Although this is not a new book (it first appeared in 1993), the fact that it is still in print and, even more, that Search Press, (who were not the original publisher) have reissued it in its correct spiral binding, testifies to its longevity and its value. Search Press first took this series over in 2000 and put them out in paperback, which is not their natural habitat. The Pocket Palette series really only works if you can lay the books out flat and refer to them while both your hands are tied up mixing colours. There’s a mixed metaphor in there somewhere and you know what I mean, so don’t be pedantic and ask me to unravel it.
The arrangement of the book starts with colour types and then provides examples of specific colour mixes in a range of three tints. There is also a short piece on using each colour type and a very useful section on skin tones which would, itself, justify the purchase price.
There have been other, more comprehensive, encyclopaedias of colour mixing since this series appeared, but one of its great merits is its selective nature; these are compact little books you can carry about with you and they don’t overburden you with more than you need.
Any serious artist will tell you that colour mixing and selection are so much the artist’s stock in trade that they should be second-nature. This is true, but beginners have to start somewhere and, as an aid to confidence, the series is invaluable. If you won’t put brush to palette without detailed consultation, you have a lot to learn, but then again, this is as good a place to learn as any.
Search Press reissued 2008