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Teaching Color Theory: Kelli Glancey

Teaching Color Theory in the AAS Program is quite a rewarding experience. For six years now, I have sincerely enjoyed working with students from all majors, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Fashion Studies and Fashion Marketing, helping them to experience color theory and design concepts as fundamental elements of their work. Throughout the semester, students practice with paint, color-aid, mixed media, fabric and the computer to develop color as a tool to communicate and solve visual problems.They also keep a sketch/idea book to take notes, develop ideas, practice concepts and collect examples of artists/designers to document their journey in and outside of the classroom. It is interesting to note that although coming from different disciplines of study, they are greatly inspired by one another and become individually more astute to their personal range, knowledge, and experience of color both aesthetically and applied. We discuss the connections of theories to professional practices and how having the experience of the class benefits their discipline. Here are a few of the many wonderful examples of my students work.

MASTER STUDY 17th Century painted detail/repro showcasing process and final image: layering of color over a middle ground color with transparency glazing and opaque scumbling to create accurate deep, rich, subtle, full range of color.

Miriam Schottlaender, Fashion Design, F09


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Cheng-Yu Chen, Fashion Design, F09

Rebecca Weiner, Fashion Marketing, F09

PATTERN BOOKLET Culture + Symbolism + Pattern + Color Chord + Application. After a visit of sketching and research in the cultural sections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, students create a rhythmic, repeated design pattern inspired by found motifs and symbolism of colors. Based on research and mood of culture, palette of pattern must use either a triad or tetrad color chord. They then must apply their pattern to a product of their discipline. The final assignment is a 5 page accordion booklet or a presentation page of pattern and application.

Jacklyn Murray, Booklet, Fashion Design, F07

Carinia Cayaban, Package Design, Graphic Design, F09

Sandra Boitel, Pattern Presentation Board, Interior Design, F09

Sze Suen Lo, Pattern Mood Board, Fashion Design, F09

SPATIAL EFFECTS Combining mixed media such as: paint, collage, fabric, magazine textures, etc. students create two separate fantasy landscapes using seasonal palettes to explore the spacial effects of both color and design.

Aki Tseng, Winter/Fall, Graphic Design, SP05

Amanda Huber, Summer/Spring, Graphic Design, F06

Ya-Ling Hsu, Fantasy Landscapes, Fashion Design, F06

Noorie Mehta, Fantasy Landscapes, Fashion Design, F07

OPTICAL MIXING Following a visit to see Seurat and Signac at the MOMA, students thumbnail and sketch from life in class small flower studies to develop composition/design skills. Then, based on Seurat’s theory of Optical Mixture, they interpret what they “see” to create a pointillist painting of hues, tints and complements (no black) to theoretically create a greater degree of luminosity within the subtractive mixing process.

Marielle Mills, Fashion Marketing, F05

Ingrid Carozzi, Graphic Design, SP06

Linda Huang, Graphic Design, SP09

COLOR STORY Inspired by Itten’s Subjective Timbre, students create a final project based on a color experience and memory in their life. After writing a short narrative, they are encouraged to utilize some of the theories we discussed all semester and create a product within their own discipline based on their memory.

Vivian Chang, Graphic Design, SP09

Nitya Arora, Fashion Studies, F09

Alejandra Perinat Orial, Interior Design, F09