Middle, Additive and Subtractive mixtures


Spring, 2011

Artists to google image search:
Al Held
Michael Dotson
Victor Vasarely
Briget Riley
Joseph Albers
Robert Slutzky


Using a single cell design to create 9 "unit forms", incorporate "transparency" by applying 2 out of the 3 forms of mixtures (additive, subtractive and middle mixtures).

Single cell design 2 x 2 inches (notice the simplicity)

Unit form design, 4 x 4 inches (rotate or flip each single cell)

repeated unit form (3 across, and 3 down) overall measurement is 12 x 12 iches


Sketch Pad
Illustration Board (hot or cold pressed), 20 x 15 inches
Color Aid paper
X -acto blade(s)
Measuring tools

Rubber cement


CANVAS SIZE: 20 x 15 inches
IMAGE SIZE: 12 x 12 inches

Design Approach:

Your design must only incorporate element(s) of design, (line, shape, volume, value, color, etc.) Do not use representational forms in your design.

Use simple geometric shapes: cube, pyramid, rectangle, octagon, etc. Consider overlapping a similar shape (consider size and scale of each shape).

Research artists and begin to sketch out ideas. Ideas come from working. Use a compass, the top of a bottle cap, templates, anything nearby that can assist you in your design approach. An artist must learn to be resourceful. The more resourceful you are the more successful your work/idea will be.

Notice below the two designs. The Design on top is the first draft; whereas, the design on the bottom is the same as the one above, but after a few adjustments and tweaking the angles to create a diagonal flow of positive and negative space. Once you feel you're onto an idea, continue to tweak the design toward perfection. Spend time designing. Once your design in complete transfer it onto a 15 x 20 inch illustration board as demonstrated in class.

IMPORTANT: You will not have enough paper to finish the design with your first selection of mixtures. You must select additional mixtures and apply them into your design using symmetry.

Also, instead of cutting out each single cell you may be able to cut out the shapes within the unit form. This may save time and energy.


Mixture website: How to mix color

Imagine an overlay of one semi-transparent color (dark, de-saturated, blue) over another (light, intense, Yellow).
What is the color mixture of the two?
-Answer: Middle tone, middle intensity, green
How did I arrive at that answer?
-Imagine the middle mixture of value, intensity, and hue.

When attempting to select the color mixture:

-Use your color wheel to help find the middle hue.
-Use a value chart to find the middle value between the two hues.
-Use a Munsell chart to find the middle intensity between the two hues.

When selecting an Additive Mixture:

follow the above methods with the exception that the value is darker than both parents.

When selecting a Subtractive Mixture:

follow the above methods with the exception that the value is lighter than both parents.


-Are you following the concept of the project?
- Neatness, precision, Intelligent and crafty use of the medium (no distractions from craftsmanship errors)
-Originality, problem solving, innovation
Composition (overall design)
Does your work feel balanced and unified (whole)?
-Does the project seem complete, developed/evolved, and well executed

Below demonstrates transparency using shades and overlapping. Artist: Joseph Albers





Below demonstrates transparency using color mixtures







A found image demonstrating the project's concept


Additive Transparency



Below demonstrates an Additive Transparency were the mixture is a darker value than both parents

Below is an example of an overlay of tints and shades. Imagine darker or lighter values of the same hue.