dawn by the lake: the color concept book



Above is the finished color concept book including most of the materials posted below. Click the image of spread to see the entire pdf book.

I actually made this book back in 2010, the final year of my grad school, but never thought of posting it here as a “Grande Finale”. When I showed it at the semester wrap-up exhibit and finished a little presentation in front of Prof. Bob Gill, he simply said, “I would pay you $1,000 just for this”. He’s quite an iconic figure in design world, but more than that, as a teacher, he was infamous for his harsh (but definitely worth listening to) comments. So, to see him say not just “good” but “would pay $1,000”? It meant something.


the last painting study: pointillism

my first attempt of pointillism! it took a lot of effort to achieve orange that I aimed at making, but the result is totally rewarding. looking at it from a fair amount of distance, and squinting eyes a little bit really helps to see the mixed yellow and red. a fun exercise.


book cover images

these are scanned fabrics I considered to use as the cover for my book. actually, they were scanned when we were doing the texture study, but only one image got to be in a texture page. freely arranged wrinkles and transparency goes well with my signature color.


Some thoughts at the end…

Question 1. What would I do with colors in my future?

I like calling myself a writer. It’s really a shame that I can’t write as well as I can in my own language. Anyway, in favor of writing, I am very interested in media communication, especially journalism. I am not talking about dry news reports. What I would like to include in my media is the stories from people. It doesn’t have to be heroic or dramatic as many of us would expect from “a-true-story-based” articles. It can be just something like a hidden story from the person next to you. And I think color is a perfect medium to represent people’s personality and life stories. I would like to use colors as a part of personal storytelling.
One thing that bothers me about the use of color in the real world is that there is always “this year’s hip color” as PANTONE announced “Turquoise” as it for this year. When color is to be chosen for any object ranging from clothes to interior, this color trend strongly affects the choice. However, if colors are to be applied to describe people, I could be free from the concept of “trendy colors.” — because people’s character is not something that changes along the season.

Thinking about this future project makes me already excited!

Question 2. How do I see colors now?

The color study I did for the past 15 weeks changed my view of color so differently. Most of all, I have thought having too much theoretical background about color would limit my own creativity to use color. But the reality turned out to be the opposite. In my book and color studies, there are so many color schemes that I would have never be able to come up with if I haven’t learned all the concepts like tones and shades, split complementary…and so on. How to apply these new palettes to the right place seems to be still a bit challenging to me. But knowing how to draw interesting yet  harmonious color palettes out of daily object settings or images was very helpful.
Now I’ve come to have a new habit which is to observe everything around me to pick up colors from it. The world I live in became more colorful than before, definitely.


rex ray’s collage

I first came to know this artist when I went to Adler Design store as a field trip. There was the collection book of his collages displayed on the table, and I fell in love with his works. The images evolve from simple to complicated works, which show how he integrates colors, shapes and texture in a right proportion. he uses a lot of organic shapes like not-perfect circles, leaf-shapes and curvy lines. The rounded shapes creates ambiguous figure-ground effect, which also helps colors come across each other nicely.  I think following his way of expression will really help in color studies in terms of considering color, shape, texture all together for one work.

I used this image(above) for my color trend book as an inspiration for my cool study. This blue green and round, plant-like shape captured my eyes and it really went well with the color scheme I took from the image taken in the forest.

I think, overall I like his simple works better because all the visual elements, such as color/shape/texture, stand out more strongly in simpler works.


some arts for warm/cool study

From one of the photo-based schemes and the warm analogous scheme, I came up with these two  sketches. The big one is for cool, the smaller for warm. I might create collages based on them, or apply the colors from the inspired scheme to transparent materials (film, tracing paper, whatever) and put them in my book so that readers can see the colored shadow through these pages. Still thinking about it…

top left=cool, top right=warm


Texture Study

I am trying to collect textures which enhance any sort of lighting effects: transparent, metallic, etc. What I mostly looked at are fabric, glass windows, fluid, and paint. Here are 9 selected textures out of the whole collection. Still need to come up with appropriate painted/created textures.