Art 1 – Color in nature Due 11/18


Color schemes inspired by nature

Look at the video of the chameleon, the cuttle fish, and the site below it about color combinations in nature.

In your comments this week, consider:

Can color also be emotional in effect?  What kinds of emotions can it convey?

What will you try to convey with your color choices (besides light and dark) in the distortion grid?

If you could borrow any ideas from nature, which would you choose for your  distorted face project?  Explain why.

Also, share a link to a site which has interesting color effects.

In your sketchbook, collect 3-5  small examples of interesting color combinations from nature (tape in the sample or a magazine swatch, illustrating it.)

Do a 1 hour drawing of anything which uses the color combinations from one of your samples. You may do any style of drawing but it should be in color. Mark your time on the back of the page.


39 responses »

  1. I think colors can definitely be emotional in effect. For example yellow can be sad or blue can be sad. Different colors can convey different emotional meanings depending on the shade and warmth or coldness of the color. I think i will try and contrast the seriousness of the face in my grid with happy warm colors. I would choose the color combos of a jelly fish because the colors are slightly transparent as well as purple and pink and humans do not naturally have purple and pink colors on them. I think this is a cool color pattern and the blending pattern is cool. The colors also look luminescent.

  2. I think color can give an emotional effect. If it is a particularly deep or rich color it gives the art more life or sincerity, at least it’s that way to me. Also color combinations can convey different ideas. For example even if there are bright spring-ish colors, if they are mixed with contrasting colors in a chaotic way they can mean something totally different than the fields of wildflowers that first come to mind when thinking of those colors. For my drawing of Keira Knightley I am using mostly cool colors. I chose a bright purple for the eyes to convey intense-ness and a blue grey to accent the purple’s importance. In addition I chose a blue green unusual in Crayola and a maroon-ish color to take the place of the warm color spectrum. I would probably use the colors of the sky just after sunset reflected on the ocean for my colors from nature. I like these colors because they are bright and beautiful like the sunset but quieted a little and also incorporate the blues and greens of the ocean.

    • It seems you’ve clearly visualized your color scheme options for your Keira portrait. In the macrophotography nature shots from your link, it’s amazing to have a close-up look at the multiple colors of a single water droplet!

  3. I think color is one of the most important and descriptive parts of art. It could describe the season, or just the mood the artist was in while they were working. I think that for different people, color has different emotions. I love the ocean so blue for me is a happy color. But for some blue could be a sad color. So I think it depends on the person, but most of the time colors like red are angry and green is calm…
    In my distortion drawing, my photo is very bold looking so I was thinking that I would add some pinks and purples and some greens. But also for my drawing I want to show a lot of contrast because that was what I thought of when I saw the photo so I might use some complementary colors also. this website has some really cool photos and the names he gives to the photos remind me of our blog this week.

    • Your link to the botanical photographs has some great possibilities for inspired color choices. They remind me of hand-rendered science illustrations. The solid black background might also be a dramatic choice for your pink/purple/green portrait.

  4. I believe colors definitely convey emotion, that is a big part of why they are such a strong tool when creating art. Colors can represent many emotions such as red for love or anger, green for calmness, black or blue for sadness and many others. My distortion picture is kind of dramatic, so I will probably use bold vibrant colors such as a bright purple, instead of trying to tone it down with mellow blues. If I could borrow colors from nature for this drawing they would probably come from beautiful, vibrant orchids.

    • The “Blue Mystique” blue/orange orchid in your link is a nice example of the many complementary colors found in nature. (Complements being opposites on the color wheel.) To complement the bright purple in your portrait, you might consider bringing in some yellows too.

  5. Color can also have an emotional effect like anything in art. Color is another part of art. Blending and mixing colors can create different feels, as can solid colors have more of a straight forward powerful impact. They can convey all kinds of feelings and emotions. Cool colors tend to go more with calm or peaceful, sometimes even sad. While hot and bright colors, bring out anger, frustration, love, romance, or some sweet feeling (more bright light colors).
    For my color choices, I’m going to do a pick of light bright colors with a mix of cool colors. I plan to use bright pink to bring out a fun party feel but with the cool colors I want to coney a calm responsible manner. My picture is you can have fun and be crazy but still be responsible and cool headed.
    To choice from nature, I would want to distort flowers. They have beautiful colors and shapes that are sometimes indescribable. I think it would be fun to distort a flower to see if it somehow turns into something you might actually see in nature. Another choice would be to distort different sea creatures like fish. Again like flower, fish come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. It would be fun to mix shapes like huge eyes with a small tail or vice versa. There are so many shapes in nature; even if you don’t mean to you might end up making the distorted picture look like something that actually in nature.
    I liked both these sites, I couldn’t chose which one to pick so I’m sharing both:

    P.S. the chameleon video was super cool!

    • I agree, nature holds an infinite amount of design possibilities, from realism to abstraction. In your link, it’s interesting to see the popularity of blues and reds for corporate brand icons. Your second link also has an interesting page that demonstrates degrees of colorblindness.

  6. Colors can definitely convey some degree of emotion, the warm colors are happy or mad (but mad in a rage type of anger, not a passive anger), and the cold colors represent melancholy, passivity, or calm. Greens definitely convey a powerful calm, while blues are either cold anger of melancholy. Since it is a distortion of reality, the color scheme, for mine at least, should be calm and cool (i’m doing green and blue), but with a slight amount of dissonance to represent the warping of the true image. A little bit of yellow or red, if i choose teh right shades, will add this dissonance and make the piece slightly off in the way of color in addition to proportion. I think that the chameleon’s way of changing to whatever objects were near it was neat, and i think that having a variety of colors change down the length of the face would have a really cool effect, especially if they don’t go together very well.

  7. I think that colour can contribute lots of emotions if the lines and forms agree emotion first. I think that they can intensify almost any emotion if used correctly. In my distortion grid, I’ll probably try to convey some sort of flame effect as Catching fire with Jennifer Lawrence comes out this Thursday night. If I could borrow an idea from nature, it would probably be fire for the reason I described above.
    I couldn’t decide which site to put in, so I have four.

  8. Color can change the mood and tone of a painting. A dark color could indicate many different things. A dark red color could be sinister or it could be cozy. This is why color is so important. It creates a different mood. Even the lack of color is important in a painting. In my drawing I will try to create with color a mixture of deep dark colors with vibrant bright colors. I want to mix them together to morph the color scale. I want to borrow the color change of a chameleon, I want there to be many different patterns in the drawing. Chameleons have many different colorful patterns which blends many colors together. I want this effect in my drawing.

  9. I believe color has synesthetic properties, meaning it can spur feelings to other senses when seeing it, including emotional sense in the brain. But I think that one color by itself can be a little vague in portraying an emotion, and instead I look at colors juxtaposed. I like to think of it a little like musical chords: notes by themselves are not dissonant or consonant, but when harmonized into some chord or some atonal stack, and then sequenced, they can convey emotions a lot better. If these colors juxtaposed are dissonant (like orange and purple, yellow and black, green and pink) then there might be a wild and anarchic nature to it. If the colors blend well but they are all cool colors set in a dark tone, then there might be a feeling of sorrow and melancholy.

    I am trying to convey a sense of serenity but also a sense of happiness, with a maroon color mixed with dark greens and green-blues. I like how in nature the color that seem the least related to one another still seem to transition pretty smoothly to make someinteresting combinations.

    • You’ve observed some interesting parallels between properties shared by color and music. Kandinsky, the Russian non-objective painter and musician, considered some paintings to be “musical melodies” with colors conveying their own meanings.

  10. Color can be emotional. Dark colors can make things look depressing and angry, while light colors can express happiness. The colors I picked for my distortion grid will probably just make the picture look really weird because they aren’t natural looking. I think mimicking some of the color patterns on the chameleon or cuddle fish would look interesting. It would also be interesting to make the face different patterned stripes like the chameleon was at the end.

  11. I believe that colors naturally carry emotion, but in artwork, a color can be used to convey a different emotion, depending on the work. For example, blue can represent fear if made bright and sharp, but it can also represent peace if it is softer and more subtle. In the distortion if I use cool colors, it would represent energy, and if I used warm colors, it would represent calm or peace. For cool colors in nature, I would use effects of the ocean, because the waves are energetic, and for warm colors, I would use a sunset, because it is calming.

  12. Can color also be emotional in effect? Of course color can be emotional, its part of what makes up everything, its a very primal thing. When someones face turns red they are angry. People associate red with rage and blood and heat, rather “negative” things. In my distortion grid I plan on using a yellowish color for a feeling of just overall feeling of slightly uncomfortable strangeness. Like a yellow-greenish color and a purplish/bluish color.
    I would borrow the dark red almost purple color of the leaves in the tree in my backyard. I feel like I could really use that color to my advantage.

  13. Colors can effect the mood and tone of anything they are in, from including them in writing or using them correctly when painting or creating another from of art. As shone in theses links, every color can have a different effect with only a slight variation in hue. (NOT my link to a website with an interesting color effect, one about color and moods:
    On my distortion grid, I’m going to try to use colors that will not only look good, so for me blues and greens with a few warmer colors to stand out, but also will convey a mood that matches the picture, either the faces mood or what I want to convey.
    If I could borrow anything from nature to put in my distortion grid, I would borrow the incredible colors of a tropical reefs, the color of the turquoise water and the vibrant fish, and the rocks if I needed a darker color.
    A website with an interesting color effect:
    It’s just a single picture because the rest of the blog didn’t have any good pictures.

  14. I think color always portrays emotion, wether its the stereotypical blue for sad or the bright yellow for happy it has been and most likely will always represent an emotion. for my distortion grid I plan on using both soft and bold colors to bring out different features like a sky blue or a bold red
    I would borrow the blue from the sky around my house and also use some of the sunset colors I see every night.

  15. I think that color is a good way to convey the emotion, and the color also can effects emotion. Warmer color usually means happiness, angry or excited, but cooler color usually means loneliness, sadness, peace or sorrow. For example, like in the video showed, in the ocean, the background is almost all blues, it makes me feel peaceful. I think for drawing picture with color will be way harder than just black and white, because consider the conbination of the color, how to combine them that may let people rightly feel what I’m trying to express.

  16. Yes, color can have a profound emotional effect. For example, most people associate the color blue with sadness, or red with anger. Besides these two colors and emotions, which are the most standard, other colors may have different meanings for different people. Also, for musicians, colors can be associated with keys. For me, the key of “C” is blue, and “Db” is brown. For my distorted face project, I don’t think any colors from nature will fit in, as he is in a studio surrounded by modern stuff. However, possibly some colors associated with trees, or volcanoes would be cool. This is because they are both modern and edgy, which would fit in with my drawing. I think, as far as using color, “edgy” colors would benefit me, so blacks, reds, blues, and silvers would be cool.
    I know that some people have already used this website, but I found this one the most interesting of the ones I looked at:

  17. Colour can convey any emotional effect. The difficulty is in the fact that because of our experiences, we all interpret colour related emotions differently. What may be a happy colour to some is a sad colour to others. Many people interpret blue with sadness, I see it as happiness. I love the colour blue. Because Im drawing Stephan King, i chose dark colours to give the picture a foreboding and evil undertone. Im using red because it is usually associated with blood. Im also using lighter colours to balance the darkness. This also reflects Kings work because, while generally accepted as a horror writer, he has many short stories that arent about horror. The effect ic could use from nature is how water distorts images especially when there are ripples.

  18. Colors definitely convey emotion. I think there are some studies that certain colors actually induce an emotional response. Bold and rich colors generally represent intense emotions such as anger or euphoria or sadness. More subdued, pastel colors generally represent less intense emotions. Colors often have stereotypical emotional meanings attached like red being anger and passion for example. For the distorted grid, I’m going to try to portray a surreal atmosphere with strange contrasting colors. Because the face will already be distorted, I think it’d be interesting to make the drawing as abstract and unrealistic as possible. I also think it’d look really weird to see a face that was distorted but the colors were 100% accurate. I would borrow the deep pink color from the link posted below and the color of my cat’s eyes.

  19. I remember reading a study on the effect of colors on our brains. Cooler colors tend to be more calming, whereas the warmer colors are a bit more aggravating and harsh. This is many social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have a blue motif. I will incorporate a good deal of reds to my distortion drawing, with the intent of making it not beautiful or friendly in the slightest. I will be trying to convey a dying tree, with reddened leaves; not one of the beautiful ones, but the ones that look almost skeletal and ugly.

    Lovely colors!

  20. I think color can certainly evoke an emotional response. As others have noted, colors like red or even vibrant oranges tend to be associated with anger, heat, and passion, whereas cooler colors such as blue and green convey coldness or even dispassion or disinterest. I know there have been studies that show that the intense colors (red) cause humans to feel increased stress, especially if worn on clothing during a test or other pressured environment. Additionally, some people experience other senses simply through looking at different colors–one possible symptom of Synesthesia. For my distortion, I want to convey a sense of nonchalance so I will probably use cooler colors that discontent the subject from the viewer and add an element of mystery.

  21. Color certainly has ties to emotion. Taco Bell, and other fast food restaurants use orange and bright colors to keep employees and customers moving as fast as possible to maximize profits. On the other end, I use colors to convey emotion as well. A deep purple or red makes me think of chance encounter with a rare sunrise. Deep blues, greys and greens interlaced with whites remind me of the ocean, and that makes me happy.
    This website has a lot of cool color schemes, in particular, the shot of the airplane catches my eye.

  22. I think colors can convey a certain emotion. Depending on the use and placement of a color it can show happiness, sadness, or anything in between. Studies have shown that painting a room a certain color can invoke an emotion in people, so colors in paintings should as well if not more so.
    In my distortion drawing I want to include different shades of blue to show some sadness, but also freedom and hope. To me, blue reminds me of the sky: open and free.
    In my drawing I want the colors to flow from one to next instead of being blocky and defined. Like a sunset when the shades go from red to yellow to blue smoothly. I would love for the shading in my drawing to have a similar quality.

  23. I think that color definitely has the ability to convey emotion. Bright colors like yellow and orange could show more happiness while dark blues and purples seem more sad. My bike coach always says to wear black socks. This is a color choice that he feels makes you seem tough. This is also a way that color can convey emotion. In my distortion drawing i will try to convey confusion, by having a mixture of lights and darks. Then the background will be light to show that there is true positivity or happiness. I would use the color of the chameleon when there are several different colored objects around it making it seem confused about what color to choose.
    Also, share a link to a site which has interesting color effects.

  24. Colors, of course, can have an emotional effect. Each color can have many impacts, such as red representing fear or anger, yet also representing courage. I found a site that explains it much better that even details the emotional impacts of each color:

    I will use lots of purple, yellow, and black, in my distortion grid, to convey the feeling of unrest and unfamiliarity. This will hopefully give my drawing the “trippy” feeling that I want it to have. This will be reenforced by the surprised expression on the person’s face.

    I want to borrow the shape of water because–in short–there isn’t one! I’m going to create a fluid grid, with a mixture of soft gradients. This should go well with the idea of transcendentalism through bending reality in the picture.

    This site isn’t exclusively nature, but I really enjoy its pictures. They’re abandoned places in the world—most of which have a beautiful synergy between humanity and nature:

  25. Colors can express emotion because there is a study that shows that red rooms make people feel less happy and blue rooms make people feel more calm.
    With my portrait I am going to use bright and “happy” colors because Luna Lovegood is a happy and imaginative person so I hope to convey that with the colors choose.
    My colors I am choosing are inspired by a field of lupins.

    this is a video of a even more awesome cuttlefish

  26. Color can definitely have an emotional effect on the viewer of the piece, but the emotional effect given really depends on the shapes and way the color is presented. For example one could say blue conjures up emotions such as calmness or tranquility, and another could say just as readily say oh for sure whenever I think of the color blue it conjures up feelings of sadness depression and despair. This kind of stark variation can be seen with any color. There are exceptions to every rule for example personally I can’t really picture any negative emotions surrounding the color yellow but that may just be my own perspective. In my portrait I think I am going to use cool dark colors such as blues purples and greens. The first reason for this choice is that I am warping a picture of Johnny Depp and he seems to be brooding and kind of sulky in the picture I choose, secondly when doing my color scale I found when layering the blues greens and purples they were easier to create a color gradient type thing therefore making shading and transitioning colors easier.

    I’m not really sure if this is what was wanted but I thought the tree frogs colors were super cool, and the fact that such vibrant colors exist in nature and is not man made I thought was also quite impressive

  27. I find that other than values connection with intensity color emotional content is very subject and usually is determined by context. However brighter colors more often have a positive context whereas and darker colors are more commonly associated with negativity. In my distortion I am going to use brighter colors with lighter values to illustrate happiness and vise versa.

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