Project Six: Final Project, Cut Paper Harmonies



Part 1: The Final Project will be comprised of an artistic examination (an artwork) that demonstrates the fundamental 2D design elements and principles covered in this course. What specific topics have we discussed? These Elements include: Line, Shape, Texture, Value, Color, and Space. The Principles of two-dimensional design include: Unity/Harmony, Balance, Contrast, Rhythm, Transition, Variety, and Dominance. This project will include demonstrations of your acquired technical skills in craft, painting, color mixing, cutting, pasting, and assembly. Your project must include examples of basic color harmonies and applicable variations of pure hues, their values and intensities. You must also achieve a unified design manipulating form and space.


Part 2: The second part of this Final Project is an at least 500 word, 1” Margin, Times New Roman font size 12, paper explaining specifically what aspects of 2D Design you have incorporated within your composition. This will be part of your grade. I want you to articulate an understanding of the concepts presented in class both within your artwork and in this paper! Be specific, just stating “My design demonstrates a tetradic color harmony.” isn’t enough. You must be as specific as possible. For example; you could include the hues involved, areas applied, and reason(s) for your choice(s). College level writing is expected! You must explain how you utilized every aspect of the 2D Design elements and principles we have investigated in class!


Project Description:

Create a unified design by painting, cutting, pasting and/or pinning your sketchpad and/or gathered acid free paper into a composition at least 18 inches in one dimension. You can incorporate strictly geometric shapes, organic shapes, or both in your design. You can also choose to use solely representational or non-representational elements, or both. This design must demonstrate color harmonies anchored by one dominant color throughout. The design will be comprised of many layers of cut painted paper, found paper, and raw paper shapes.  I will be emailing the Final Project Lecture (.ppt) to each of you so you can use the artwork presented for inspiration. Remember, that not every artwork in the lecture demonstrates the entire fulfillment of this project, just some of the possibilities of this medium!



Step 1: Research cut paper artwork and develop an understanding of the possibilities inherent in the medium. Decide on your color choices (must be tetradic), looking at artworks until you find a palette that you like is helpful at this stage, if you find one you like, print an image of it. Complete Color Harmony Worksheet and keep safe. Begin collecting paper; think about pattern, color, texture, and even transparency.  Your source paper can be from wherever you want but you must also use at least one sheet of your raw white sketchpad paper (can be broken down) somewhere in your design. You also need to start making painted swatches on sketchpad paper of appropriate sizes using your tetradic color harmonies, dominant hue, and color variants (see next page).


Step 2: Begin sketching out compositions, shapes, combinations/layers of shapes. It is also helpful to actually make a number of preliminary cut paper elements at this stage. I want al least 5 developed colored sketches and 5 preliminary cut elements before you begin your project. You must have a well-developed, solid plan to begin! Questions to ask yourself, will you use layering? If so, will you start with the background paper first and then work towards the front of your design, or vise versa? Will you work in an additive or subtractive manner, or both? How will you include your required color elements? What is the best way to engineer your project? Be willing to experiment to find the best ways to solve the structural/visual/conceptual issues during the process of creating this piece.


Step 3: Begin the process of cutting your paper elements and organizing your composition. Make sure that your design is as well crafted as possible. Craft, craft, craft! I don’t want paper parts falling off for any reason, or the process of construction evident (besides pins) in any way! You will need to experiment with the materials to decide what approach is best for construction i.e. pasting the elements onto a piece of sketchpad paper (like your other projects) and then mount. Or, if you will just work directly on the foam core, this is the riskier of the two choices. Make sure that you include all the required elements within your composition, how you do so is completely up to you be creative! Consider making a checklist for yourself (below). What exactly needs to be included in this project?


Step 4: You must mount your project onto white or black illustration or matt board leaving a 2” border around the design. Label per your syllabus and bring to class finished for our final critique. Have materials ready to put cover sheet on after the final critique.


Requirements for Final Project:

1 Sheet of raw unpainted sketchpad paper (may be broken down)

Painted paper elements (found paper elements optional)

18 inches in one dimension (at least)

Elements of 2D: Line, Shape, Texture (tactile/simulated), Value, Color, and Space

Principles of 2D: Unity/Harmony, Balance, Contrast, Rhythm, Transition, Variety, & Dominance.

Organic and/or Geometric shapes

Representational and/or Non-representational shapes

Mounted on white acid free foam core using rubber cement and/or straight pushpins with a 2” border around the design with cover sheet and labeled per the syllabus. (If you choose to have an entirely flat design you may mount your project on illustration or matt board.)

500 word paper (see second paragraph)

Color Harmony Worksheet

Tetradic Harmony: You must apply a tetradic harmony to your overall design. You may mix the hues with one another (being careful not to make another hue from the original color wheel), black white, or shades of gray. Do NOT use black, white, or gray paint by itself. A tetradic harmony is defined as direct complementary harmonies put together, creating either a rectangle or square from the hues on the 12-hue color wheel. An example: The 4 hues made from two direct complementary sets Red/Green and Blue/Orange make a tetradic harmony.

Dominant Hue: You will choose one hue from the original four in your tetradic harmony that will be the dominant hue in the overall design.

Color Variants: You must use a minimum of 6 variations (pure, tint, shade, chroma, tone) of each of your 4 original hues for a total minimum of 24 colors. (6 variations x 4 hues = 24 colors minimum). You may choose to use more if you wish. Work to create as large a color gamut (range) as you can. You can do this by using a full range of Intensities and Values in your color mixes. Use neutral as well as intense colors!




Tempera paints (provided by MCC), paintbrushes, H pencils, ruler, rubber cement, rubber cement pickup, X-Acto knife and multiple blades, sketchpad, black or white illustration board, colored pencils, tactile texture element (i.e sand, string, woodchips, etc.), paper with simulated texture, found paper (optional)



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© 2020 Dustin M. Price