Critical analysis of colour application
This assignment develops your ability to research, critically analyse & discuss information relevant to colour theory & application.
Select an existing example of architecture, art or applied design (graphic, interior, product, textile, urban design, etc.) that demonstrates a colour combination technique.
Identify any weaknesses and strengths with the applied colour combination technique. Examine whether it is appropriate to propose an alternative approach. Why or why not?
Briefly discuss whether there are any relevant cultural or symbolic associations relevant to the colour combination technique that has been applied to your chosen example.
NOTE: The aim of this assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of the information/ readings for this course. Choose your example wisely. If you include any images, be sure to cite their sources.
Submit as a fully referenced (APA format) critical analysis of 1000 words.
Critical Analysis of Color Application
Color is among the crucial visual elements which are used to convey meaning in architecture, applied design and art (Agoston, 2013). There are various theories that have been developed with regard to color application. These theories explain the use of color to efficiently convey particular messages to people (Albers, 2013). However, while application of color in art and architecture and art is carried out to convey particular, in some cases, color is applied for aesthetic purposes only. In this paper, a critical analysis of color application in the Persistence of Memory painting will be carried out.
Persistence of Memory
Persistence of memory is a landscape painting that was created in 1931 by a Spanish artist known as Salvador Dali (Machado & Lopes, 2015). This panting has a light blue horizon that slowly fades downward to yellow. Under the skyline, there is a body of water. The water body traces the skyline until it merges with mountains to the right (Salcman, 2011). Other objects in this painting include a leafless tree, and melting watches.
A number of colors have been used in this painting. They include blue, yellow, and brown. The color combination technique used in this painting is the analogous color combination technique (Conway, 2012). In this technique, two or more colors are used in a painting and are positioned next to each other. This is normally aimed to bring about contrast as well as depict various features in a piece of art or architectural structure (Vigo et al., 2010). In this painting, various colors are placed next to each other to bring the various features that exist in it. For example, blue and yellow are placed next to each other to depict the sky and the waning sunlight. The use of yellow color in painting the sky is to indicate the time which is evening and darkness is falling (Phipps, 2010). The placing of colors next to each in this painting is also used to bring out contrasting features. For example, blue and golden yellow are used to show the water body and mountains. The placing of different color adjacent to each thereby allows the viewer to discern features in the painting.
Color combination in this painting has been carried out expertly. In doing the painting, the painter placed colors that matched together but ones that would help bring out the contrast that exists among the features (Feisner & Reed, 2013). For example, in painting the sky, the painter blue and yellow but in a way that allows a smooth transition from one color to another. For the sky, the painter began with dark blue color. However, as the painting progresses downward, the painter shifts to light blue before transitioning to yellow.
There is also balance in the use of color in this painting. There are both warm and cool colors in the painting. The great balance achieved in the use of color enabled the painter to distinctly portray each feature in the painting yet at the same time bring about harmony among the features (O’Connor, 2011). For example, there is great balance in the use of the blue and yellow color which has allowed the painting to portray the sky but at the same time indicate that the light of the setting sun.
Strengths of using analogous color combination technique
There are a number of advantages of using analogous color combination technique in painting. One of them is that it allows for use of multiple colors effectively (Holtzschue, 2012). For example, in this painting, many colors have been used yet the painting does not appear overcrowded. This is because the analogous color combination technique allows one to combine colors in a way that they seamlessly fit in each other (Zaidel, 2010). For example, in this painting, there has been use of blue, yellow, and brown colors. However, the colors have been combined in such a manner that the painting does not appear to contain many colors.
Another advantage of the analogous color combination technique is that it leads to harmony with respect to use of colors in a painting. The analogous color combination technique enables different colors to exist harmoniously in one painting (O’Connor, 2010). For example, in this painting the various colors such yellow, blue and brown exist in harmony with each other because they have been combined effectively. There are no glaring boundaries among the colors in the painting. The use of the analogous color combination technique in this painting enabled the painter depict each feature independently yet bring them into existence with others. As such, while one realizes the contrast that exists among the features, they also realize how the features are related and coexist in the same setting.
There are a number of symbolic associations related to the colors used in this painting as well as the color combination technique used. One of the associations is the natural associations. In this painting, color is used to indicate various natural features (Van Campen, 2010). For example, yellow is used to indicate light, blue is used to indicate the sky and water, and brown is used to indicate earth. Another symbolic association of color and the color combination technique used in this painting is the movement of time. In this painting, it can be deduced that there is movement of time where darkness is slowly falling (Elliot & Maier, 2012). This is shown by the yellow and orange colors to indicate the setting sun as well as the dark brown color to indicate that darkness is slowly gathering on the land.
The fast movement of time as well as the limited time that human beings have on earth is also another symbolic association related to color in this painting. The use of color to indicate the setting of the sun and the falling in of darkness can be linked to the human life (Feisner & Reed, 2013). The human life goes through a cycle from childhood to adulthood to old age. In using color, the painter was probably trying to indicate the inevitability of death for human beings. In this case, he used darkness to indicate the end of human life.
Evidently, Color is crucial visual element which is used to convey meaning in architecture, applied design and art. In the painting persistence of memory, a number of colors have been applied. They include blue, yellow, and brown. The colors have symbolic associations such as indicating nature and movement of time. The color combination technique used in the painting is the analogous color combination technique. This technique allows for effective use of multiple colors and leads to harmony in terms of color combination. As such, this technique has enabled many colors to be used in this painting without the painting appearing overcrowded.
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