Introduction to Creative Exploration on the Web
Harvard Extension School

Cool Layers

R Scott Forston

Project Details


R Scott Forston


Feb 2017


The Bauhaus (Spring 2017)

Student Comments

My project is entitled Cool Layers and was inspired by Josef Albers work Overlapping

The staggered black and gray rectangles create a layered almost lattice like effect. I wanted to have the overlap effect, but I wanted to expand the shapes and colors. My idea was to take the Overlapping concept and mix it with a couple of the concepts from Henry Matisse’s paper cutouts. I thought that since I was working on a computer screen, the effect would be similar to paper.

From a color scheme perspective I didn’t want it to be pure black and white, nor did I want to go with bright colors. I chose to go with blue to keep the palate cool. I originally looked at the Adobe color schemes, which helped me to decide on which blues to use. Once I added the smaller rectangles and ellipses they seemed too bland and I decided to make them yellow and red to give it just a hint of color without dramatically altering the feel. Then when I added the event mousePressed(), I decided to throw in some purple. This does change the work, but only for I bit and it still fit within the scheme.

I started out with all rectangles initially, and then decided to copy the layered effect but using circles instead. It is the same concept, but with very different results. I used the vertical lines in the middle to differentiate between the rectangle side and the ellipse side of the piece. Even though they are separated, I wanted to add something to link them together, which I why I added the red and yellow circles and squares because they carry over from one side to the other. I also wanted to have the two focal points, and not have them in the center like Albers work, but to have them in opposite corners, almost competing for attention.

This assignment was extremely helpful in learning how to utilize the canvas with P5. Additionally, figuring out the placement on the canvas and calculating symmetry in some places. I also quickly figured out in using P5 that the order of the code and transparency are extremely important, especially when trying to layer shapes. I am not naturally artistic, nor do I have programming skills, so this was quite challenge as well as extremely rewarding.