2D Project 03 – Colour

Colour is derived from different wavelengths of light interacting with receptors in our eyes from around 700nm to 400nm, with a frequency of 430 to 750 THz. The human eye can distinguish around 100 million different colours. Surfaces absorbing more light appear darker, while surfaces that reflect more light appear lighter. Near total absorption of light creates a black object, while reflecting almost all of the light creates a white object.

As many of us would have noted, the colours red, orange, yellow, and green to a certain extent, are warmer colours. Blue and purple to a certain extent are cooler colours. However, I would like to go deeper into different shades of a colour, and what they represent.


Red is a colour of passion. Brighter reds (crimson) represents vigour, and that of youthfulness, while deeper reds (mahogany) represent fury and inner brooding anger.

Kyouko-3-kyouko-sakura-24094447-1280-720 Example: Kyoko Sakura (Madoka series)

Kyoko is introduced as an abrasive, fiery, and self-centered girl who fights only for herself. She is also courageous, and always eating something.

Orange represents joy, and emotional wellness, a mixture of the energy from red dampened by the calming yellow. Brighter orange tones (honey) create a sense of pride, while darker orange tones (bronze) create a sense of loneliness. large

Example: Holo (Spice and Wolf)

Holo is smart and confident, and is manipulative towards Lawrence (the protagonist), while often mocking his negotiating skills. She has a deep fear of being alone, and is usually good-humored and talkative.

Yellow represents hope, the colour of sunshine. A saturated yellow (canary) creates a sense of procrastination or lack of focus, while a darker yellow (medallion) conjures a feeling of cunning.



Green is the colour of life and renewal, while different shades of green (jade) represents jealousy and greed. Bluer shades represent harmony.


Example: Hatsune Miku

It is a virtual music synthesizer with a humanoid persona. It uses the Vocaloid 2.0 engine from Yamaha, and is given life by many different composers (using Vocaloid) and animators (using MikuMikuDance) throughout the world, becoming a cultural impact. She has no fixed characteristics, which is usually decided by animators or composers themselves.

Blue is the colour of the skies and seas, and thus, the colour of freedom. Bright, brilliant blues (electric) are colours of excitement and dynamism, while bland, pale blues come across as melancholic.


Example: Ayanami Rei (Evangelion)

Rei is socially withdrawn, seemingly emotionless, and rarely interacts with anyone. She lives by herself, though as the series progresses, she begins to develop relationships with others and to show moments of genuine emotion. Ayanami blue is named after her, a mixture of two blue shades.


Purple, occurring rarely in nature, is the colour of royalty. Lighter purples (lavender) provide hints of feminism and gracefulness, while saturated dark purples (Tyrian purple) emphasize wealth and majesty.


Example: Neptune/Purple Heart (Neptunia series)

Neptune is the most carefree, friendly and ditzy of the four goddesses in the series, though she gains seriousness and loses her friendliness upon her transformation into Purple Heart, resulting in overconfidence in some incidents.

2D Project 02 – Rhyme

Personally, I find the second project to be more of a challenge. Although I have experience in photoshop, I do not usually use it for design. Furthermore, as I am from a strong Chinese background, rhymes were literally non-existent in my life until Primary 2 or 3, where my English teacher would request us to do some readings.

I prefer my designs to be direct, straight to the point, and not overly abstract. This is important as rhymes were used to convey information, and it is primarily targeted at younger children. Thus, I can not diverge too far from the original idea and produce something that looks like Dali and Picasso’s secret love child.

I have also felt that being given rhyme 03 was both a godsend and a curse, as this rhyme is simple, and direct, but however, it lacks creative space unlike the other two rhymes.


Final images and research

Image 01: There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.


This image consists of heels, just in case it is not obvious enough. The primary inspiration came from a slightly startling observation. The layer of heels upon another heel was a result of days of observing a wolf spider with its egg sac, and subsequent release of its offspring.

In the case of this rhyme, ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’, it could be considered that there were multiple smaller shoes living in another larger shoe (the shoe home), as I preferred not to directly associate the old woman in the first verse of the rhyme.

The original heel was converted to black and white using Illustrator’s pen tool, which I found ridiculously troublesome and I eventually changed to another method, which will be explained in the following rhyme image. The colour curves were edited to result in more minimal midtones, and more blacks and whites. However, some midtone was retained so the heels actually looked like what they should be. Colour halftone was kept small (4 pixels) so that the heels did not look odd.


Image 02: She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do


The image consists of a line art of an old lady, with line art of both male and female teenagers arranged in circular fashion, with three different scales. The teenagers were positioned at a 45 degree difference, while the scale changes in a multiplier of 4 from the inner circle towards the outer circle.print2

The inspiration for the old lady’s line art comes from Emma Webster, or the Granny from the Looney Tunes series.

The number of characters (8) in a circle consists of largely religious overtones.

In Buddhism, the Dharmachakra has 8 spokes. Buddha’s Four Noble Truths resulted in the Noble Eightfold Path.

In Christianity, there were 8 people on Noah’s Ark. The Antichrist was also the 8th king in the Book of Revelation.

In Chinese culture, the Eight Immortals were 8 demigods (duh). In Taoism, there are 8 trigrams of Ba Gua.

In Hinduism, Lakshmi has 8 forms.

In Islam, the throne of Allah is carried by 8 angels.

In Judaism, Hanukkah is a 8-day holiday that begins on the 25th day of the Kislev. Circumcision is also conducted on the 8th day of a baby boy’s life.

The arrangement of the design was similar to the halo of Russian orthodox icons of Christ. The other influence was from the opening sequence in the anime series Himouto! Umaru-chan, though the number of characters was reduced to create a strong sense of symmetry.




Christ,_the_Pantocrator gif_umaru_maracasses_by_jonyboss875-d91jqxm

The image was imported in PNG format (and thus transparent), reducing the need to edit the background. Layers were added on and shifted around.


Image 03: She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do

Image 3 is a totally different image compared to image 2, as I included mainly photographic techniques, and contrast. The old lady’s face is positioned roughly similar to the curavture of a nautilus shell (golden ratio). The center of focus of the children’s faces are 1/3 from the edge of the image. The images of the children were then laid over one another, with a few adjustments such as horizontal flipping and change of scale to provide a sense of depth.

There is not much inspiration to this photo, as I wanted to produce an image that shows the kindly aspect of the old lady with the energetic and bubbly liveliness of the children.






Gaussian blur was introduced to reduce the impact of the slightly sharp edges as a result of cutting out the image from the background. The halftone size (8 pixels) was relatively large, this brought out the old lady’s features in comparison to those of the children behind. The image of the children behind was edited, with contrast reduced. The entire image was then converted into greyscale by desaturation.


Image 04: She gave them some broth without any bread

The image is that of a prominent set of hands holding an oversized bowl of soup/broth, and a series of smaller hands waiting to receive it.

The outstretched hands, a sign of receiving, is also a sign of the children being hungry and waiting for the last meal of the day. The larger set of hands defines that the giver is the authority, and also has a more literal meaning; a mature lady will definitely have a larger set of hands than young children.



The image is edited by digitally removing the background and smoothening edges. Contrast was set to minimal and the sliders on curves were pushed all the way down, creating an opaque black image from a colour image. The sets of hands were copied and pasted, with a rotation of 35 +/- 4.8 degrees, randomly accounted for by the computer. This is to create a sense of individuality for the different children, in direct contrast to image 02.