On the way to our hotel in Houston we stopped downtown for about 15 minutes to observe the city. I originally had no idea that downtown Houston was so vibrant and lively. A common theme I noticed was the use of color as well as reflectivity. The larger buildings shared a reflective facade while the smaller scale buildings tended to use a lot of color. Normally I wouldn’t think these two realms could be done so close together, but I realized that they could and they actually complemented each other. Here are a few photos from the trip of downtown Houston.
Design is a process and is never complete without multiple iterations. I’ve learned that it isn’t about the first idea you have but the development and exploration of that idea. Recently we explored color with screen printing. The prompt was to only use three colors, two for the screen print and one for the paper color. Chris mentioned to me that it was important to try how colors layer on top of each other and to experiment with foreground and background by doing the lighter color as the lamp base and then try it as the highlights. I learned that screen printing blue on yellow creates a different effect compared to printing yellow on blue. Without this experimentation, I don’t think I would have discovered how color layers. After our initial pin up I was not satisfied with my print because of the quality of the way the ink kind of bubbled on the paper and how it didn’t stand out or pop, so to speak. I went back to the screen print lab this morning and used the same colors, yellow, orange, and blue, but changed the layering of it. I tried a brighter hue of blue and pulled the screen with a different squeegee that had a square end. I also pulled the yellow base layer twice to achieve a solid yellow that didn’t have blue show through. I did the same for the orange highlights and found that the color was much brighter and cleaner. I didn’t realize how much of a difference this would have, but it really did make the print more successful and I would not have discovered this without going back into the project and trying more iterations.
Water colors are a tricky medium. I discovered through our project to create a color wheel through artificial color how hard it is to mix red, yellow, and blue to get secondary and tertiary colors. I discovered that using the palette of water colors isn’t accurate when mixing colors because it is very difficult to reproduce and mix evenly. Water color tubes proved to be much more accurate in mixing colors because I could control how much of each color was added before distilling it with water. Green also proved to be a challenging color to create because blue dominates yellow, so finding the right combination of the two proved difficult especially while preserving the brightness. Another discovery I made was the effect of a white background compared to a black background. I found that the black background actually brought out the vibrancy of the colors rather than making the dark colors feel darker like I originally thought. In comparison, the white background kind of washed out the colors in my opinion.
Our recent discusssion about color and the effect of halation has had me wondering, is halation really real or is it just made up? I can see it in a color gradient but when inserting the colors on a picture i loose the effect of it. I think the trick to putting it in an image is being able to have the colors that are next to each other on a gradient next to each other in the image. Also, since halation occurs at the border between two colors, there has to be reasonably large sized borders to really see it. So maybe halation has such specific criteria that if it doesn’t fulfill each and every item, it isn’t completly apparent to the viewer. This link describes the criteria pretty well.