Gradient Project (Concentric Design)
Hue, Value and Intensity (Acrylic Paint)

Spring, 09
Fall, 09
Spring, 10
Fall, 10
Spring, 2011


Artists to Research:

Richard Anuszkiewicz (b.1930) (pronounced Aah-Nuss-KAY-Vitch; Erie, Pennsylvania)


Peter Halley (b. 1953)

Odili Donald Odita (b.1966)

Victor Vasarely (1906-1997)

Bridget Riley (b. 1931)

Richard Tuttle (b. 1941)

Sol Lewitt (b.1928) youtube video

Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923)

Zoe Spiliotis (good for drawing designs)

Julian Hoeber (good for color selection)

John Powers (good for design and color ideas)

Clark Goolsby (contemporary artist that uses hard edge and color, among other things...)

Franklin Evans (uses found stripes of color to blur the boundaries between painting and installation)

Matt W. Moore (blurring boundries between graphic an fine art)

Sarah Cain (Installation / geometric abstraction) taking painting to another level by using interior and exterior space as her canvas.

Sasha Braunig (organic geometric compositions, representational / abstract)

Artist: MONEYLESS (geometric drawings)

Cesar Gomez (graphic designer who works with gradients and design)

David Malek (Painter working in geometric abstraction, good for researching gradients and design)

Deborah Zlotsky (painter that works with geometry, loose application, unique color selections, amazing drawings...

Paul DeMuro (loose geometric gradient paintings) very cool.

ANDY GILMORE (Transparency, design,gradient)

Maya Hayuk (Transparency, loose geometric application)

Dalek, also known as James Marshall (google image search for better images.... good use of gradients, hard edge, many more...)

Terms to research

Hard Edge Painting (term coined in 1959) (visual example, Sol Lewitt)
Term applied to abstract paintings composed of simple geometric or organic forms executed in broad, flat colours and delineated by precise, sharp edges. The term was coined by the Californian art critic Jules Langsner in 1958 and intended by him merely as an alternative to the term 'geometric abstraction'. Generally, however, it is used in a more specific sense: whereas geometric abstraction can be used to describe works with large numbers of separate, possibly modelled, elements creating a spatial effect, hard-edge painting refers only to works comprised of a small number of large, flat forms, generally avoiding the use of pictorial depth. It is in relation to this type of painting, particularly as produced by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, KENNETH NOLAND, Barnett Newman (see NEWMAN, BARNETT, fig. 2) and Ad Reinhardt from the mid-1950s to the end of the 1960s, that the term acquired general currency. Characteristic of this style are Newman's The Gate (1954; Amsterdam, Stedel. Mus.) and Kelly's White Black (1961; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.; see fig.) (

OP ART (visual example, bridgete Riley)
A school of abstract art characterized by the use of geometric shapes and brilliant colors to create optical illusions.

Concentric Design
(sharing a common center; like a bullseye)

FLAT COLOR: (visual example, Ellsworth Kelly)
Flat color is an area of color painted in a uniform or identical tone and hue (


To create a three dimensional geometric concentric design that is further enriched by the selection and application of flat color. This project is a culmination of each previous project; however, instead of selecting readymade colors, you will carefully manipulate the properties of color such as hue, value, and chroma using Acrylic paint (Acrylic applications will be demonstrated in class).

Applied course competencies:

-Manipulate properties of hue, value and chroma.

-Understand the effects of light upon color within the context of warm and cool colors.

-Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the 12-hue color wheel.

-Integrate critical thinking skills through completed artworks and formal critiques.

MATERIALS: Most materials are sold in the DCCC book store

-Illustration board 15 x 20 inches
-H4 or H2 pencil to draw the design onto the illustrations board
-Ruler (various measuring tools)
-Acrylic paint: ultramarine blue, cadmium red medium, cadmium yellow light, titanium white, and ivory black (five tubes, 22 ml or larger, Golden or Utrecht Acrylic paint brands are decent quality).
-Brush, 1/2 inch (use watercolor, short handle brushes).

-Yellow Frog Tape or Sensitive Blue Painter's Tape (orange interior)


First, research the artists listed in the"Artists to Research" section above to stimulate possible ideas and methods (you will continue this research throughout the entire process). The first sketch will be a quadrant of the overall design; as a result, the design will be repeated four times to create a concentric design as demonstrated in the images below. Desk and group critiques will further the development of each student's design. Important: your design must encompass volumetric qualities (planar, 3-D characteristics).

Once you have roughly committed to a design begin to experiment with color relationships by painting a test section; consider various color applications. When you have worked out the overall application of color, you may begin to draw and paint the image onto illustration board. Using blue painter's tape mask off each shape when applying paint. This is tedious work, but imperative to achieve the "Hard Edge Painting" aesthetic.

By isolating each task of the design you will be able to accomplish the project with proficiency and success.


Consider a section of a found design (multiply that by four)

Consider using a grid (the grid may evolve into something else) look at Victor Vasarly.

Consider straight angular lines (this will make it easier to mask and paint)

Consider various color relationships
-warm / cool relationship

-complimentary hues
-anagulous hues
-tints/shades (value)

Consider how to enhance 3-D characteristics (value and light)

Consider size and scale

Consider layering another design on top of your original

Consider using gray or muted colors to help intensify surrounding hues

Consider presentation and overall craftsmanship (an idea is worthless unless you are able to execute it)



Analyze and evaluate your work. ask yourself: how does my project support the points below?

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


Begin your project using geometric lines. Measure for precision!

Begin your design within a 6.5 inch square.



Repeat and mirror the design below your original.



Repeat and mirror (flip) the image to the right.



Repeat and mirror the image on the top right.

We now have a concentric design



Using scrap illustration board test various possibilities of color relationships.

Below demonstrates a warm / cool and complimentary palette. What other possibilities could you explore?

Always consider the 3 characteristics of color: hue, Value, and intensity


Below is a very rough idea of what this could look like.


Another possibility is applying a gradient from one hue to another or intensity to gray.

Below demonstrates both concepts. Look how the yellow turns into a dark muted grayish yellow.
Also, notice that the violet turns into a blue. In action, notice one plane is lighter in value than another (this creates volume).


Below is a rough example of how this could look complete.


Below is a color wheel that demonstrates the tints and shades of six hues.
Which band is the highest intensity of each hue?


Explore and experiment all possibilities. View images below to stimulate ideas.


Richard Anuszkiewicz




Richard Anuszkiewicz




Richard Anuszkiewicz




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Victor Vasarely




Bridget Riley




Bridget Riley




Sol Lewitt




Julian Hoeber