Project Objectives

Develop visual understanding of the differences between subject matter and form.

Intentionally translate Value into Color.

Develop visual understanding of Complementary Color Schemes/Harmonies.

Develop practical understanding of the how to create Complementary Color Harmonies.

Explore volume using color harmonies, color saturation, value range and temperature.

Project Description

In this project you will work with Gouache to translate your Project 8 complementary color scheme into a large format design.

Required Materials

Your second version of the Texture Project One (1) Sheet of 9" x 12" Drawing Paper One (1) Sheet of 14” x 17” Bristol Board Set of Gouache Paint Paint Brushes Mixing Palette Container for Water Cloth Rag HB Pencil Eraser Scissors Xacto Ruler Glue Stick Rubber Cement

Step-by-step Directions

You need to have completed Project 8 | Color Schemes in order to deliver this project.


Step 1: Review your complementary color scheme (Project 8) with a classmate. Make note of any changes that need to be made.

Step 2: Sketch your final composition on a 9” x 12” drawing paper.

Step 3: Paint the entire composition on the 9” x 12” drawing paper you sketched using your Complementary color scheme. Make sure the painting includes at least 9 different color variations mixing those 2 complementary colors. You may mix white and black into some of your colors, but do this as minimally as possible. Try making your colors darker by mixing your complements. No areas of your image should be left unpainted.

Step 6: Once the painting is complete, mount it on a 14”x17” piece of Bristol board using your rubber cement glue. Make sure the painting is centered, use your ruler to create guidelines with pencil before gluing.



Project Considerations

Were the proper combinations of hues used to reproduce a complementary color scheme?

Are all areas of the picture plane painted?

Were the colors mixed and applied with skill?

Is the illusion of depth accomplished on Complementary design by using, hue, saturation and temperature?

Are the final paintings been executed in a professional manner? Designs should utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail. This includes proper mounting to Bristol Board.

CRAFTSMANSHIP is extremely important for each of your designs and is part of the grading criteria. Do not fold, bend, crease, smudge, tear your artworks! Always take great care when creating each design and then put directly into your portfolio case.

What is Craftsmanship? Care in construction and finishing; demonstration of skill and knowledge of processes; attention to detail. The quality of design and work shown in something that is made by hand.

Project Delivery

Final Complementary color scheme design.
Presented final painting mounted on Bristol board.

Grading Criteria

This project is worth 7 points.
Project's Grade Rubric

Each of the color scheme paintings will be graded based on the criteria below worth 1 point:
Craftsmanship & Materials: The final design has been executed in a professional manner, clean of smudges and non-intentional paint. Design utilized the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail. This includes proper mounting to Bristol Board. Does the design display your ability to evenly mix and apply paint and all the areas covered with paint? Proper paper and paints were used.
Composition & Principles of Organization: Does the design apply basic elements and principles of composition (activate the entire picture plane, adhere to the rule of thirds, and establish a primary focal point, dynamic figure/ground relationships and a strong visual flow)? Does the design utilize principles of organization to unify the elements of design (line, shape, space, value, texture, and color)? Principles of organization include negative/positive space, figure/ground relationships, contrast, repetition, emphasis, and directional forces. 
Elements of Design & Color Scheme Does the design utilize line, shape, space, texture, value and color? Are the elements of design interesting on their own? Is the design abstracted from subject matter? Does your painting demonstrate an understanding of the color scheme colors and utilize them as a compositional tool? Does your painting include at least 9 variations of your complementary hues? 

Related Presentations

Saturation Studies by Marybeth Haas

11 Ways To Add Depth To A Design

Color II Presentation

Working with Gouache


Is a property of light and has three characteristics:

    Value = How light or dark a color is.

    Hue = Color

    Intensity = Saturation = Chroma
    How pure (bright) a color is.


    We have learned so far that working with Value helps create the illusion of volume.

    We also learned that Value is one of the characteristics of Color.


    In Project 5: Color Schemes we used Hues and Color Harmonies to translate Value into Color in order to enhance the Design and Content.

    Color Schemes deal with Color Harmonies and are based on the Color Wheel and it's Hues.

    If we want to use Colors to create Volume we also need to work with Intensity and Temperature.


    Prismatic Color: pure hues at their highest saturation levels.

    Muted Color: rich but softened color created by mixing prismatic color with a small amount of its complement.

    Chromatic Gray: very subtle color created by mixing prismatic color with a lot of its complement.

    Achromatic Gray: created by mixing black and white (no hue.)


    Warm: hues closer to red = advance

    Cool: hues closer to blue = recede