Color Detail 1: Colored line and texture. 3 Days.
General Assignment Idea: Interpret picture(s) or invent picture(s)
which is rich in detail.
Challenge: Do as many pictures as time allows in 3 days.
No less than one a day!
Detail can be "descriptive" describing certain kinds of detail,
Detail can also be patterned, stylized lines or textures,
Detail is secondary breakup. (inside of the main forms of the picture.)
Select as many bright colors as you can.
HINT - Do not be limited by what you imagine are the normal
‘"realistic"’ color choices.
Skills: Using a fine pointed brush, using detail with good
control bright colors, vivid hues of color.
Media and Materials: Use tempera paint which is bright, colorful
and opaque. Small size brushes.
Ideas and Subject selection - Make it tell a story or
be about something. Describe something real that you can see.
Or paint something whose details you are very familiar with.
Use many bright lively colors as colored line. Emphasize line and
textures. You may suggest textures by using small marks, dots,
lines, small circles, etc.
Limitations - Do not attempt to blend colors -- to make colors
realistic -- or to fill in solid areas.
Design: Include more than one form in your visual content
(Object with setting) Do not try to fill a large picture
space with tiny detail (Too much labor and time would be required.)
The picture size will probably work best at 9x12
Time: One or more can be done easily in one day. But you work
with this method for 3 days.
If you finish early repeat the technique again with variation
for extra credit, trying to be more creative, often your best
work comes with more practice and more freedom to express "creative
Inspiration from Examples -
Artists: See Van Gogh, Matisse, Vlaminch, Fauvism
Color Assignment 2, Still life: 4 Days
General Assignment Idea: Create a still life setup. Interpret
the still life display using abstraction methods You will observe
and then reinterpret the forms in this design.
Different Kinds of Abstraction:
Use any of the following methods of abstraction: Overlapping, transparency,
Lines of symmetry, or faceting. You will be given samples
or have explanation of these methods.
Medium: Blended tempera or poster color.
Skills: Composing objects in space; and drawing skills
- esign skill using interesting breakup of the picture space- Mixing
color blends or tones; Using a palette. - Applying color with control.
Hints: Painting in areas of solid or graded color tones - Color
harmony should be planned,
Borrow a color scheme from another famous artist, note his or her
color choices. and make a note to use these. Consider a "dominant
color" and "color contrasts."
Design: Picture size: 18x24 with border or 16x20 (trimmed size)
• Time: 4 days
Artists: Picasso, Braque, Gris, Feininger
Color Assignment 3. Still life, Realistic: 6 days
General Assignment Idea: Organize a still life display which
has good variety in shape, color, size and textures.
Skills: Use the same skills as described above, But you will
be achieving true life outline and tone and color.
Materials or Media: Work with acrylic paint on canvasette
Size: 18x24 with added border of 1.5 inches Color
4. Color Assignment 4. Life Drawing (modeled human or other animal
Modeled and tonal, means showing 3d-ness, as opposed to a flatness
that results from no tonal shading.
General Assignment Idea: Use light and shadow illuminate a
human forms or some other kind of life form, draw them as large as
possible inside the picture space.
Design approach: Emphasize the masses of the body and the light
and shadow illuminating the body. Give the form a 3d environment though
it may be simple.
Size: 18x24 with border.
Time: 6 days to do one painting.
Media: limited palette, paint media, brushes
Artists to Study: Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso (1921),
Henry Moore, Botero
Color Assignment 5. Serendipitous Water Color Wash Techniques: Use
tempera or water color washes.
(Discovering visual effects in fluid washes)
General Assignment Idea: Discover visual qualities. What makes
the accidental flow and blend of colors beautiful? They are rich in
purely visual effects; color, line, texture, shape are of great variety
and which are rich and infinitely variable. Use transparent
washes and wet in wet affects which express fluidity and spontaneity
with the medium. Do Not overwork any of the color areas. The accidental
of serendipity quality of wet in wet is such that you can not
always predict it try to allow for these effects to happen on their
own and do not rework that which happens in a spontaneous fresh
This kind of art begins as play but must eventually be transformed
and interpreted as some kind of subject or story using the wonderful
Water Color transparency happens with adding water to the paint until
mostly water. Though tempera or poster color is considered an
opaque and not transparent
medium it gives nice effects when very fluid. it is not quite as good
for washes as water color tubes or water color cakes. We will
do the art by accident
approach with a thinned out tempera dropped and dripped and folded
and tipped on a wetted piece of paper. Once dried the effects can
be studied for possible
Subject matter: the most challenging upon your imagination
thus far. Follow up by adding line and some additional color tone
to develop the vision that you discovered within your accidental universe.
Make an effort to preserve the visual effects that have been made
Selection: Select a subject that you are inspired to use after
doing a little experimenting with serendipity. (Accidents that
produce amazing results=serendipity).
HINT: The wet into wet paper blends are very effective to create
the illusion of atmosphere, foliage, storms, seas, fur, flowers, etc.
Size 16x20 to 18x24 with border margin.
Time: Allow One day for the wet in wet sketches and, 1to 2
days follow-up to clarify and complete with detail touch ups.
Production:: Do no less than two of these in 1 week's time.
Color Design 6:
Water color quick figure sketches“ Technique: "Wash"
sketches with pen detail.
General Assignment Idea: Capture the essential pose and the
proportions of the the human figure with “visual shorthand.”
Work with a light wash from watercolor or tempera as in 5 above, you
are to complete gesture drawing silhouettes of human figures in natural
HINT: Do not use a heavy application of paint. Do not "cross
out any less than perfect sketch. Try to improve your skills
while you work with a brush and wash method.
Figure proportions: Not too many people have a
good sense of figure proportion so it is advisable that you review
figure drawing proportion (1 to 7) with a guide sheet from your teacher.
Some of these may be from pictures but be sure that the majority or
from real life models. Use the head length as the guide to proportion.
Design: Create a "montage" or multi image
per page approach. Your art will have the appearance of practice or
"studies" or practice
works but they should still be done
sensitively and caringly.
Please consider size variation and position of the images
Page size: 9x12 or 12x16 inch Drawing paper.
Time: You will work with wash and pen for 3 days or until you
have a minimum of six pages of studies
7: Surrealism (Fantasy Images)
General Assignment Idea: Organize objects which can represent
personal symbols, or juxtapositions of forms to
suggest fantasy or psychological content. Ask for the fantasy
painting guide sheet.
To understand the concept of “irrational,” Look up Magritte,
Dali, Arp, Kandinsky
or "Surrealism". To underastand the concept of pure visual texture
Kandinsky. Do some concept sketches of your idea before you
proceed. Search and
examine internet web pages dealing with 3d ray-tracing and phantasy
Medium: Acrylic on canvas tablet
Size: 16x 20
Time: No more than 6 class days.
8 : Pattern and Texture-producing art techniques:
General Assignment Idea: The painting knife which can be used
either with a degree of realism or used in a semi-abstract sense.
The effects of paint applied by a blade cause an
interesting effect of texture when blending or "scumbling"
painting over a previous paint color layer.
Experiment; this is a new techniqe so experiment to discover
the textures which come from using a palette knife.(Or a stiff piece
of card board to apply paint.)
Dry brush is another effect: As the paint runs out on the knife
or brush it produces a soft texture,
the "dry brush" look.
Subject matter: Select subject matter that is compatible to
the method don't try anything too realistic.
Painting technique. Do not neglect content and a sense of subject
in an environment.
Size: It is probably advisable to stay in the 12 to 14 inch
size range for the page or canvas sheet.
Time: No more than 4 class days.
Assignment 9 : Realism, painting a still life in normal colors
General Assignment Idea: construct an attractive setting of
objects in a group.
Select the objects to produce size and color contrasts as well as
good line movement to affect a good
Blend colors on palette to match those of your set up.
Subject matter: Select subject matter that is compatible or
suggested by the knife painting
technique. Do not neglect primary
content and a sense of a main subject in its own environment.
Size: 12 x 16 inch minimum size or larger. Choose canvas or
heavy paper sheet.
Time: No more than 5 class days.
Color Design 10 Pastel. Torn paper frisket / stencil method.
General Assignment Idea:
A stencil allows color to go inside a shape to leave
that area filled with color or tone.
A frisket allows color to trace outside the edge of
the torn or cut pattern. Using a direct approach or cotton balls
apply color blends over the top of torn or cut paper edges onto a
plain sheet of paper.
A “Frisket” uses the edge of a guide form and a stencil
uses the inside or cut- out areas.
Selection: Select a subject which is simple but interesting.
Think semi abstractly on stencil
images with very simple, easy shapes.
Friskets make beautiful patterns and can
be torn out or cut with as much complexity as you feel comfortable
Return to Arts Homepage