Arts & Activities  

      Color expert Dan Bartges is author of the book, "Color is Everything"
( Visit his website at
      Assignment 6 In A Series Of 10      

Color can be effectively managed and manipulated in so many different ways, and this month we'll look at two examples. These are part of our 10-part exploration of color harmony, which will enable you to paint much better while having a lot more fun. All you'll need is a standard color wheel, available at any art-supply store.

HOW IT WORKS Each month, study the two featured paintings on this Web page and, with your color wheel, figure out their color schemes. Next, download and print the "Quiz Me!" document, write in your answers to the questions, then hand it in to your art teacher. The correct answers will be made available on next month's Student Page.

      For a quick review of color-scheme basics, click here for an informative article: The Magic Moment.      
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Dan Bartges. Girl with a Boat. Oil.

I did this painting a few years ago at a nearby public park, when my daughter was younger. I had planned to have just her and the model sailboat in the painting, but while I was working on it, a boy came down the bank and just stood there, hoping to be asked to play. This seemed a more interesting situation to portray, so I quickly sketched him in, completing it later in the studio.
Notice that because the children and boat are all on the extreme left side of the picture, I added the family in the upper right to help balance my composition.



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Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940). Vase of Flowers, ca. 1900. Oil and gouache on cardboard; 24" x 23".Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Photo: Katherine Wetzel. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

An artist I know says this is one of his favorite paintings. Why do you think he finds it appealing?

The subject matter couldn't be more straightforward—a vase of flowers on a table—but the painting is a highly subjective, individualized interpretation by the artist.
The piece looks very contemporary, yet it was created about a century ago by the French artist, Edouard Vuillard. Vuillard's mother was a dressmaker, and he often made lavish use of design patterns in his paintings, such as the wallpaper and the tabletop's wood grain in this scene. While the style may seem sketchy, almost haphazard, further study reveals Vuillard's brilliant mastery of color, tone and mood.

      QUIZ ME!
Click here to download Febraury Quiz Me! document

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