With an understanding of color concepts and relationships, you can use color to evoke subtle as well as overwhelming sensations in a viewer. Knowledge of color theory benefits people in a variety of professions, ranging from artists selecting color for their work to designers seeking to add impact to their message to interior designers coordinating fabrics and paints for homes.
Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experimentation, students learn about the color wheel, the Munsell color chart, and the attributes of value, chroma, and hue.
Participants then use these ideas in working with tonal contrast and patterning, and also begin to explore color temperature and complementary color effects and harmonies. Students use acrylic paints to mix and create colors, and also experiment with magazine clippings and colored papers, to develop sensitivity to color qualities and color movement in shaping composition.
This course is open to students of all levels. No drawing or painting experience is required. A list of supplies can be downloaded from the website prior to the start of class.
Instructor Maureen Lauran has more than 25 years of experience as a designer, illustrator, and art director in publishing. She has taught art in New York City and Vermont.
6 sessions, 2 1⁄2 hours each
Download the supply list for this class
About the Instructor
Maureen Lauran first taught at the Smithsonian Associates in 2001, and went on to teach Graphic Design at George Mason University for several years before returning to the Smithsonian in 2009.She works in a range of media, and her design work includes book covers, DVD jackets, posters, marketing materials, and website design. Lauran has received several industry vendor awards for excellence in design and production. More..
Visit the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for examples of color theory mastery such as Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Blue and Yellow, 1935.