Introduction to Color Theory

at The Cooper Union - East Village

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East Village, Manhattan
41 Cooper Sq
Btwn 6th & 7th Streets
New York, New York 10003
Price includes $25 registration fee
No class on 2/16
Room 427
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Class Level: Beginner
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 12
Teacher: Judith Simonian

What you'll learn in this art theory class:

Discover how color affects mood, creates depth, rhythm and movement in painting, fashion, environment or artifact. 

Painters, graphic and fashion designers, decorators, anyone working in the visual realm professionally or for fun knows that color knowledge is a vital part of the process. Some color choices made on the basis of “I just like the way it looks” can be very successful, but an understanding and knowledge of the dimensions of color and how it works can put you in control of results you want. 

Through painting and cut paper exercises students learn the perceptual properties of color: hue, intensity, chroma and value. We will discuss the different color systems such as RGB, CMYK and the standard painter’s color wheel. 

The course considers theory and science of color perception from Renaissance painters, 18th century explorations of Newton and Goethe, through the impressionists and significant contributions of Bauhaus theorists like Johannes Itten and Joseph Albers. Student projects examine the shifting relationships of color perception. The course also covers the limitations of pigments, the pitfalls of color mixing and an intelligent strategy for choosing which colors to buy to get a complete palette.

Supplies needed for first class:
  • Color wheel (try to get The Color Wheel Company rather than Grumbacher)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Brown (natural colored) cardboard for mounting project,  approx. 16" x 20", back of drawing pad would be fine
  • Two or more picture filled magazines for collage
  • Envelope (for scraps to take home and finish project if necessary) 
Supplies for subsequent classes:
  • 3 water containers
  • watercolor brushes
  • (whatever you have or Winsor & Newton Sceptre series, synthetic/natural blend #14 round and 1” flat highly recommended)
  • pad of disposable paper palettes or roll of freezer wrap (available at markets)
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • white mounting board (inexpensive pkg. of posterboard available at Staples; can be cut into quarters)
  • ruler 
Note: Please bring materials fee of $15 to first class. 

Classroom notifications will be emailed prior to the course start date.

Registration fee included
School Notes:
Registration fee is charged only once per semester.

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Refund Policy
Refunds are granted if your written request to withdraw is received by our office as per schedule. Requests sent by mail will be considered by the date they are postmarked.

For 4-10 session classes

If you withdraw 5 business days before the first class session you will receive a 100% tuition refund. If you are withdrawing after the first session but before the second, then they are eligible for an E Voucher for 75% of the tuition fee. After the second class session no refunds or credits will be granted. 

For 1-3 session classes and workshops

If you withdraw 5 business days before the first class session you will receive a 100% tuition refund. If you withdraw 1 business day before the first class session you will receive a 75% tuition Electronic Voucher. No refund or voucher once the class starts. 

In case of withdrawal due to medically certified illness, a Cooper Union Letter of Credit/ Electronic Voucher will be issued upon receipt of physician's documentation. A Cooper Union Letter of Credit/Electronic Voucher will be issued for the balance of the remaining class sessions. There will be no monetary refund. Registration fees, model fees and materials fees are not refundable.

Refunds are processed in the order they are received and may take 8-10 business days to be processed.

$25.00 Registration Fee- Non-Refundable


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School: The Cooper Union

The Cooper Union

Since 1859, The Cooper Union has been offering courses to New Yorkers who want to create something new or disrupt something old. Here, you can study studio arts, graphic arts or drawing architectural landmarks of New York City. Our visual arts courses include Portraiture Workshop, Drawing at the Metropolitan...

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