Project Three: Grayscale Study and Design



You will demonstrate the possibilities inherent in Value, Transition, Contrast and Balance. You will become more articulate in the craft of cutting and gluing paper. You will also be introduced and experiment with painting techniques and mediums. Your understanding of 2D design as applied to the creation of visual effects will become more observant. You will learn how to mix a sequence of ten equally shaded gray values in paint and create a ten-step grayscale study from white to black. You will also create a cut paper design utilizing shapes derived from your ten-step grayscale swatches. This design can be non-representational or representational and be comprised of organic or geometric shapes, or a combination of all of the above. The design will reflect your understanding of Craft, Shape, Space, Grayscale and Dominance.



Step 1: Create 10 flat, smooth, uniform swatches (painted areas on your sketchpad paper) demonstrating 10 steps of grayscale going from white to black. These swatches should be approximately 8”x 10” in size to begin with. (Hint: see my tips for creating a grayscale with paint in class) I will also demonstrate all of this.


Step 2:  Create a grayscale strip measuring 2”x 10” in size by cutting out 2”x 1” rectangles from each of your 10 paper swatches and carefully pasting them down next to one another in sequential order on a piece of sketchpad paper. You will carefully cut out and mount your 2”x10” grayscale to a 4”x 12” piece of white illustration board for personal use. The excess painted swatches you will use in your cut paper design. You may also need to make more painted swatches depending on your design.


Step 3: Decide what type of design you would like to create either a representational or non-representational design, or a little of both (see lecture). If you feel that your paper cutting skills still have room for improvement I would recommend staying with a non-representational design. I want you to explore a few compositional ideas sketching them out on your graph paper, or even cutting a few shapes from your sketchpad paper. Remember craft, craft, craft!!! Experiment with a few ideas before jumping into your final design. I want you to be aware of what type of balance you are utilizing from the beginning of your project. Will your design have a symmetric, asymmetric, or radial balance?


Step 4: Once you have a general plan outlined in your graph paper pad speak with me and then begin working on your design. Cut your shapes of value from your swatches and glue them onto a pristine piece of sketchpad paper using rubber cement. Make sure you have experimented with placement before gluing them down. Ask yourself how will your project be created? Will you work from the background to the foreground, gluing as you go? Will you wait until you have all your shapes cut out and then paste them down? Consider what the best way to engineer this design truly is. Your final design must be no larger than 24” in any dimension and no smaller than 14” in any dimension. It must be mounted on either white or black illustration board with a 2” border around the design. It must also utilize every step of value from white to black in the 9-step grayscale!!! Avoid any large expanses of negative space, for this project more is usually better!



Tempera paints and medium (provided by MCC), paintbrushes, H and B pencils, ruler, rubber cement, rubber cement pickup, X-Acto knife, graph paper pad, white or black illustration board

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© 2020 Dustin M. Price