Colour theory is one of those subjects that artists tend to shy away from. It’s all a bit technical, gets all scientific and takes away from the creative element and, well, it’s difficult, isn’t it?
All this is true but it’s something that, like perspective, you can’t ignore. Unlike perspective, however, it’s possible to explain it by doing it and it doesn’t require a lot of diagrams. Well, maybe the odd colour wheel, but we’re OK with those, aren’t we?
Tucked away on the copyright page is the information that this was originally published in 2004, and I’d have to say that it has a cover that makes it look older than that. This is a pity, as the message is timeless and there’s nothing dated about the contents.
This is a nicely-done guide to using colour to balance a picture, show recession, convey light and atmosphere, and as an aid to design. It’s all done by a series of analysed paintings or, sometimes, short demonstrations – though this isn’t so much about the actual mechanics as how it all fits together. There’s also a good progression from simple outlines to more complex work and, if you really want to get to grips with how to use your stock in trade, the contents of your palette, this book should do it for you.
One small thing to note is that all the illustrations are in oil. This shouldn’t matter, as the medium is not the message here, but you might want to know.
Click the picture to view on Amazon