UX Designer
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Color Studies

 

Color Studies

A series of personal projects from Winter 2015 on color theory and composition.

composition + color theory + gestalt principles + sketching + painting technique + adobe illustrator + photoshop

While color studies and art may not seem like the most applicable studies to UX, this class was extremely important for my development as a designer. Through it, I learned the value of sketching as well as harsh, honest, and helpful critiques. Learning Gestalt Principles has also been incredibly helpful in UX and HCI.

In this art class, I created multiple pieces all exploring color theory and composition. For each assignment, I began by sketching 10+ possible designs, receiving critique, moving forward with one design, receiving critique again, then finalizing the design. Some pieces are digital, while others are painted with acrylic paint. Each assignment had a strict set of rules to follow, which pushed me to be a more creative and elegant problem solver.

 
 

 
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Study: Unity & Variety

illustrator + composition

We looked at one artist's work to study the forms of unity and variety and create our own composition. Our compositions could only be made up of triangles, all black and white.

 
 
 

 

Study: Contrast

In this assignment, I explored how differences in contrast affect a composition. We were assigned with dividing a canvas into 3x4 squares. Then, each square had to be divided using basic geometric lines and curves-- but no two squares could be divided the same way. After deciding on how I would divide my squares, I began filling in the different emergent shapes to carve out the space and create a beautiful composition. Then, I reversed the black and white in the image and introduced a shade of grey. Finally, I made all shapes 3 different shades of grey.

 

 

Study: Shade and Hue

 

shade/hue + painting + color theory

In this assignment, we were tasked with mixing yellow and blue or red paint, as well as white and black, to create a smooth transition from one pure color to another. The shade of the black/white square should match the shade of the blue/yellow below. This allowed us to see how mixing two hues creates a less saturated color.

 

Study: Analogous Color Schemes

painting + color theory + composition

For this assignment, I was tasked with painting a composition using an analogous color scheme. We explored the shades of each color by painting 1/4" color strips (using acrylic paint on watercolor paper) and adding a little bit of black or white until the strip was entirely black or white. Then, we created a composition and cut up chunks of the paint strips to paste them together into our composition. No piece in the composition could be wider or taller than 1/4 of the canvas.

 

 

Study: Composition and Complementary Colors

adobe illustrator + color theory + unity/variety

In this assignment, we created a composition following most of the rules from the previous study, but digitally this time. Rather than mixing black and white to a color, we mixed two different colors to create a 1/4" strip spectrum. We observed the ways in which mixing colors on screens is different than with real paint.

This is my proudest piece from the class.


Study: Transparency and Quadratic Color Schemes

illustrator + sketching

In this assignment, we chose a quadratic color scheme and explored how transparency affects a composition, as well as the use of both straight and curved lines.

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