
    3. Exercise files
      22s
  2. 14m 40s
    1. Introduction: How color shapes meaning
      2m 23s
    2. Universal, cultural, and personal symbols of color
      2m 52s
    3. Concepts made clear
      4m 1s
    4. Brand identity and language
      2m 53s
    5. Sequence and pattern
      2m 31s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. What is the color wheel?
      2m 20s
    2. Primary colors, primary concerns
      3m 59s
    3. Playing with complementary colors
      3m 40s
    4. Tertiary colors: The basics of brown and gray
      4m 19s
  4. 17m 20s
    1. An overview of elements
      2m 48s
    2. Value is not a moral judgment
      2m 26s
    3. Saturation to neutralization
      3m 22s
    4. Temperature: How hot is hot?
      3m 12s
    5. Textures, marks, dashes, and dots
      2m 59s
    6. Seeing through color: Opaque, translucent, and transparent
      2m 33s
  5. 12m 25s
    1. What is contrast?
      3m 10s
    2. Creating focus: Living on the edge
      1m 15s
    3. Creating the readable image
      4m 6s
    4. Connecting contrast with content
      3m 54s
  6. 17m 29s
    1. Illuminating light
      1m 54s
    2. The effect of contrast in light
      1m 53s
    3. Value and saturation
      2m 27s
    4. On temperature
      2m 58s
    5. On complements
      2m 10s
    6. Secondary and reflected light
      3m 5s
    7. RGB vs. CMYK
      3m 2s
  7. 14m 24s
    1. An introduction to palettes
      2m 15s
    2. Limited palettes: A harmonious color palette
      2m 35s
    3. Harmony and discord
      2m 33s
    4. Unifying color grounds
      2m 40s
    5. Unifying glazes and layers
      2m 13s
    6. Charting a color family
      2m 8s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Balance of shapes: How much is too much?
      3m 36s
    2. Weaving textural color
      2m 50s
    3. Color in context
      2m 31s
    4. Color blindness
      3m 15s
    5. Challenge: Deconstructing color
      1m 28s
    6. Solution: Demo of deconstructing color
      6m 45s
  9. 1m 3s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 3s

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Color
1h 57m Beginner Aug 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding why color is essential for you as an artist, designer, or human being
  • Storytelling with color
  • Understanding brand identity and color language
  • Reviewing the history of color usage, from print to digital
  • Working with the color wheel
  • Understanding value, saturation, and temperature
  • Seeing through color: opaque, translucent, and transparent
  • Creating contrast
  • Exploring depth of field
  • Seeing complementary relationships in light
  • Achieving harmony and discord in a palette
  • Understanding color blindness
Subject:
Design
Author:
Mary Jane Begin

On temperature

Why do we respond to warm tones and sunlight more positively than cool tones and darkness? Warm sun connotes positivity and upbeat sensibilities. Neutral tones, something inbetween. And cool tones evoke emotional coolness or even sadness. As emtional beings, content or meaning of an image is directly linked to the temperature of the overall color or light used in a piece. This is essential to remember when considering a pallet and a light source.

To demonstrate, let's look at some images that have a warm color range cast from a light source. If we compare two very different types, the cover of treasure island, and my own cover image from the children's book, a mouse told his mother. We see that both pallets have an element of heat in them. The palette shows the warm temperature of the light, and the warmth is reflected throughout the images consistently. The shadows are not especially cool. They're by relative terms cooler than the lit areas, but still reflect the heat of the light source.

The wife illustration with the dramatic lighting situation and high contrast value structure Depicts the pirates bathed in warm light. Not menacing really, but more accurately appealing, heroic even. My image from a mouse told his mother has a consistently warm light, but additionally plays with a secondary light source on the mouse. To make him pop in the scene and feel more dimensional. Overall, feeling was meant to capture the warmth under the blanket. The scene takes place under a mouse child's bed cover.

But the mouse is the most important element and with the blue green secondary light source to call attention to him, even though he is a small element, he's hard to miss. The temperature of the light can be pushed to suggest completely cool range of colors as well. Here are some examples from Salem State College that also pushed the range of color for a purpose. To explore the snow queen on stage. The light is literally cool in this stage production to capture the feel of cool ice and a frightening, dangerous, although magical place.

Warmth is still used in less vibrant form to focus our attention on the main character and to show hope, as in this final scene. The contrast of temperature not only helps define the mood and temperature of the pieces, but helps to delineate the dimensionality of the form with clarity. Contrast is once again useful for defining an edge between opposites. There are plenty of practical reasons why we might be wired to react emotionally to color. But the important thing to remember is that you send the message with a temperature of light and of peace.

Be it overall lighting, the temperature of a specific light on a scene Or the contrast of hot to cool. If you ignore the basic human wiring when establishing the relative heat in a piece you're liable to miss the mark with color and that wouldn't be cool.

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