Welcome to week 2 of the Explore Color with Wings color theory series! This week let’s look at 3 artists I deem to be masters of color theory.
They understand and use color in ways that exhibit their very deep knowledge of color. They internalize: how hues react with each other in powerful ways, how light constantly affects color, how to convey a mood or idea with color, and how color has the ability to influence entire cultures.
Have you had fun getting to know your own relationship with color this past week far? Let’s take it further and get to know 3 awesome color masters. Discover how what they do can inspire your use and understanding of color.
Shag (aka Josh Agle)
If you’ve taken my Connecting With Color eCourse, you are familiar with Shag’s work. Or perhaps you love mid century kitsch art like me and were already a fan!
Shag is a master of the use of flat color schemes. His imagery gives us a sneak peek into a super hip party, while his colors convey the real story at hand.
His paintings use monochromatic and analogous color schemes to evoke moods like a splash of paint in the face. His color takes you on an all nighter of sinister undertones or jovial outbursts – all in 1 painting!
Monochromatic colors – containing or using only one color
Analogous colors – groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel
Shag’s incredibly deep understanding of the color wheel includes so many gradations of each color his wheel is as big as a ferris wheel!
Jean Phillipe Lenclos
Deserving the status of color theory grand-dad, you can’t talk color in environments without a wink to Lenclos. He’s considered to be a color geographer because of his observations and realizations of how color affects different cultures around the world.
Lenclos was the first to explore, document, and write about the differences in the popularity of colors in different cultures. He also paints color fields in environments based on his findings.
It’s so true though if you think about it – the environmental influence and popularity of colors vary so much between say New York City, Sedona, and Miami. Color really does define the general mood of a city or region and the fashion of it’s inhabitants!
MOMO (aka David Momeyer)
This street artist blows my mind on a regular basis when it comes to his advanced application of color in both environments and on canvas. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my friend! (May I brag one of my very very best friends for 22 years.)
MOMO travels the world enlivening spaces, indoors and out, with his brightly colored abstract imagery. At first glance it looks only like colorful shapes and lines, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice subtleties that take his color theory to the max.
It’s his use of color relationships paired with his technique of optical blending that makes MOMO’s work stand out. What from afar may look like purple, up close is actually very close red and blue lines.
MOMO lets your eye do the color mixing work for him, and in the process gives his colors an electric richness unmatched in colors applied in a pre-mixed application.
Explore Color with Wings: Part 2 Activity
Choose 1 or do all 3!
- Pick an analogous or monochromatic color scheme and make a nature inspired picture using flat color fields like Shag. Don’t worry about shading, use the flat hue tints and shades to create your depth. What mood does your image evoke…a spooky forest, a bright beach, a cool mountain top?
- Become a color geographer like Lenclos. Explore a color palette of a culture your admire, your own or one abroad. Create an abstract image using the colors from the cultural palette.
- Try optical blending like MOMO. Create a color field by adding lines of one color, say yellow for example. Then add criss crossing lines of another color, say red, and see if you can let you eye do the work to make them blend to orange! How close do your lines need to be to blend? In what contrasting angles do they need to be applied to mix? You could try it with dots too (like Pointillism). Remember to stand back to get the full effect of the blends.
Which color master is your favorite, or do you know of another?
Share in the comments below!
Share your Activity images and findings on Instagram #explorecolorwithwings and @wingswormsandwonder
Seeds to Sprout:
The giveaway is over, but do still share your images and findings with us on Instagram! Use the #explorecolorwithwings Follow and Tag me @wingswormsandwonder too so I can see!
On another different, but equally creative note, Watch the replay of my Montessori Foundation webcast – Give Nature for the Holidays here!