RISD Summer Programs Course: Materials Science: Color Lab

Materials Science: Color Lab

Color is one of the most powerful communication tools for designers and visual artists working in all genres. Color theory and evolution of color predictability have strived to provide artists with a system to describe and organize visual effects and meaning. However, the divergence between theory and application continues to challenge art and science in the study and recognition of physical color. In this studio lab, students explore the substance of color in pigment, binder and surface through “slow color” using gouache as the primary medium to investigate visual phenomena. Students experiment to see how slight nuance in chemistry can create dominance in hue, saturation and value. Relative color, optical effects and color meaning are discussed with reference to prominent color theorists Albert Munsell, Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. Study of RISD’s extensive pigment collection and research in the RISD Library’s Material + Visual Resource Center serve as vital resources to support students in the advancement of their own visual perception and creation of personalized color samples.

Course #1165
Bill Miller

Schedule A
June 24–July 30, 2019
Mondays + Tuesdays
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Bill Miller

Bill Miller currently teaches in the Painting department at Rhode Island School of Design, where his Color Studio course has a broad interdisciplinary following as it makes color theory and its application accessible for painters, artists and designers. He has lectured and conducted workshops on color and paint at numerous colleges, universities and art schools across the US. As an education adviser for Winsor & Newton he has worked extensively with colors, pigments and paint. Miller is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, and has completed professional development work at the Munsell Color Science Laboratory at Rochester Institute of Technology.