I finished my first quarter about a few weeks ago. I look back at the two classes I was in and can say whole-heartedly that I learned a lot from both of them. The assignments that I worked through for each were both challenging and informative. I think the assignment in each that I had the most challenge with was the final project. I will focus on these for most of this writing.
But first, I want to mention that each class had elements that I already knew and contained topics that opened my eyes about how I looked at artistic design and about the aspects of color. In the areas of design, I learned about how shape, scale, contrast and overall unity and relationship contribute to the format, appearance and expression of a design. In my Color Theory class, I learned about the relationships between hue, saturation, tone and shade and how they create what we see as a color. How colors can be used to create the illusion of depth and volume, was yet another element of design that I found very interesting. What I felt was very helpful overall was that both my Color Theory and Fundamentals of Design classes were a perfect compliment for each other. What I learned in one class was easily applied in the other class.
This was very apparent when I came to the point of working on my final project. First, I was supposed to create four sample thumbnails that properly represented my project plan and objective for my final assignment. My project plan was an artist statement which conveyed what my inspiration was and what I wanted to do with regard to creating something from that inspiration. At first, I suffered a mental block in both classes for creating four unique designs. I could only come up with variations of two ideas. I still came up with four but two of the four were just variations of the first two. But, through recommendations and good counsel from both my instructors, I was able to come up with four unique designs.
For my Fundamentals of Design class, I wanted to create a surreal and relaxing beach scene where I could integrate my daughter. I also wanted it to be a safe and out-of-the-way place that people special to me could escape to. I took a picture of Meads Bay, a moon, huts, rocks and trees and layered, scaled and tweaked them until I came up with this. Here is the sample of the original picture of the bay I started out with.
I combined a portion of the original image with cleaned-up images of huts, a moon, rocks, tropical trees and other foliage as well as my daughter playing soccer. The latter created the final touch for my design plan.
For my Color Theory Class, I created a design that would be a tribute to my and my daughter’s enjoyment from watching Doctor Who. We have been watching it over the last six months. I combined and touched up images from originals from the BBC Series. I created graphic reproductions of the Tardis, the Doctor’s time-traveling spaceship, and the Daleks, a robot race bent on revenge and the destruction of the Doctor. I touched up and layered the images, added shading and painted on shapes to add more depth and interest. This is what I came up for my thumbnail designs.
For the next stage of this assignment, I had to pick one of the designs and then create four color schemes for that design. For my Foundations of Design class, I chose a achromatic color scheme, a cool color scheme, a warm color scheme and an analogous color scheme. The achromatic is just a grey-scale version. The cool color scheme used colors within the range between a blue-violet and a blue-green. The warm scheme included colors with the range of orange and red-violet. The analogous used colors within the range on both sides of green (blue-green, green and yellow-green).
For my Color Theory Class, I picked a warm color scheme, a cool color scheme, a monochromatic color scheme and an analogous color scheme. The warm color scheme included red through yellow. The cool color scheme included colors within violet through blue. The monochromatic included variations of the the hue of yellow. Lastly, analogous color scheme included the colors between violet and crimson.
The next step in each was to pick the scheme I liked best and fine-tune it a bit. For my Fundamentals of Design class, I selected my Cool Color Scheme. In this version, I heightened the shadows and added a waves and foam on the shoreline.
For my Color Theory class, I chose my Cool Color scheme. I added additional shading and highlights to the design.
The final step for this class was to take my final image and polish and tweak it based on the feedback from the class and the instructor. For my Fundamentals of Design class, I added some reflections on the water, softened the beach waterline, and added a few more shadows to the huts, the clouds, the sand and shoreline.
For my Color Theory Class, I polished some of the color shading, added a foundation to where the Tardis sat and added some glowing specks for additional depth. I really took a chance with the latter since I really did not need to add those to improve the overall image. The design would have been fine with out them.
After I did these, rewrote my artist statements which I had to submit with my final design, I found that I was pretty pleased with how both designs turned out. I got a good grade in both classes and felt pretty great about what I ended up with as a design in each. I learned a lot from my instructors and my classmates. The next quarter starts the first week of July (tomorrow actually). I will be taking two classes (Intro to Game Design and Fundamentals of Drawing) up in Denver. I will need to drive up there each Monday and will be in school from noon until 10pm. My third class (Sociology) will be taken online and have the same accelerated pace as my last two classes. Should be fun!