The final part of this ligature project is taking the experimental ligature piece and applying color – specifically two complementary colors. Technically speaking, complementary colors are those colors directly across from each other on the color wheel, i.e., green and red or yellow and violet. (For a quick easy lesson on color theory, click and read Basic color schemes: Color Theory Introduction.) When doing my color study, I thought it interesting to see colors next to each other that really wouldn’t get any compliments from many people and were even quite painful to look at.

I worked with eight different color combinations looking for the best solution from those. The ideal solution would consist of two complementary colors that were balanced without one dominating the other, no matter which was foreground or background. In order to prove the colors are balanced, they have to be applied on a diptych of the ligature experiment and reversed from one to the other. “What exactly does that mean?”, I hear you cry.

color ligature thumbnails

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Well, check out the thumbnails of my color choices. You’ll notice that each color pairing is applied twice, but in reverse order. Also, note the art boards are arranged in pairs. Each pair of two colors could be called a diptych or 2-paneled piece of artwork. The beauty of this arrangement lies in the ability of the mind to complete forms from implied lines. I chose to maintain the orientation of the experimental piece from the feedback I received in class because I noticed that the forms naturally flowed into each other in the middle where the white space separated the two pieces. If the white space wasn’t there, you’d not see a nice flow. You’d see a train wreck.

Here is my final solution. I think the colors are balanced, although slightly jarring to look at after a while. It does look different when printed. I think not being backlit helps a lot.

Final solution

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In case you’re wondering what’s up with the middle pair in the top row, that was a happy accident that occurred when showing a classmate how to change the colors in Illustrator. I plan on printing it out and submitting it to the “Take Art/Leave Art” show opening Friday at AVA.