Monday, January 31, 2011
Using Color Cells - In the style of Chuck Close
For most paintings it is usually the one element that can make or break a composition....shadows and highlights are on this value scale.
If you have a painting that just isn't working you might want to test for value...you can do this by making a Value finder as I describe here or taking a black and white photo of your painting to show your values.
Chuck Close is an contemporary American painter famous for his large black and white paintings of faces....he often uses a color cell technique or color grid. I find his more abstract work extremely compelling......and this is a good place to start with young kids.(grades 1-3)
For older students you can use the color grid technique and produce more recognizable portraits.
In this project we are limiting our palette and just focusing on value. You can focus on a single color or just a warm or cool color combination.
- watercolor paper, heavy sketch paper
- disk tempera, liquid tempera, or acrylic
First off you want to make a grid......here I'm making 2x2 inch squares ( just like the inchies in the last post).
Now you don't have to stick with a standard size of paper....you can trim off sections to make it more interesting.....you could even combine it with a geometry lesson.
Save the squares you cut off for your next "inchie" project.
Start painting your color cells. When using watercolor you need to work from light to dark. With acrylic you work from dark to light.
You just want the kids to place more than one value in each square, 3 would be terrific!
You also want variety in the patterns they make with the color.
A good way to keep momentum going in this project is to keep turning your paper....this helps you from being too symmetrical and can shake up your patterns a bit.
That's it...give color cells a try and we'll try a portrait next time.