Special Projects Proposal

It’s a new semester…actually it’s my last semester…

SOOOOO what better way to start my last first day of class then with a post about my future plans! Okay, not plans for beyond college, we’re thinking smaller here, I mean more immediate plans, like what I’m planning for this semester for a class I’m taking called Special Projects! It’s an independent study for me to continue my work this semester that I started with my senior seminar project, because there are some more areas I want to explore that I wasn’t able to in the fall.


My basic plan to easy…MORE COLOR!!!

I’m still deeply fascinated and interested in learning more about the intricacies of the interaction of color with space. I intend to research this more and experiment with my own color palettes.


To start, I’m going to do black and white studies

Wait a sec….no color when I want to explore color?

Yes… main reason…color can be a distraction sometimes. I need to make sure I’ve created a good balance of space before I begin coloring in everything. For this I need to make sure that my color selections meet my desires in value – meaning that if I’m making an image with corals, golds, and teals, while they may be very different in color, if they overall have the same value in tone then they basically all blend into each other to create a singular square block of color. Is this making sense? I’m not finding an easy way to put it into words. There needs to be dynamic contrasts between the tones, so that the spaces play with each other over complimenting them. In other words, I’m adding another element of art/principle of design into my work: VALUE


The best way for me to accomplish this is to go digital! 


Remember those color studies I did digitally…well I’m revisiting them and I’m “fixing” them. They were great studies, don’t get me wrong, and they certainly got the job done, but I see more potential in them helping me to push color further. I’m really looking at how values interact with each other to create a dynamic, eye-catching space. 

For example:

Original layer design Black and White
Vintage Royal
Vintage Royal
Vintage Royal Greyscale
Vintage Royal Greyscale








When I look her at this digital rendition of what my color scheme from last semester, something stuck me. While the blues have great contrast in tint/spade/tone with each other, the gold and the coral  and that lighter blue are almost identical. If we were to turn this greyscale…I’m sure the image wouldn’t have a lot of dynamic contrast at play here, it would become dull and boring.

Let’s see shall we…

And yes, as we can see by the image on the right, they are very close to each other. It looks so dull in comparison to my original layer design. Really only the dark cobalt blue stands out to me and really, the rest blend into each other. See how important value can be? 


Okay so there’s one main idea I plan to look at- value. Here’s a couple questions coming to mind for me to use/think about as I explore this semester:

  • How does it create balance, harmony, contrast?
  • How does it aid in creation of spaces (both positive and negative?)
  • How does value change the way we conceive color?
  • Are warm or cool colors better suited for one kind of value over the other (like the traditionally taught notion that warm colors present in the foreground while cool color recede?) I’m interested in this mostly because it contradicts the other taught notion that lights and darks battle of the foreground/background. Could there be a connection? 


The second idea I’m planning on spending time exploring is deconstructive space

During my printing during last semester, I came upon a revelation. Space is more interesting, engaging, when it’s less “perfect”. I tired to make perfectly square block prints. All four layers I created would be printed on top each other to construct a square space once completed. While it was a success and I mastered the art of registration, I also learned that it can be visually appealing to create something more unexpected.


When registering my prints on test runs, I wasn’t always so concerned that the prints completely matched up like I did with my actual prints. They’d be off, shifted to one for two sides. As I moved through the layers, it occurred to me how cool my tests were coming out for not being lined up. It wasn’t what the viewer anticipated. I ended up making my last layer not register fully for that exact reason. The unexpected white space added visually to my work. So I want to explore that more , how layering and playing with registration adds to the space I’m creating. 

I don’t yet have any exact ideas as to how specifically I plan on playing with this. I intend to focus first on value, because that for me will be digital work first. Then when I get to the printing stage I will revisit this idea. At least that’s my thinking for now, we’ll see. 

Okay, that’s my ramble for tonight. I’ll check back in again soon. 





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