Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) [in Art]






Color, Impressionism (Art), Painting -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, vi, 74 leaves)


I. Statement of Research Problem. The research was an exploration into the broken color technique within the paintings of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists and the application of their techniques within the painting experiences of the adolescent student. II. Resume of the Data. The application of pure pigment directly, without blending, constitutes one of the major aims of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists. The breaking of color was done in many methods by juxtaposition of hues and values in various combinations to give the desired effect; it was applied through a wide range of brush techniques such as comma-shaped, spots, hatchings, and a multitude of undefinable forms. Historical Data. The emphasis upon color in painting has a heritage stemming from the city of Venice during the Renaissance. The Venetian artists began what is known today as the painterly direction of painting. Many artists thereafter portrayed this painterly mode such as Caravaggio, Rubens, Constable, and Delacroix. It was, however, during the latter half of the nineteenth century in France that the painterly style reached new heights through the art of the Impressionists. The Impressionists sought to capture the momentary effect of light upon their canvases through many diverse methods of broken color. The Neo-Impressionists felt Impressionism was too unstructured; therefore, they based their method on a scientific approach. Colors were broken into small dots and placed contiguous to one another. Through optical fusion, these dots would fuse into a new and more vibrant hue. Painting Data. Data was gained from the involvement into actual painting where the broken color techniques were explored. Some of the factors are that media having a rapid drying quality (such as acrylics or casein) are superior to the slower drying oils; that the various methods of brush strokes used in the application of pigment created a varied broken effect; and the use of pure hues aids in the freshness of color passages. Educational Data. Within art education a knowledge of the aspects of broken color will aid the art educator in presenting a painting program in which the student will become involved in exploring new dimensions in color perception. III. Data Obtained. The data was obtained in three principle ways: the readings relevant to the subject, the involvement into specifically related paintings, and the application of broken color techniques within the adolescent art program. Readings. The readings involved the general history of the period, biographies, and texts relating to aspects of color. Paintings. Several large paintings were undertaken with specific objectives. Four major paintings were done in the divisionalist method, each with selected subject and light conditions. Others were painted by the direct application of pure pigment with landscape and figures as the motif. Classroom application. The techniques of breaking color were presented to several groups of adolescent art students. They were encouraged to explore divided color utilizing various media. IV. Summary. Research in the broken color technique should create a greater visual awareness of the richness of color. Through the juxtaposition of color the eye would be put to work mixing colors; the observer, therefore, will take a more active role in the perception of all images on the retina of the eye. The emphasis upon color in painting had a long heritage; it was fully exposed in the broken color style of the Impressionists. Neo-Impressionism also added new vistas in the perception of color. This period of painting contributed greatly to the contemporary arts. Therefore, it is an important era to be explored by art students today to develop more insight into the nature of color within painting.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Art

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