Assignment #4 - color
Due Thursday, March 13 (in class)
CS 99D - The Science of Art
Winter Quarter, 2003
Your fourth (and last!) assignment is to write a 3-4 page double-spaced paper
on one of the topics listed in the first section below. Alternatively, you may
do one of the projects listed in the second section. You may also choose
another topic or project if you clear it with me in advance. The format and
rules for this assignment are the same as in the first one. Don't forget to
cite your sources using footnotes and/or a list of references, as appropriate.
We considered many color spaces in class: one-dimensional (lines and circles),
two-dimensional (the chromaticity diagram), and three-dimensional (pyramid,
sphere, double cone, etc.). Many more are covered in chapter 6 of Kemp's book.
What do you think is the best system to guide artists in the
understanding and selection of colors? Defend your choice. Don't limit
yourself to the systems you have read about. Can you think of a better one?
Write a paper on the use of color in an art medium we have not considered in
class. Examples might be pottery, architecture, or tapestry. The latter is
interesting because colors mix subtractively when the fibers are dyed, then
additively when they are woven together.
In the book The Eye of the Artist, Stanford Professor Michael Marmor
discusses the art of famous artists who were known to have occular defects or
diseases. In some cases, the defects are not known, but are instead inferred
from the art. Choose one (or more) of these "more controversial" hypotheses
and evaluate it (them) critically. Do you believe him? Defend your opinion.
(I have the book in my office.)
Write on the treatment of color in a non-Western-European culture. One angle
might be to consider how universal are the emotions, symbols, and uses that
different cultures associate with specific colors.
Trace the history of some category of artist's tools, such as painting
brushes, sculpting chisels, or the photographic camera. When were the key
technological advances? What effect did they have on the art?
Trace the scientific and artistic history of some optical theme that we did not
cover in class, such as motion blur or depth of field. If you choose motion
blur, don't forget to talk about its use in cartoon animation. If you choose
depth of field, don't forget to talk about the invention of photography and its
effect on our expectations about art.
Some non-writing projects
Assemble and present in class some demonstrations of unusual modes of color
mixing. Examples of additive mixing might include colored powders, adjacent
strips or spots, or woven threads. Examples of subtractive mixing might
include colored liquids or colored lights reflecting from colored surfaces.
Reproduce Newton's Experimentum Crucis in which he splits light into a rainbow
using a prism, recombines it, and splits it again. Alternatively, build a
replica of the Young-Helmholz matching experiment, but using prismatically
produced primaries instead of computer display phosphors as we did in class.
This project would also be great to demonstrate in class.
Build a physical model of one of the three-dimensional color systems described
in Kemp's book. Use any color reproduction medium you like to make the chips;
a color ink-jet printer might work well.
Copyright © 2003 Marc Levoy
February 22, 2003 10:37:20 PM