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Color Vision and Art

Friday, April 18th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

Color Vision and Art

This Web site mixes art with science! In the nineteenth century, modern art was still being defined, but at the same time, scientists were discovering how we see. New ideas on how we see color inspired artists to try new things. So, are you ready to learn all about Color Vision and Art? I know I am, so let’s dive right in!

Navigation is very easy here. You’ll find that the side menu contains the sections for browsing. Then in each section, there’s a navigation menu along the top of the page. Or, you can use the Next button. Your options are:

Home – This will bring you back to the main page from anywhere on the site, but there’s content for you here as well. This area is also the introduction to the site. Click on the Continue button to read the whole introduction.

Light, Color and Vision – In this section, you’ll discover how we see color, what goes on in our eyes and how our eyes calculate the color we see.

This section goes on to explore Newton’s discovery of color and light through his work with prisms, as well as, Goethe’s take on how we perceive color. You’ll also learn about paints, how they are made, the appearance they give and how we see them.

It goes on to explore African Art and art from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. I loved this part. The art they highlight here is amazing!

Color Interactions: Simultaneous Contrast – Here you learn about complimentary colors and contrast and how artists have used them in their work. You’ll visit African art, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Mona Hatoum.

Luminance and Equiluminance – This section walks you through luminance (the quality of being luminous, emitting or reflecting light) and equiluminance (the technique to blur outlines and suggest motion) with brilliant examples. You’ll also discover exaggerated contrast, tonal unity, Impressionism and it even touches on Pointillism. The section here on Picasso and his use of color was also very interesting. I think this section on color was by far my favorite!

Peripheral Vision – Here you’ll learn how our peripheral vision and center vision differ and how that affects how we perceive color. You’ll also visit the Mona Lisa and see if “noise” on the image changes her expression from happy to sad. This section also delves further into Impressionism and how the details appear at first and after directly looking at them. You’ll also discover how different artists have conveyed movement in their paintings.

Make sure you check out all of the interactive stuff too. There are a lot of paintings you can play with and there are even sound clips you can listen to peppered throughout the site.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this in depth look into Color Vision and Art!

~ Amanda

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