Category Archives: Design School

FIDM Winter 2013 Quarter Schoolwork Update: Color

G ood morning (well, afternoon to you east-coasters) everyone! I was very flattered by the response to yesterday’s drafting schoolwork update! I am back again this morning to share another class and I think you will like these… they are a lot of fun!

One class I took this quarter was called Color and Design Theory. It was mainly a study on color and how it applies to the world of design. We used Gouache paint in this class, which is actually quite difficult to work with since it is water-soluble like watercolors. Most projects were made by painting clean, smooth (harder than it looks!) swatches of hand-mixed color onto painter’s paper. Then I cut the desired shape out of the swatch and mounted it on the artboard with rubber cement.

So, without further ado, my work! I know I already shared the first assignment but I feel like it is easier to see the progression if I show it again in sequence. The first project was to learn how to properly mix and create specific colors by creating a color wheel. Contrary to my original thought, you don’t get “green” by mixing half blue and half yellow. Each paint has it’s own characteristics (i.e. blue is actually the weakest paint and requires a little extra, yellow is SUPER vibrant and the color stains everything, red is ridiculously concentrated and a little goes a LONG way, etc.) so it was a big experiment working with these three colors (plus magenta for the the three violet hues because it is warmer than red) to produce 12 accurate hues for the wheel.

ColorWheel1 ColorWheel2The next assignment was to understand the different values of a hue. In order to do this, we were asked to make one grey scale using only black and white, followed by one color value scale using only one color (I chose magenta) with either black or white added in. For those who are curious, pure magenta is located in position number seven.Color1_ValueScale1The professor emphasized that the grey scale and the color value scale should really match each other in intensity/value and that, if you took a black and white photo of your project, the scales should look almost the same in an ideal world. So for experiment’s sake, I desaturated the picture above and I think my scales are pretty darn close! *Pats herself on the back* Color1_ValueScale2 Color1_ValueScale3The third assignment was a fun one, but I destroyed about 43 magazines to get it right. We were supposed to cut little swatches of the color wheel hues and make a collage that demonstrated the idea of warm to cold colors. You didn’t have to use every hue (I didn’t use any violet hues), but it had to seamlessly flow from one color to the next. The hardest part was finding color-accurate, solid, intense colors in magazines… so many of them were shades or tints of the color wheel colors or had a pattern/texture to them. Color2_Paintbrush1 Color2_Paintbrush2Back to the Gouache paint! The next assignment was the toughest for me because it seemed to defy my rational thought. We had to create this design that showed how to create neutrals by mixing complementary colors. We started by making accurate swatches of all primary and secondary colors. Then we took compliments and tried to get a color that looked “neutral.” Ummmm…. what? It didn’t make sense until we started making the three little squares off to each side, which is the middle “neutral” color with only white added to it to make a nice grey. AHA! I get it… we were trying to make similar greys in the end. It was a TON of trial and error because I would add white and the grey would look TOTALLY different than I expected. Yellow/violet was the most difficult for me, followed by red/green then blue/orange. Once I had my middle neutral and its corresponding grey, I made the other two in-between neutrals by adding just a smidgen of the compliment to a color. All difficulty aside, I was very happy (as was the professor) with the accuracy of the result.Color3_NeutralsThe next assignment was a lot of fun! We had to used colored paper to cut out shapes to demonstrate various designs using the elements and principles of design.
Box 1 – A symmetrical, balanced design with a central focal point
Box2 – An asymmetrical but balanced design with an off-center focal point
Box 3 – Positive/negative design that creates an interchange of form (i.e. your eye jumps back and forth between the two colors/spaces)
Box 4 – Pattern using repition
Box 5 – Illusion of three dimensional space
Box 6 – Illusion of motion
Color4_DogPaperCutouts1 Color4_DogPaperCutouts2 Color4_DogPaperCutouts3

And finally, the one many of my Twitter followers have been waiting for (I posted a sneak peak!), my final project! The idea was to use the Gouache paint to demonstrate various color schemes in the boxes. When the professor described the project, I immediately thought of Andy Warhol and decided to create a design inspired by his art. Naturally, I chose Bo’s face as my subject (HOW COULD I NOT?! HE’S SO CUUUUUTE!). Contrary to the other projects, this one was hand painted straight onto the painting paper in one shot (no cutouts on this one).

Before you praise me for being a crazy artist, I have to admit I helped myself out by creating a template on the computer that basically broke up the photo of Bo into 5 color zones. Then I managed to create only outlines of those areas, essentially making myself a paint-by-number template of sorts. So it wasn’t all freehand, since I wanted the paintings to look identical with the exception of the colors (like good old Andy). Maybe I will do a DIY tutorial of this one later on if anyone is interested.
Okay, so the color schemes are as follows (in this order): monochromatic (using only one color from the color wheel: blue), analogous (three-five hues next to each other on the color wheel: red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow), complimentary (blue, orange), triad (three hues equally spaced on the color wheel: blue, red, yellow), split complimentary (a color and the two colors on either side of its compliment: blue, yellow-orange, red-orange), and double complimentary (two hues next to each other and their compliments: blue, blue-green, orange, red-orange). You could also use black and white in each scheme to create different values of each color but I only used white.Color5_Final_Bo1_watermarkedColor5_Final_Bo2 Color5_Final_Bo3 Color5_Final_Bo4 Color5_Final_Bo5I had a lot of fun with the rough texture on this one! We spent the entire quarter trying to make our swatches perfectly smooth so I intentionally went for a rough, hand-painted look. We love it so much that I think we are going to get it framed for the house! :)

Which is your favorite Bo? Let me know in the comments below!

There you have it: round two of my schoolwork update! I’ll be back again tomorrow with more. And as always, feel free to leave any questions below!

FIDM Winter 2013 Quarter Schoolwork Update: Drafting

W hat up, people!? Guess who is back to her regularly-scheduled blogging shenanigans?

Me – that’s who! ;)  Sorry… I have had too much coffee to drink today and even the writing portion of my brain is hyper!

ANYWAY, I am so happy to be blogging again. I actually really missed it and felt an odd twinge of jealousy when I saw my blog friends being uber productive over the past few weeks (seriously- some of you are rocking it! Keep up the amazing work!). I figured I would kick things off with a recap of my school projects from the past semester since I have had many requests for pictures. Since there are a ton of projects, I am going to break it up into a few posts so I don’t break your computers or brains with too many pictures in a single post. You’re welcome.

So let’s get the ball rolling with some pictures of my Technical Drawing (hand drafting) class. This class was, by far, the most work. I spent 6-12 hours a week (usually Saturdays) working on one assignment. However, I am so so so pleased with the progress that I made, really enjoyed the class, and managed to pull off an A (actually I am proud to say I got a 4.0 this quarter and made the President’s Honor Roll! WOOO!).

Also, as a general note for all of these projects: these were all drafted by hand using lead and drafting vellum. Lead + vellum = lots of smudges! Before I turned these in, I was able to make copies of them on the blueprint printer so that the smudges (and erased “oops” lines) didn’t show up in my final submissions. However, these (mediocre) photos are of the originals so you will have to excuse some smudges and some partially-visible erased mistakes. This is the real deal! ;)

Ok, here we go! I already shared pictures of this one with you but I felt I needed to put it in sequence with the others. Our first major assignment was to trace the house plan and then draw the office plan to scale in order to get a feel for the materials and process.DraftingFloorplan2DraftingFloorplan4 DraftingFloorplan3

The next assignment was to draft a floorplan, section, elevation, and detail of a basic pagoda.DraftingAssignment2_1 DraftingAssignment2_2

The third assignment was to create an electrical plan (shows the outlets) and a reflected ceiling plan (shows anything on the ceiling, including lights and their corresponding switches).DraftingAssignment3_3 DraftingAssignment3_4 DraftingAssignment3_1 DraftingAssignment3_2

The next assignment was to draw some detailed elevations for both bathroom and kitchen floorplans. Yes, every line is measured to scale and drawn by hand!DraftingAssignment4_1 DraftingAssignment4_3 DraftingAssignment4_2 DraftingAssignment4_4_new3

Next, we explored what materials go into the construction of a building.DraftingAssignment5_1 DraftingAssignment5_2 DraftingAssignment5_3Finally, we had a four part final project (that took place over three weeks!) that was a set of documents for a kitchen and media room remodel. Part one was the demolition plan (which walls we were removing, etc.) and the construction plan (where we would rebuild the walls, the changes we were making, etc.).DraftingAssignment6_P1_1 DraftingAssignment6_P1_3 DraftingAssignment6_P1_2

Part two was an electrical plan and a reflected ceiling plan for the remodeled rooms.DraftingAssignment6_P2_1 DraftingAssignment6_P2_2 DraftingAssignment6_P2_3

Part three was a finish plan (detailing paint colors, floor types, counter top material, etc.).DraftingAssignment6_P3_1

Finally, part four was a section, elevations, and details for the new spaces.DraftingAssignment6_P4_1 DraftingAssignment6_P4_2 DraftingAssignment6_P4_3 DraftingAssignment6_P4_4 DraftingAssignment6_P4_5 DraftingAssignment6_P4_6

As you can see, I have been working super hard! I really don’t think these photos do the work justice (partially because my shoddy photography and photo editing cause a loss of quality) but I figured they were better than nothing! I plan to get them properly scanned for my portfolio at some point. But there you have it — the first of several schoolwork updates! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below! :)

I’ll be back tomorrow with another school update!

Design School Update – January 28, 2012

I hope you all had a nice weekend! I spent most of the weekend working on homework and was very productive. Since I have been at school for a couple weeks now, I figured it would be fun to update the blog with a few of my recent projects.

My first big assignment in my color & design theory class was to accurately mix paints and create a color wheel with the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. I painted swatches of color, cut them out, and assembled them on a presentation board. I was very happy with the way my wheel turned out! :)ColorWheel1 ColorWheel2

My first assignment in my design process class was to explore and depict the eight elements of design. Inspired by our recent trip to wine country, I decided to take my own wine-themed photos (rather than find pictures in a magazine or on the internet) to demonstrate each of the elements in a “wine list” menu. The project may not make much sense to you all because you don’t get my verbal presentation that goes along with my assignment but I felt like sharing it anyway! The presentation was a success and I walked away with full marks!ElementsOfDesign1 ElementsOfDesign2 ElementsOfDesign3

Perhaps my favorite assignment so far was my first floor plan for my technical drawing (drafting) class. The entire thing is done on a drafting board with a parallel rule.  All non-horizontal lines are drawn using triangles, shape templates, and a scale ruler (not a single freehand line in the plan). Drafting is very time consuming and tedious but I LOVE it! My first attempt at a floor plan was a total success (and I hope my teacher agrees… I turn it in tomorrow)!DraftingFloorplan1 DraftingFloorplan2 DraftingFloorplan3 DraftingFloorplan4

I am also taking a sketching class (to improve my freehand drawing) and a computer graphics class (where we are learning Adobe Illustrator this quarter). I am doing very well so far in all of my classes so I hope I can keep it up! I am truly loving school… I practically live for Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Every day that I am there I feel happy, inspired, and on the right path! Besides snagging Walker and Bo, attending this school may be the best decision I’ve ever made. :)