Interpreting color intent

This was an assigned discussion for my second design class, Color Theory.  The goal was to find 5 images with “interesting use of color,” and to interpret how the colors help to convey the message or add emphasis to the work.

My concentration at SCAD is momentarily Sequential Art, but as that field often overlaps other disciplines, I am selecting work that is illustrative in nature and tells a story in still form. I selected triadic schemes as my color focus, as the contrast of three colors creates a beautifully strong image.

ring-around-the-rosie-ernie-barnesIn the Ring Around the Rosie by Ernie Barnes, the colors are green orange and purple. This seems to be a very common color palette, as the  Ehsan Hassani (cat) also features a purple (on the bluer spectrum) and the orange and green hues. The warmth of the orange is complemented by the cooler purple tone. Orange serves as the focal point, while the purple fades into the background in support. Ehsan-Hassani-Moghaddam-580x282The green color (depending on its temperature or amount of yellow included) seems to compete with the orange when it is brighter, but recedes in importance in darker or more blue-inclusive hues. Barnes allows the girl jumping higher in her “ring” to be centered and dominant – – perhaps showing her confidence or enthusiasm. Hassani makes the orange cat dominate his purple room, and features a green pen and drawing to showcase his momentary desire (or character’s focus).Los-cachorros-1

In Los Cachorros y el Codigo de Marco Polo, the pallet is predominantly red and blue, with yellow (and yellow-green) as accent. The room is set in red tones, while three of the characters are blue. The yellow character takes attention in his contrast from the repetition of the other two colors. The illustrator toys with the lighting of the colors to make each prominent or receding.
Carter Goodrich_NewYorker_2000-05-15_100In Carter Goodrich The New Yorker cover art, green, orange and purple are dominant. The illustrator also uses blue and pink, as though they are demonstrative of their combination (purple). Here, the green is used as a background and serves to unify, while the orange and orange-red colors take the focus. The purple-blue color is visible, but not as important in the image. It suggests that the warm red head is happy, is important, is wealthy, while her purple-hued bench-mate is envious and though regal (in success of her job), she is lacking something.
vacuumThe Captive Exile’s painting features green-blue, orange-yellow, and purple in juxtaposition. The orange sands are given prominence by volume and temperature. The violet and greenish blue vacuum are clearly the forgotten tool – shown both in the item’s burial and in it’s cooler toning.


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