Project 7: Articulation and evocation through colour values

Yesterdays sojourn back into the world of Serrano and Piss Christ reminded me of the role of colour in evoking different emotions. The golden hues of the image made me wonder about the colour rendering of blood on my project. However rather than action the review took me back to J Itten’s book (1961) where he demonstrated how colours effect size, perception of colour itself and emotional evocation and I started playing with colour block like these below.


These squares were made in Excel, Elements and Paint, and show how colours interact in ways that change things like relative size and brightness. So I began thinking and playing with that idea in relation to Blood.

Blood colour20inch (1 of 1)

As you will see I have altered the white background of the grid so that it works against a neutral field.

However the repetition and bright happy colours generate a rather pop art evocation that does nothing to evoke the emotions I want to generate. That notwithstanding the image as an aesthetic quality – its just not right for me now.  

I continued experimenting. This time I left one image as an index. However I selected the wrong central location and it made the whole thing too static.

Blood colour120inch (1 of 1)

I the removed the yellow and tried the grid with just three colours. But it still offers the wrong evocation.

Blood colour1120inch (1 of 1)

This approach hasn’t really worked. Rather than emphasise or puzzle it does neither because it does not speak clearly enough to the intended subject of shock and fear.

However it does offer a commentary on colour and would I think work better physically if create to a large scale so that as the viewer got closer the texture of the red blood and black shit became ever more dominant and the power of the colours and the grid receded – see below .


But for now I think its back to the drawing board.


Itten, J. (1961) The Elements of Color: A Treatise on the Color System , Based on His Book “The Art of Color. J Wiley and Sons

About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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