UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The justification for teaching colour Shelly, Barbara Gail


This thesis attempts to justify an intensive course in colour for Fine Arts students at the university and art school. The teaching of colour is justified from a theoretical and a practical standpoint. In the first section, the various disciplines concerned with the subject of colour are examined for evidence of colour's effect on the life of the human organism. This evidence is compiled from reports of research in educational and psychological journals, from the theories en* discussions available in books on the physical and psychophysical evaluation of colour and the physiology and psychology of colour vision. The hypothesis that colour influences man's life pattern is substantiated in this compilation. The phenomenon of colour is not only a significant aspect of man's environment, it is also an element of art. The responsibility for its teaching lies with the art educator. The second hypothesis that the presentation of colour to university and art school students is incompatible with practical needs is supported by an evaluation of contemporary pedagogy of colour in Vancouver. Interviews with teachers of Fine Arts in the Faculties of Arts and Education, The University of British Columbia, in the Vancouver School of Art and the Vancouver Art Gallery revealed that for the most part, the method of teaching colour perpetuates the instructor's own background in colour wheel theory and. the mixture of pigments. Interviews with student colourists, and questionnaires distributed among Fine Arts majors in the Faculty of Education revealed that the theoretical presentation of colour has little application to the practical needs of art students. This thesis concludes with a proposed revision in the approach to colour with students of Fine Arts. The outlined course is designed to develop the ability to manipulate colour through problem-solving experiences.

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