Using all principles of Color from Project #4

See Milanote board for some visual examples and ideas.

Project Overview

Problem: Create Abstract Painting Composition, using principles of Color explored in Project 4.

Materials: Sketchbook, pencils, Bristol Board 9×12″, acrylic paints, brushes, palette, rags, water container, scissors, exacto knife, ruler/t-square, glue/adhesive.

Concepts: Hue, Saturation, Pure/Prismatic Color, Muted Color, Desaturated/Chromatic Gray, Achromatic Gray, Luminosity, Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, Monochrome, Analogous, Complementary Colors, Warm, Cool, CMY, RGB, RYB color models/systems.

Technical Skillspainting techniques, Drawing, Thumbnail sketching, graphic tools.


  • Ability to recognize and define major color properties: hue, value and saturation (chroma)
  • Ability to see individual hue in terms of it’s value, in relation to other hues.
  • Ability to identify and create Gradation and Contrast in color relationships.
  • Study of Bauhaus Design, Modernist and 20th c. art history, apply abstract principles of composition, geometry and picture plane to create balance and unity.
  • Use of color palettes, including monochrome, analogous, complimentary, triads (primary, secondary) etc, .
  • Comfortable with paint mixing, paint application, formatting page, using rulers and tape for edges.


  • Research for inspiration Modernist Artists Sonia Delauney and Johannes Itten and the vernacular Gees Bend Quilters, and others.
  • Choose two images for Inspiration board in Milanote
    • Look for compositions that interest you for color variety, color value relationships, and qualities of shape and rhythm.
    • Analyze color properties throughout paintings. Warm, Cool? Analogous, Gradations..
      • Write short paragraph for one or both paintings, color analysis
    • These are for inspiration only; you won’t copy but will interpret in your own composition
  • Thumbnail Sketching
    • Sketchpaper – 3-4 large thumbnail sketches 3″x5″
    • Use bars, stripes, circles, arabesque, triangles, and overlaps, repetitions, scale, with Ambiguous Figure/Ground relationships and an interesting dynamic.
    • Use straight division lines to separate areas in which you may use different value keys and palette choices.
  • Painting Process
    • Decide best composition from sketches
    • Redraw onto Bristol, leaving 1″ border all the way around.
      • Use rulers and circle templates for precise edges
    • Palette: Painting must show use of:
      • Gradation (such as a hue changing incrementally to another hue or a darker value
      • Contrast: larger changes from color to color or dark to light.
      • Palettes: choose amongst Monochrome, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Complementary, Achromatic, analogous. Consult Color wheels and Adobe Color for ideas.
        • create color strips,( small scales) on sketch paper for each palette; choose 3-4 for the painting.
        • Consider Value so you are making decisions where to go light or dark.
        • make decisions that reflect personal interests.
      • In divided areas, switch from Dark hues to Light hues, and palette to palette, so that there are clear separated areas, that will also serve to create contrast and unity for entire piece.