Milton Glaser’s Bob Dylan poster is iconic: the artist uses a silhouette of the folk singer’s face as the backdrop and colorful lines to make up his curly hair. The result is a piece of art that pops.
Glaser’s used the same method to depict presidents and presidential candidates as well as other celebrities like John Lenon and Quest Love from the Roots.
This week, I put Glaser’s technique to the test using a picture I took of my wife Penny. In the picture, she is taking a sip of her guava berry colada through a straw, down in St. Maarten.
I removed all the background, converted the image to a silhouette and used the polygon tool in Photoshop to create the area where her hair was located. Then, I used an actual pen on my touch screen computer and drew the lines, after picking out a color palette.
For this project, I chose three different pallets to work with.
The first pallet consisted of blue, red, yellow, green and white.
According to Justin Baker’s “Ultimate Guide to Color Design,” there is a psychology that goes along with colors, so I wanted to pick colors that described my wife.
Red, Baker said, stands for love and passion; blue is for trust and intelligence; yellow is for warmth; cheer and optimism; and green is for balance (Baker). Of course, red also stands for anger and hunger, but those weren’t reasons for choosing it.
The next rendition of my art, I used various shades of purple because that happens to be her favorite color, although I’m not sure why. Baker said purple represents royal, luxury, mysteriousness and sadness. While she is certainly my queen, she’s not very mysterious, is rarely sad and never wants luxury, though I try to get her nice things as often as I can.
The third rendition I chose included many colors of the rainbow – purple, yellow, orange, green and brown.
Green, Baker said, is a soothing color; yellow, again is warmth; and orange represents happiness, attraction and friendliness.
Most of the colors I chose were warm, or active colors. Warm colors are associated with daylight or the sunset (Baker), and include such colors as red, yellow, brown and tan. Cool colors, which I did not completely omit, fade into the background (Baker) and include the colors blue, green, and gray.
These colors were also heavily saturated, meaning they were not faded – they were intense. Full saturation is when the color is at its purest form (Baker).
Overall, this project helped shed light on the use of color. I’m not an expert, by any means. But when working on a project, choosing the right colors is a crucial element of whether the art will catch the viewer’s eye.