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NYSS requires all persons entering the building (Gallery visitors are exempt) to complete the daily sign-in form: CLICK HERE
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Color with Kaitlin McDonough and Guests

Summer Session III

Course Description

This Marathon will elevate and expand our sensitivity to all aspects of color. We will place practice before theory to explore the wild richness of color functionality and mutability. Exercises will expand our understanding of hue, tone, saturation, deception, intervals, boundaries and color relatedness. We will prioritize conclusions drawn from what we observe firsthand and will trust our sense of sight above any preconceived notions of how a color might behave. Using colored papers and the teachings of Josef Albers, we will sharpen our awareness of the many ways that colors shift, bend, vibrate, radiate and co-create on the page. We will internalize a deep awareness of color and ways to work with color confidently. All levels welcome!

Course Outline

Through direct trial and error, we will explore, create and examine:

  • Relativity of light: grayscales
  • Relativity of hue: making one color look like two different hues, making two colors look like the same hue
  • Relativity of light: relative light and dark in different and opposing hues
  • Color relations: finding the middle color between two hues
  • Subtraction of color: the effect of a ground on the hue that it carries
  • Color deception: simultaneous contrast and after-image
  • Color mixture in paper: Illusion of transparence
  • Color boundaries and plastic action
  • Color intervals and transformation: saturation
  • Harmony and expression
  • Masterwork studies in collage: color instrumentation

Concepts will be presented and ample time will be spent working to unpack and create with each property of color. Slide presentations and gallery visits will complement our studio work.

Learning Outcomes

This course will heighten students’ sensitivity to properties of color (hue, tone, value, saturation, temperature) and color relatedness. Participants will learn to assess color activity and understand the mutability of color, leading to a more nuanced reading of color situations and a more refined usage of color in one’s own projects. They will also gain a vocabulary with which to understand and to discuss the nuanced properties of color.

Course Syllabus


Kaitlin McDonough


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