Michal Nowakiewicz Last quarter Keith Pfeiffer and I taught a series on color. As promised, this was not a typical color theory class. Here are a few of my favorite student works from one of my favorite exercises. These paintings are made with compressed values, and some are entirely all one light/dark value. Some of them are so compressed, if you were to take a black and white photograph, the image disappears. One of the students called them invisible paintings. 1 value painting by Chris HarveyChris Harvey’s painting in b/w This idea of painting with compressed values came from Monet’s Impression, Sunrise painting (1872) that launched the impressionist movement. The painting is almost entirely one value, with complementary orange/red and blue/green – the orange bold, and the blue neutralized into a grey. Monet’s Impression, Sunrise painting (1872) These invisible paintings produce an incredible vibrating magic when they implement two simple strategies. Strategy 1: Painting with neutral colors and compressed values can give the painting a dim look, like peering into a scene at dawn or twilight. Strategy 2: Adding intense color to this dim scene gives a surprising and stunning vibration that feels like light, or energy. These bold colors effectively replace the white of light. With or without the bold vibrating colors, compressed value paintings vibrate like they’re magic. Strategy 3: Complementary colors, or colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel like red and green or orange and blue give each other a special supercharge. When one is bright and the other is neutral, as in Monet’s painting above, the effect is a powerful glow. Gil MendezGil MendezChristine ClarkLucy GarnettLaurie ChurchillRita Parks Susan Gregory Janet SekijimaJanet SekijimaJanet SekijimaJanet SekijimaCheryl Chudyk Cynthia Hardwig Cathy HiyashiErin Power Aren’t these fantastic? I love sharing ideas and seeing what people make with them. A good class can be a wonderful sequence of collaborations. Interested in taking a class like this? Check out my upcoming classes: Depth in Drawing & Painting begins 1/21 Light and Shadow, Color and Form begins 2/25 See you soon!