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$37.20 $31.85 list($40.00)
1. Principles of Color Design
$25.19 $25.04 list($39.99)
2. Pantone Guide to Communicating
$40.00 $35.00
3. The Elements of Color
$29.70 $26.61 list($45.00)
4. Interior Design Visual Presentation:
$10.77 list($17.95)
5. Color by Betty Edwards: A Course
$9.75 $8.66 list($13.00)
6. Interaction of Color
$17.63 list($27.99)
7. The Designer's Guide to Color
$68.40 $50.00
8. Color (4th Edition)
$13.97 $13.26 list($19.95)
9. Making Color Sing
$61.80 $46.95
10. Color: The Secret Influence, Second
$16.47 $15.60 list($24.95)
11. Mexicolor: The Spirit of Mexican
$10.16 $7.80 list($11.95)
12. Color Medicine: The Secrets of
$19.13 $19.08 list($28.99)
13. Color Harmony in Your Paintings
$16.47 $16.38 list($24.95)
14. Color Mixing Bible: All You'll
$16.31 $16.26 list($23.99)
15. Color Mixing the Van Wyk Way:
$13.27 $4.37 list($18.95)
16. Mexican Tiles: Color, Style, Design
list($29.95)
17. Color: The Quilters Guide
$23.99 $14.95
18. The Watercolorist's Complete Guide
$35.00 $6.99
19. Bright Earth: Art and the Invention
$10.17 $9.67 list($14.95)
20. Color : A Natural History of the

1. Principles of Color Design
by WuciusWong
list price: $40.00
our price: $37.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471287083
Catlog: Book (1996-09-12)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 149760
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A complete revision of what is considered the classic introduction to color for all graphic designers and artists. This book provides a solid foundation for the development of personal color sense, and a practical examination of the myriad effects that can be achieved with color. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars principals of color design
good condition and very fast service

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for newbies
I haven't got any formal art background and have found this book to be extremely useful. However, it may or may not get much higher - I can't tell since I'm a newbie, but I keep in mind my experience with some other books on other subjects: while I was a beginner I found them great; now I think they're just fine for beginners.

2-0 out of 5 stars OUTdated
This is not the best book out there. The first section of the 5 section book goes into form and shape theory, which although useful in design, is just filler to give the book more pages. The color theory sections are fairly basic. I think there are better books out there, especially for the price.

3-0 out of 5 stars the truth about this book
It explains very well the color principle and some design techniques. It is a good book for beginning graphic artists with no formal art background (those who never studied art/GD in school). There are 5 parts to this book. Part one establishes desing principles, part 2 examines common color principles related to the use of color pigments, part 3 helps the beginner develop systematic color thinking with the aid of excercises, part 4 introduces priciples and techniques for generating colors on the computer and part 5 presents color sets and guides for attaining color harmony.

Note, however, that this book is a bit outdated. It showed when trying to explain certain design techniques using old version Photoshop tool bar.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
I actually perchased this book two years ago in college for an art class and have used it in almost every assignment and project I have completed there after. ... Read more


2. Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color
by Leatrice Eiseman
list price: $39.99
our price: $25.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0966638328
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: North Light Books
Sales Rank: 5357
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
I teach digital media and design to grade eleven and twelve students. This is the only book on Color that my students responded to with enthusiasm. The book covers color theory very basically. However, it does an excellent job of covering the more important topics of the meaning and psychology of colors and color combinations. The author uses good examples for each section and the book can be used as a learning tool or a resource you can use again and again. My students found the many pantone color combination swatches very useful in helping setup the color schemes for their designs. My students and I recommend this book highly, You might say this review is 5 stars taken 80 times.

2-0 out of 5 stars Could have been a lot better
The work by the now defunct arm of Cheskin research, the Color Research Insititute is much more insightful than anything in this book. Unofrtunatley the scientific research undertaken by this insititute is not available to the General Public and is only available through Cheskin.

The color schemes and patterns shown in this book may have been all the rage a few years ago but they definitly do not age very well and are way too bright and gaudy.

The author unfortunatley does not give examples of color schemes that work well and have stood the test of time such as Coca Colas color scheme and IBM's "Big Blue" which is a type of blue which has a very powerful effect on the subconscous mind of the viewer and this color alone was shown to actually increase the sales of IBM products once it was widely implemented in their adevertising campaign.

This book comes across as a marketing tool for the author pitched at large corporate clients, its deliberate attempt not to give any worthwhile information to readers of this book seems to validate this.

Giving this book 2 stars is being generous considering the price. If you know absolutley nothing at all about color then perhaps you will find this book helpful. If you are an interior decorater dont use any of the color scemes this book recommends unless you wish to send your clients to a mental asylum. If you are a markeing manager dont waste your money on this book

5-0 out of 5 stars Color Thesaurus for the Chromatically Challenged!
As well as for graphic artists.

I am an author as well as entrepreneur and have long researched color combinations for presenting information and creating a recognizable corporate identity.

If you're one of those people who "know what you're looking for" but can't articulate it, this comprehensive guide has every major color combination you could possibly want, conveniently grouped by the "unique color proposition" (like USP, unique selling proposition), you're trying to convey. (If you already have a color scheme selected, you should check it out here to see whether it unwittingly conveys connotations you don't want associated with your company.)

If you're a graphic designer (I'm not), you can plunk this book down in front of a client with some suggestions and save both of you a lot of aggravation and miscommunication.

I've researched just about every "color guide" out there and have found this one by far the most helpful. It's simple and easy to use, practical without a lot of the questionable theorizing other authors on color seem to need to include.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very practical
This is quite a practical book on how to express, how to talk with colours. You don't find cultural or history thoughts on it.
Nothing about Van Gogh, nothing about Mondrian.
But you can find ways to efective use colours in marketing or web interfaces, for instance.
It's more a book to look at than a book to read. It's pretty well illustrated, mainly with ads.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent to use to help customers choose their color scheme
This book is packed with great color combinations catorgorized into color schemes by the emotional moods they generate. When I am working with clients in web design, I use this book to help them focus on the tone of their website or product. First, they choose from the many categories such as Classic, Strong, Energetic, Calm, etc., and from there they choose one or two of the perfectly matched color combinations for their basic website colors. It's a great visual tool!
Also included are some basics on color theory, setting moods with color, and some useful advice in choosing appropriate colors for different projects.
Well written, easy to read, and to the point, this book has become a favorite on my desk! ... Read more


3. The Elements of Color
by JohannesItten
list price: $40.00
our price: $40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471289299
Catlog: Book (1970-01-31)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 18872
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A useful simplification and condensation of Johannes ltten's major work. The Art of Color, this book covers subjective feeling and objective color principles in detail. It presents the key to understanding color in ltten's color circle and color contrasts. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for the Serious Colorist
I have been a professor for 15 years. "The Elements of Color" has been required reading for many of my courses. It is not only enriching as a color theory document, but it helps expand the artist or designers possibility of using, arranging and conceiving color.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book that tought me color.
Itten's analysis and application of color is thoughtful and scientific. As a practicing art director, I have successfully used the theories and methods explained in "Elements of Color" for over twenty years. I also teach them to my design classes. Whether you use a paintbrush or a mouse, his "seven color contrasts" will prove invaluable.

5-0 out of 5 stars colour miracle
I took an art course to learn about colour and learnt nothing. Then I read this book...It answered all my questions and informed me about areas of colour theory I had never dreampt of. Now I paint with knowledge and confidence.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE MOST FLUENT AUTHOR OF COLOR
the compact version of "the art of color''. itten is like my 2nd grade teacher that answers the "why is it so" in my color brain like liquid sunshine ! he does'nt even show his paintings w/c makes him more SINCERE w/ his message.

5-0 out of 5 stars johannes said it all ! PERIOD.
JUST UPON READING THE INTRO/FOREWORD OF THE BOOK, YOU WILL KNOW WHO THE AUTHOITY IS WHEN IT COMES TO COLOR + COMMON SENSE.ITTEN ANALYZES EVERY PART, FROM THE VIEW OF THE COMMON MAN,THE PAINTER, PHYSICIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, HISTORIAN AND MORE. THIS IS ALL I NEED IN MY ARTISTIC ATTIC. W/ THIS AS MY GASOLINE,I WOULD NEVER BE CALLED IGNORANT WHEN IT COMES TO GRINDING & MIXING MY OWN PERSONAL COLORS! EVER ! ... Read more


4. Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models & Presentation Techniques, Second Edition
by MaureenMitton, Maureen Mitton
list price: $45.00
our price: $29.70
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Asin: 0471225525
Catlog: Book (2003-07-10)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 15174
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The new, updated edition of the successful book on interior design
Interior Design Visual Presentation, Second Edition is fully revised to include the latest material on CAD, digital portfolios, resume preparation, and Web page design. It remains the only comprehensive guide to address the visual design and presentation needs of the interior designer, with coverage of design graphics, models, and presentation techniques in one complete volume.
Approaches to the planning, layout, and design of interior spaces are presented through highly visual, step-by-step instructions, supplemented with more than forty pages of full-color illustrations, exercises at the end of each chapter, and dozens of new projects. With the serious designer in mind, it includes a diverse range of sample work, from student designers as well as well-known design firms such as Ellerbee and Beckett Architects and MS Architects.
Maureen Mitton is Assistant Professor in the department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This book has a bit of everything I was looking for. techniques, lots of color renderings to review, shadowing techniques, etc. I am currently an interior design student and am using the book to help me with my color rendering and presentation techniques. In fact, my instructor reviewed the book and has requested the book be the textbook for the presentations class in our department next semester. This is the best book I've located so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!
This book is great for everything visual! It is also the only book I've come across with detailed information about presentation boards. This is excellent for IND students!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great resource for ID students
I just received this book and I wished I had had it for my first in-class presentation. I gives the reader "fresh" ideas and helpful information on organizing your boards. I would recommend this book to any Interior Design student.

4-0 out of 5 stars using it in 3D studio class
just the book for beginning intr design students to use thru out their schooling. it covers everything they need to do all the presentations for thier courses. from drawing to models and most useful those sample boards. it tells you what tools to buy (with photos to help) and as basic as how to cut foam core. it has color step by step examples for color rendering. all in the same book is such a good value to the students

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC ! Illustrations, Instructions, Explanations, Color
This book has all the needs and requirements on visual presentations and how to resolve fears,concerns, doubts and so on. It's the first book I have seen that covers many if not all aspects of Interior Design. It's a great book and I have been recommending it to all my fellow students. This book is informative, educational, and a good book to have in your reference library. I have been looking and looking for a book like this one for many years. Someone has finally gone and done it properly. You will not regreat buying this book. ... Read more


5. Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors
by Betty Edwards
list price: $17.95
our price: $10.77
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Asin: 1585422193
Catlog: Book (2004-09-23)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 1894
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6. Interaction of Color
by Josef Albers
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300018460
Catlog: Book (1975-02-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 27822
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Squarely between art and science
Josef Albers was the Johannes Kepler of color. Kepler spent his life observing planetary motion, and distilling his observations down to simple laws of gravity. Change planets to color, and gravity to human vision, and you have Josef Albers. This book describes the gravitational laws of color. It has the whiff of simple perfection: you can't change one word without diminishing it. It is the bible of color interaction, and will remain so until an Isaac Newton comes along and explains these laws further.

In the rare book collection, I had a look at the first edition, from 1963. It's this enormous book with lots of colored paper and plates for you to experiment with. I really wish it were still in print... I'd buy it at once.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interact without Color
How can someone put this title on a book and then exclude color examples? To really appreciate what Albers is trying to tell you, you must have examples to lay side-by-side and this paperback does not facilitate that. So I went to the public library to examine the hardback edition, all 20+ pounds of it. And guess what. The text is without examples. But there is a collection of colored paper appendicies that you can use to follow his examples. So buy the paperback and get a package of assorted colored paper and you may succeed in comprehending what Albers is trying to tell us.

He apparently spent his entire career thinking about this subject and he has insights that are very valuable. Unfortunately his writing style reminded me of a few philosophy classes I slept through in college. You have to work very hard to capture the flavor of all of his thinking and observations. If I am pesistent and frequently consume small portions, maybe in time I will feast on his experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent study of Colors
This is a book for everyone who like to dive into the wonderful world of colors. Josef revealed and explained almost all cases of color study. If you've read the books of Newton or Goethe. Josef will be the one of creating color theories and setting the pace for different art-form(s) in this 20th century. Bravo... it does show you what is the Presence of Absence.

4-0 out of 5 stars helpful, but original Hardcover was better
Having experienced the original hardcover version, and having been given the task of going through the excersizes given in the book, the softcover version is useful, but not nearly as comprehensive and in depth as the original hardcopy.
Still a worthwhle read from a master theorist!
Better than a good read is to get a hold of a packet of Colored Paper and replicate some of the assignments in the book. Best way to learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Libro de ejercicios practicos
Para conocer la iteracción de los colores es imprescindible la práctica y una buena práctca es este libro; nos lleva mas allá de la teoría del color ubicandonos en la experimentación visual del color por el color mismo. Excelente para cualquier nivel de conocimiento. ... Read more


7. The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations: 500+ Historic and Modern Color Formulas in Cmyk
by Leslie Cabarga
list price: $27.99
our price: $17.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0891348573
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: North Light Books
Sales Rank: 28510
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eyecandy of great inspirational and practical value.
This is the first volume of two, the second being 'The Designer's Guide To Global Color Combinations. I own both and I regard them as simply unmissable, because I use as well for recreative as practical purposes.

Each page offers a depiction of a work of art, which may be painting, illustration, texture, fabric. The main piece always has a short description (artist, origin, media) and a personal note by the author why the piece is so eyestriking.

All pieces are catalogued according to time and style, so you'll find art deco, popart, contemporary, ... styles but also 'bad' use of color.

However, this is NOT a book about color theory. The approach is subjective and you may find that your views differ with the author because the appreciation of coloruse is personal (which the author also underlines).

Never the less this is also an outstanding objective guide to historical color use during the centuries starting from the late 19th century till now.

For computer artists it also offers CMYK values, as well for the main piece, and variations on it.

If there would be one negative point, it's only that there is not a cd added with all the palettes, so you would not have to type in the values. And, for people operating mainly in RGB color space, as the book cover states: no RGB values. (you'll find these in the second volume, but for some strange reason they were not added in this first volume).

Despite this small point of criticism: this guide is a work of art unique in it's category. There is nothing that even comes close to the work of endurance the author has done, to offer the reader a practical and inspirational guide to color combining.

A guide you'll browse and browse again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource book...
I love this book, it makes my life so much easier coming up with color combinations that work. The best part is that it covers over a century's worth of color schemes, from dark earthy tones of the victorian period to the bright colors of today.

There are so many different color combinations to look at, each with a different variation as well. They're all in CMYK too, which makes it easier since I'm not familiar with the Pantone system a lot of books on color use.

The only drawback to this book is that it doesn't teach you how to create your own successful color schemes, so you'll need another book on color for that. This book tells you to look at the things around you for inspiration although it never tells you how to convert those colors to CMYK mode.

If you have a book or two on the science and practices of good color design, then you'll definately need this for a quick reference to some applied real world design.

5-0 out of 5 stars If I'd ever lose it, I'd buy it again!
This book fulfilled every expectation I had prior to its arrival, that is - it's not a color theory book in any way. It has no color wheels, nor does it theorize about complementary colors and the like. It's a collection of suggested color combinations - usually combinations which I'd never think of. And that's where the real value is!
In the samples, you can easily notice which is the 'base' color and which colors 'match' in different situations. And each sample itself has some printed design-like feel, which makes it incredibly more usable than ordinary swatches in other books.
Just by flipping the pages I found (color) suggestions for the designs I'm working at.
Ah, and the book is also beautiful.
If you're looking for color inspiration rather than theory, add this one to your basket!

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical Inspiration
Rather than just show color combinations in a vacuum, this book uses real examples from different design periods to demonstrate the use of color. Great as both a reference and inspiration. Also just plain nice to look at.

3-0 out of 5 stars disapointing but still of value
the premise of this book is interesting in that it attempts to deconstruct the color content from various art pieces though the past century. I was really excited to recieve the book and was looking forward to reading it, but was disappointed.

Not all of the colors appearing in the piece shown were always represented. And I didn't think that the layouts redone with the chosen colors were creative or accurate in the reflection of the proportions of the pieces' color. In fact in more than one instance, I felt the most important accent color was left out of the breakdown all together. That made me mistrust the accuracy of the paletes presented that were based on other pieces for mthe same time period, but without showing the piece itself.

All in all, the book is interesting from a historical sense, and I will definitely derive some value from it, but i felt it was lacking in it's attention to detail. Unfortunately, because color is all about attention to detail, it's lack of it does undermine the book's intrinsic value. ... Read more


8. Color (4th Edition)
by Paul J. Zelanski, Mary Pat Fisher
list price: $68.40
our price: $68.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130984868
Catlog: Book (2002-08-30)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 282701
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Addressed to artists and art students in all media --in both fine and applied arts -- this book provides an introduction to the many different approaches to understanding color and its uses -- including aesthetics, science, psychology, and history. KEY TOPICS: Covers Color Basics; Perceiving Colors; Psychological Effects of Color; Compositional Effects of Color; Theories of Color Relationships; Subtractive Notation and Mixing; Light Mixtures; Color Combinations and Interactions; Color in Fine Art; and Color in Applied Design. Considers special aesthetic and practical considerations for color usage in each medium. Discusses color management with computer technologies. Provides direct quotes from working artists about the realities of color use. Features many demonstrations/illustrations -- in color and black and white -- of color effects and media -- including historic and contemporary paintings, photographs, crafts, advertisements, cartoons, commercial design, computer art, video, architecture, landscape design, sculpture, and clothing.For artists andart students in all media -- in both fine and applied arts. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Color, 3rd Ed.
Excellent source for artists, archietcts, or designers who want to push the envelope with color. Definite must for students in any Art and Design school!

5-0 out of 5 stars color
It is just excellent,it provided me everything what I wanted,it helped me a lot in clearing all my doubts over the subject. ... Read more


9. Making Color Sing
by Jeanne Dobie
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823029921
Catlog: Book (2000-04-15)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns
Sales Rank: 30111
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Through clear, illuminating exercises, this best-selling book stimulates new ways to think about color, generating responses that unlock personal creativity and allow artists to express themselves with paint as never before.Readers are shown how the interplay of complementary hues can trigger vibrations; how the push and pull of warm and cool colors can create a feeling of space; how to disguise one color in a scene to accent another; and many more tidbits of colorful advice. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must-Read for any watercolorist
The talented Jeanne Dobie does a lot of her work in the sun-drenched Florida Keys. While there are many good books on color and pigment, Dobie explains how light in a painting scene shifts moment by moment and how you have to be ready to capture that brilliant moment with the right palette.

The book gives advice on which colors to put in a limited palette for brilliance. (As anyone who has done watercolor even for a short time knows, there are hundreds of colors available, but when you MIX them, sometimes you get a flat, dull result that looks like mud on the paper.) Choosing a limited and CORRECT palette for the painting you are going to do is one of the most critical steps after creating the composition. Dobie includes important facts about which paints stain the paper (and cannot be lifted up again), which are transparent and can be used as a wash or glaze, and which paints are opaque. And if you follow the "purist" rule of no white paint, you learn how to leave the whites (use the paper for brilliant whites) and no black paint (which causes a visual hole in the paper.) Instead, Dobie shows the student painter how dark colors like brown or a visual black can be mixed that still look luminous and interesting on the paper. This is a very difficult technique to master--shadow detail can make or break a painting.

I disagree with one of her points, however, on mixing greens. While it is true that green pigments direct from the tube are far more brilliant and transparent than any you can mix, I find certain mixed greens from yellows and blues to be subtle for shadowed foliage, and sometimes the pure paint greens are jarring and unnatural to me. I tried to follow this "use unmixed" greens rule, and I end up mixing mine anyway, though I own many shades of green paints.

Of course, the best part of the book are the paintings. These are inspiring to the reader, but this author can also write and explain herself well. This book should be a standard on any watercolorist's shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Making Colors Sing' - Excellent!!!
'Making Colors Sing' by Jeanne Dobie is a reference book every watercolorist should own. This book is a helpful resource that can be read over and over again to examine color theory in depth. For anyone who would like to reach new levels in their paintings using color, Jeanne Dobie takes you on an adventure in color techniques and beyond with each exciting chapter. Her pictures are absolutely beautiful and she successfully achieves her goal in 'Making Colors Sing'. I only wish this book was available in hardcover because I am wearing my paperback version out! I look forward to the next book Jeanne may write on watercolor or art technique. This book was very helpful. Thanks a million.

1-0 out of 5 stars Book is Excellent But Needs Updating
Jeanne Dobie's book was recommended in the watercolor class I took and at first when I looked at the pictures I was not interested as I do not care for Dobie's style as illustrated in the book and would never buy the book based on her work. However, after borrowing the teacher's copy I began reading the text and found the information valuable and useful after trying the suggested exercises. Dobie's book along with Tom Hill's The Watercolorist's Complete Guide to Color combine as excellent references for learing to use color pigments and making colors "sing" instead of making mud.

I am giving Dobie's book 1 instead of 5 stars as it seriously needs updating considering some of the pigments Dobie uses are not lightfast and the inclusion of more modern pigments that replace these non-lightfast pigments would be useful all considering the book was first published in 1986, which is 18 years ago. The lightfast references I am going by are Hilary Page and Michael Wilcox's books analyizing watercolor pigments.

Aside from Dobie's use of some outdated pigments (see handprint.com) the book is an excellent reference and her advice as to color mixing valuable.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstandingly clear
Like the brilliant hues in her examples, Ms. Dobie's book is outstandingly clear and strong. Her logical, step-by-step examples give the lie to the notion that creative people can't explain their gift. She doesn't need to write another book because this says it all, but such an inspirational work makes you want to hear more. This book has prompted me to cull from my library books by other authors that now look dull after experiencing Making Color Sing.

5-0 out of 5 stars She Tells You What's Behind The Magic
I am a learning watercolor artist and I read many books on the subject. This is one of a handful that I find to be particularly informative. While most art instruction books tell you what to do and how to do it, Jeanne Dobie patiently explains why. In other words, she tells you what is behind the magic.

For example, she says that you cannot get a good green by mixing any yellow and any blue, because, a yellow such as cadmium yellow contains some red and a blue such as ultramarine also contains some red, and the presence of red in green (the hoped-for color), which are complements on the color wheel, yields gray. Thus the resulting green is very muted. Explanations such as this are invaluable to me, because the underlying reasons she gives completely convinces me that she is right and the knowledge is extensible to other color combinations.

There are many such gems of knowledge in this book. Jeanne Dobie teaches you how to create not just contrast, but a "singing" combination of colors, and how to mix your own blacks and your own whites to achieve much more nuanced presentations. And there is much more.

Admittedly, some artists do not feel bound by these "rules" of color and can still produce very good art. Charles Reid comes to mind. For the rest of us, the wisdoms Jeanne Dobie shares in this book are an important part of an artist's knowledge base. ... Read more


10. Color: The Secret Influence, Second Edition
by Kenneth R. Fehrman, Cherie Fehrman
list price: $61.80
our price: $61.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130358592
Catlog: Book (2003-02-20)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 298699
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Exceptionally authoritative and applied, this handbook/tutorial/workbook provides a firm foundation in the basics of color harmony and usage and explores the vast and often hidden ways in which color affects our everyday lives—culturally, psychologically, and physiologically. Based on well-controlled, scientific studies, it separates color myth from color fact, and shows readers how color affects, for example, our health, spending habits, perceived image, communication, weight, sex lives, and consumer brand preferences. Self-contained segments on different aspects of color or specific application areas provide convenient handbook use. Detailed experiential exercises cross over into many fields—e.g., interiors, fashion, graphics, healthcare, architecture, environment and landscape, hospitality, etc.The Color Connection. Color: Pigment and Light. Color Myths and Biases. Color and Health. Color and Psychology. Color in Interiors. Color in Architecture and Landscape Design. Color in Advertising and Marketing. Color in Fashion and Textile Design. Color in Culture and Society. Color Order Systems. Color: Pushing the Envelope.For Interior Designers, Interior Decorators, Product Designers, Graphic Designers, Architects, Product Designers, Fashion Designers, Healthcare workers (specifically Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and alternative medicine practitioners such as Aromatherapists, Color Therapists, and Holistic Medicine Practitioners and well as holistic Veterinarians), and Education Administrators. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book!
This is the best book on color I've ever found. It gives a really comprehensive overview of how color affects your entire life. If you want to redecorate your home, or influence people by how you dress, or learn how to use color to make your life healthier you absolutely must read this book. Color: The Secret Influence really goes way beyond anything I've ever read about color before in showing how it totally affects our lives. It clearly states that the serious study of color is in its beginning stages but it also gives an amazing amount of information that anyone can use today, right now to make their lives better. You've gotta read this book!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
This book is like Reader's Digest. It trys to cover too much subject matter and winds up turning into a survey. It says a little about a lot. I returned it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tickled pink:)
Color affects everything, "Color The Secret Influence" examines the science, psychology, and history of color. The information and studies discussed within touch on many facets of everyday life. The book begins by defining color, and discusses it in the context of it's affects on health, psychology, architecture, landscape design, sales, marketing, packaging, fashion, and culture in general.

If you have the slightest interest in learning about color for commercial purposes, designing and decorating your home, improving or understanding your color preferences, or how your everyday color choices and preferences affect you, buy this book!. It's is phenomenal, absolutely the best all encompassing book on color I've ever come across. While the information contained within, can be applied to web and graphic design, the depth of this book goes FAR beyond anything else I have read! It covers MUCH more than just creating attractive color combinations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Color: The Secret Influence
I think this book will really help me in my work. I have a floorcovering business and I have read a lot of books on color trying to learn things that I can use in my business. This is the first book that has given me really solid information. I now understand color for the first time. I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how to use color as a way to make their lives better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Job!
This book has lots of info and is put together really well. It's amazing to learn how much color affects your life and to realize that you can make your life so much better by knowing how to use it. This is a great book. ... Read more


11. Mexicolor: The Spirit of Mexican Design
by Melba Levick, Tony Cohan, Masako Takahashi
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811818934
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 29496
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Radiant color is not merely joyously prevalent in Mexico, it is part of the national psyche. According to this energetic celebration of Mexican style, "the color that floods Mexico's streets and plazas, markets and homes (and the pages of this book) is language and metaphor--a form of communication, deeply bound to experience. Day and night, birth and death, rich and poor, feast and famine: color is always there. Earth, sky, and history conspire to make it so." The profusion of multihued walls, tiles, ceramics, textiles, and folk art that fill the home; the riotous juxtapositions ofvivid foods, flowers, supplies, and accessories that comprise the spectacle of the marketplace; the vibrant details that define everything from facades to clothing to handpainted toys--the Mexican obsession with color is everywhere, as is strikingly documented in this lively book. --Amy Handy ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars A lot of ideas for my new home
I was (and still am) searching for books, information and pictures of mexican architecture and color. This book was helpful for me, and also brought back great memories of my two trips to Mexico. This country is amazingly beautiful and rich in cultural heritage, and in my search for rustic/mexican ideas that I can adapt to the design of my new hacienda-type home, I found that the book satisfied me with all the beautiful pictures portraing the real Mexico. A must have for mexican citizens living outside the country, and Mexico freaks (like me) as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mexico lindo/Beautiful Mexico
Having travelled through most of the states of Mexico, witnessing the enchanting colorful culture firsthand I can say this book captures the essence and beauty of Mexico lindo. It reminds the viewer of the places and people of Mexico in all their colorful splendor. What traveler through Mexico can forget the mercado (outdoor maketplace)experiece with the aromas and color blending for an intoxicating mixture that stays with you for a lifetime? It is all captured here in this brilliantly colored book. An inspirational book for the artist as well, the splashes of color jump from the pages into one's imagination for new ideas based on centuries old traditions. Although the fantastic color photographs are the highlight of this magnificnet book, the text is equally as good and highly informative. Little known tidbits abound. Take for example the centuies old technique of hanging cactus upside down to attract cochineal bugs. The bugs are then crushed to extract a wonderful red dye for wool rugs. Nothing is wasted, the bugs are sun dried or toasted on a griddle and mixed with lime after being crushed to a powder. The 21 chapters cover all aspects of Mexican life and each deserves the utmost attention since the detail given to each is exquisite. Nearly half of the chapters are dedicated to some aspect of the home, whether the garden, renovated haciendas or charming homes away from home for the traveler, the peeks into the places of rest are magnificent. The section featuring four artists homes is fabulous. There is one particular chapter that I love most, it is simply entitled wood. Here one will find marvelous wood creations, including masks and furniture as well as the famous wood carvers from Oaxaca, who create whimsical, colorful animals that defy conventional conceptions. There are other places to find wood creations as they are featured throughout the book in one form or another. This book demands to viewed over and over. This is one not to be shelved but to be kept handy for reference or inspiration. I would highly recommened this book to anyone who loves the old world culture that is Mexico. It is one of my favorite books that I cherish, a special gift that I view often, colorful memories rekindled and brought to life again and again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sunglasses Required!
Put your sunglasses on (make sure there prescription, the font is really small) and get ready to feast your eyes on 176 pages of brilliant, intense colours. The book covers most aspects of the Mexican lifestyle and shows how colour is integrated into every part of their lives.

I had thought that the pictures where the leftovers from the authors other book, Mexicasa: The Enchanting Inns and Haciendas of Mexico, but this book seems to have been published first.

If you buy either one of these books, make sure you check out the binding really good, and keep your receipt. The bindings seem to be very poor and may totally fail before your half way through the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars When I opened the book, I was like a kid in a candy shop.
Brilliant! Vivid! Alive! An optical tease, each chapter, every trichromatic photograph, allures you sensually. Walls, kitchens and tiles blaze with vibrant colors. This isn't a book that you read as much as it is a book that you experience. You will find yourself slowly flipping through the book, not once , but many times. Each time your visual senses will be stimulated. If you are thinking of redecorating in pulsing colors then this book is a must buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars My decoration/collection bible
I ADORE this book!!!! I have poured over it SO MUCH that the spine is cracked open on certain pages. Masako's love for Mexico, the people, the artesania, the "flavor" of Mexican life (well detailed in her husband's book "On Mexican Time") comes screaming through loud and clear on every page. I am an AVID collector/aficionado of all Mexican folk art, handicrafts and artesanias, and this book is virtually my decorating bible. Well worth every cent I spent on it and so much more!

The only flaws (for me)are the chapters on Modern Mexican Architecture and the artists' homes- WAY too modern, as far as I'm concerned, and they do NOT blend with the rest of the book!!!!! However, I have LONG ceased to let those chapter ruin my enjoyment of this simply INCREDIBLE book- I simply skip over them, refuse to look at them, and revel in everything else in the book. My only REAL regret is that she doesn't hurry and come out with MORE books, MORE often!!!!! ... Read more


12. Color Medicine: The Secrets of Color/Vibrational Healing
by Charles Klotsche
list price: $11.95
our price: $10.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0929385276
Catlog: Book (1993-12-01)
Publisher: Light Technology Publishing
Sales Rank: 36009
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The secrets of color vibration healing. A practitioner's manual for restoring blocked energy to the body systems with specific color wave lengths. By the founder of The 49th Vibrational Technique. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Color Medicine
It's a well written book, but so it should be, based on all the information that is taken from Dinshahs'initial work on light therapy over 50 years ago. You can get copies of Dinshahs' material "cheap" from their website... Dinshahs' work was well ahead of its time. It's too bad certain organizations are"still" threatened by his work even though it was an array of doctors who had written most of the original testimonials backing up his work. "Color Medicine" is mostly Dinshahs' work with some good added info. on the healing powers of sound. It's nice to know a modern book acknowledges Dinshahs' work as opposed to many other "Color" books that don't.

5-0 out of 5 stars Color Medicine
Excellent book. Easy to understand and use.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and to the point.
This book expains color and it's use for healing. How colors effect us, and how they can be used for the betterment of man. What I really like about this book is that he tells specifically how to use color for healing. Alot of books just give you theory, without instructions on how to accomplish, what is being talked about. ... Read more


13. Color Harmony in Your Paintings
by Margaret Kessler
list price: $28.99
our price: $19.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1581804016
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: North Light Books
Sales Rank: 32034
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Book Description

Mastering color is a tough hurdle for artists in any medium to tackle. In this concise guide, Margaret Kessler cuts through all the confusion with a friendly and encouraging approach to the basic principles of color harmony.

The book is divided into two main sections that focus on theory and practice. Readers will learn how proper color can help them create expressive moods, unity, rhythm and eye-catching design. Then they'll find a wealth of exercises and demonstrations to quickly put to use what they've learned.

With lots of colorful charts and eye-catching examples, Color Harmony in Your Paintings is highly accessible for artists of all levels. There's an engaging question-and-answer format in parts of the book, and simple color sketches throughout to give an immediate understanding of every color concept. ... Read more


14. Color Mixing Bible: All You'll Ever Need to Know About Mixing Pigments in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Soft Pastel, Pencil, and Ink
by Ian Sidaway
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823007235
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
Sales Rank: 27662
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mixing colors accurately may be an art unto itself. In fact, many artists are discouraged by the time and expense it takes to mix and match colors, and achieve the right results. Even more frustrating is the vast range of colors available.Now there's a ready-to-use visual directory that takes all the guesswork out of mixing and matching colors . . . making every artist an expert! Color Mixing Bible provides a basic color palette for each art medium, demonstrating an array of two-, three-, and four-color mixes, as well as offering full explanations of various paints and pigments. This invaluable guide features scores of tips and techniques for color mixing with oils, acrylics, watercolors, inks, pastels, and virtually every other art medium. It also includes in-depth information on how to determine the opacity and strength of a color, choose a color palette, mix whites, arrange and organize colors prior to mixing, use optical and physical mixing techniques, and much more! Plus, hundreds of color illustrations make everything simple.Whether one is an aspiring artist or working professional, Color Mixing Bible is an essential addition to every bookshelf. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I enjoyed this book very much. It was simple to understand and quite interesting. I'm sure it's not the end all in color mixing books, but it is not a bad one at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book to start with
I've just started oil painting, and this book proved invaluable in helping me sort out the many, many different kinds of paint with their exotic names out there. I generally like to jump in and just experiment, but when I discovered the high price of good oil paints, I decided I needed a little book knowledge first. This book costs about the same as a good tube of paint, and saved me from buying many colors that, before reading the book, I didn't realize I wouldn't really need (at least to start with). It's one of clearest, most concise books I've read (on any subject). Every word is one of wisdom. If you're new to mixing paint, or having trouble figuring it out, get this book (it doesn't really cover HOW to paint though).

3-0 out of 5 stars A True Labor Saving Book
The first thing I always did with a new set of paints was create color swatches and mixes. Now that my paint sets are more expensive I hate to waste paint on swatches that I'll probably put in some "safe" location in the studio...never to be seen again. Here I can reference swatches of commonly used colors, opaque and transparent in a range of media. Sidaway also includes the best history of pigments that I've read to date - answering a question about phthalo blue that's been bugging me for years (when was it introduced? 1936.) This book is no substitute for learning about your palette, but does provide information on how to select an appropriate palette.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
It covered the basics of color and technical terms "hue, shade, tint" It has a section about the history of pigments and dies and what they used to be made of that is interesting. One brown paint used to be made of ground up mummies.It discusses the mixing of color in many different media. ... Read more


15. Color Mixing the Van Wyk Way: A Manual for Oil Painters
by Helen Van Wyk
list price: $23.99
our price: $16.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0929552180
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: Art Instruction Associates
Sales Rank: 80443
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
As a beginner I regret having bought this book. Its content is too subjective, and has nothing to do with color mixing formulas
or theories. This book is like a step by step painiting excersise book with about 10 examples or so, nothing more. Very little substance.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for artists in all mediums!!
I just received this book for Christmas 2002 and I have read it and re-read it! It has a wealth of information and is even a good reminder for those who might not have painted in a while. It helps you attain effects that you want and gives some step-by-step descriptions to help you understand what the author is talking about. I find that the information on casting shadows and the information on focal points most helpful. Helen Van Wyk also helps you to dimensionalize your art. Once you have read this book you will not look at colors in the same way. "The 4 Questions" will have you looking at art completely different. Don't paint without it!

5-0 out of 5 stars great novice manual!
This is a great manual for beginning and intermediate painters. It is arranged in a rather unusual way: by paint color. Within each chapter there are step-by-step paintings showing the color's usage. While I found the the organization odd at first, I quickly grew to appreciate it. There are colors I never would have thought to put in my palate, but seeing them in action was very valuable. Likewise, having a blended value scale for each paint was wonderful!

What I found most valuable as an beginner/ interm. painter was being able to see a variety of paintings in stages. And not just "one, two, three, boom its done" like many books, but really layer by layer. She touches on a couple of different styles, discussing glazing as well as her painterly approach.

This book also has valuable reference pages discussing (and displaying) color scales, color temperatures, earth tones, blending tricks, etc. It touches on portraits, backgrounds, and a variety of other related topics. I have read a number of other basic painting books, and this is my favorite. I have also seen (and own) other of Helen van Wyk's books, and while they are nice, this is by far the most valuable (and it includes some paintings and sections repeated in other books, i.e. portrait painting and color mixing bits).

5-0 out of 5 stars A very practical reference book on oil colors
This is a very practical reference book on oil colors, as I see it. The author covers briefly materials in oil painting, then goes straight to discussing colors on her palette, including (but not limited to) Thalo Yellow Green, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Burnt Umber, Sienna, etc... For each color, the author expresses her points using a step-by-step demo of painting subject matter. In addition, the author also throws in discussions on drapery, flesh colors, themes, colors of metals, etc... What a treat!

This is how I vision readers can benefit from this book:

1) For those who'd like to get their feet wet with certain colors, step-by-step demos will guide them through important steps to create realist excercise painting in the book.

2) For those who'd like to "break the rules" (if any), this book serves as excellent examples of what colors can be used for what materials (metals, earth, wood, etc...). Knowing all these, breaking the rules is even more fun and unique.

3) For the rest, it is a very practical reference on oil colors in terms of knowing what the "final colors" may look like in the context of a painting, even without getting "down and dirty" to try and mix them.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! ... Read more


16. Mexican Tiles: Color, Style, Design
by Masako Takahashi, Tony Cohan
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811826295
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 74183
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Masako Takahashi, coauthor of the best-selling Mexicolor, now turns her attention to the vibrant tiles that are such a key element in Mexican style and design. Bring a festive new look to any home or garden with the ideas in Mexican Tiles. Masako Takahashi leads a colorful architectural tour through Mexico, revealing the many ways tiles are used for function and decoration, adding color and interest to everyday surroundings. Over 175 beautiful color photographs present inspirational examples of classic and contemporary tile work, from colonial-era church facades ornately covered with talavera tiles to vividly detailed modern treatments of bathrooms and kitchens. Including a delightful introduction by Tony Cohen about the history of tile-making in Mexico, plus installation tips and a resource guide, Mexican Tiles is both a fascinating initiation and a practical guide to this key element of Mexican style and design. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!! Fulfilled ALL my expectations!
After I bought Masako Takahasi and her husband Tony Cohen's book "Mexicolor", I thought no other book I purchased would EVER compare to that experience. When I discovered "Mexican Tiles", I opened it with fear and trepidation, hoping against all hope, yet hardly daring to believe that it could be even half as good as their first.

But this book is AWESOME!! I think I finally figured out why, after reading Tony Cohen's book "On Mexican Time": these people simply ADORE Mexico, and it comes through in everything they do. All of the wonder and breathless anticipation and teary-eyed beauty that I feel and am so hopelessly unqualified to express when I am either in Mexico or adding to my collection of artesania, Tony vividly portrays in his prose and Masako captures with her camera.

As for subject matter, I LOVE Talavera tiles, Talavera pottery, Talavera ANYTHING, because they are so INCREDIBLY Mexican, and this book is simply PAGE after GORGEOUS PAGE of Talavera-lined kitchens, bathrooms, stairs, floors...you name it, it's tiled. If you at all appreciate ethnic interior design or Mexican handicrafts, this is an AWESOME book!!! ... Read more


17. Color: The Quilters Guide
by Christine Barnes
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1564771644
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: That Patchwork Place
Sales Rank: 198044
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Take the mystery out of color! Learn how to build a color scheme that works (or fix one that doesn’t) and find out why certain colors interact to create powerful--and sometimes surprising--visual effects.

• Make the leap from color theory to using color in quilts with nine step-by-step exercises, plus six projects

• Go beyond "safe" color combinations with simple strategies and tips for creating quilts that sing

• Color-splashed photos of fabrics, blocks, and quilts bring the color concepts to life, while a reader-friendly style makes the learning easy and fun ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not especially useful
This book contains a lot of facts about hues, shades, tints, complements, split complements, triads, tetrads, luminosity, transparency, contrast, depth and intensity. If you really care about all these things, then this is just the book for you. The author explains this "color vocabulary" very well, using examples and exercises. But do we really need to know all that to make beautiful quilts? No, I don't think so. I used to think I had no color sense but this book made me realize that I choose my fabrics well without thinking about color theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
This is a beautiful book. I have read it over and over again, studying the various blocks and quilts. It has inspired me to try my own color schemes and improved my confidence in choosing the right colors to go together in a quilt. A big thanks to the authors !

4-0 out of 5 stars A fabric-based book on color
If you want to know why some of the color schemes in your quilts work or don't (!) this is a great book to read. Unlike many other general texts on color, this book relates to the color and texture of fabric, making it easier to apply color techniques to your own quilts.

I would have liked more examples of each of the types of color schemes and fabrics on the color wheel, but it has definitely changed the way I view fabrics and color in the world at large. I would definitely recommend it if you want to learn more about color interactions. ... Read more


18. The Watercolorist's Complete Guide to Color
by Tom Hill
list price: $23.99
our price: $23.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0891348549
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
Sales Rank: 231369
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Tomb on Watercolor & Use of Color
An excellent volume and companion to use in conjunction with Jeanne Dobie's book Making Colors Sing. While Dobie's book is outdated with all the advances in watercolor pigments and newer more permanent lightfast color, Hill's book not only picks up with the use of newer pigments, but his suggestions are excellent. This book is a wonderful addition to any library. I kept it nearby as I do Dobie's book. A must have book with excellent demonstrations and illustrations. Also the artist's style and work is wonderful too. A must have for anyone serious about watercolor, beginner or advanced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Watercolor enthusiast's paradise ...
This book gives an excellent idea and keeps an idol in front of the reader as how a watercolor painting should be. Nice simple language and examples chosen are truly magnificent. Tom's style of painting is simply out of the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars You can't understand the color in watercolor without this.
Hill's painting style is loose, and ideal for the usually spontaneous nature of watercolor. This is a fine and needed book on color. The technique of painting receives a concise two chapters, yielding space to the problem of making watercolor paints behave. Hill's study of color is based in physics and reality, not taste. I much prefer it this way. Full and detailed descriptions of "all the paints you will probably ever use" tell how they perform, how to test your paints, and what to expect when you mix them. If blue and yellow do not make green for you, but brown or gray, this book gives insight into why this happens. To show what effect color selections have in a painting, one scene is painted with seven palettes, from minimal (monochromatic) to full colors. Chapter Seven, "Color in light & shadow", shows photographically how light and shadow effect color and how to duplicate the effects. I have not seen this covered in other books. Through ten demonstrations you will learn how to render colors in shadows, in colorful subjects, and in not-so-colorful subjects by making colorful grays. You will learn to use color to paint "white" subjects, the greens in nature, clouds and skies, and even colors that are not in a scene, but should be. This is a valuable an informative book. I have given away some twenty or so books to my artist club library, but not this one. It is worth the price, to me, for Chapter 7 alone. I would have rated it a 10, if it were on color only, minus the first two chapters, but these are helpful to beginners. ... Read more


19. Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color
by Philip Ball
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374116792
Catlog: Book (2002-02-20)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 285110
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A literary, absorbing work
In Bright Earth, science writer Philip Ball presents a fine guide that examines the practical side of art throughout history. From its gains from technological advancements to cultural influences on art directions, Bright Earth surveys how color is invented, reinvented, and presented. A literary, absorbing work.

2-0 out of 5 stars Historical review about color pigments
If you have a deep interest in color and how pigments and materials have been developed or discovered this is a book to read. There are only a few illustrations and lots of text, it is not a light book to read cover to cover. It is not a handbook and not a book of facts, its more like a history book.

I value the effort put in the book, but it wasn't exactly what I expected and I won't read it twice.

5-0 out of 5 stars History of color and pigment!
Great art requires talent, hard work, and a singular vision-and it doesn't hurt to have a chemistry set nearby. So demonstrates prolific science-writer Ball (Stories of the Invisible, p. 910, etc.) in this remarkable examination of color in all its glory: physical, chemical, and cultural. Resolutely nonreductivist, Ball looks closely at the practical side of art throughout history: at the early-19th-century technological advances, for example, that made Impressionist trompes l'oeil possible ("after a half-century of some of the most dramatic innovations in pigment manufacturing that visual art had ever seen, the stage was set for the plot to take a new direction"), and at the range of color choices available to the painters of the early Renaissance. But he is just as concerned with examining the cultural and personal side of art, and his text offers data aplenty on such matters as how the ancient Romans carved up the color spectrum ("there is no Latin word for brown or gray, but this does not imply that the Roman artists did not use brown earth pigments"); how a Pacific islander sees the world with a differently tuned eye from that of, say, a Scandinavian; and how modern visual artists are busily remapping the old, inadequate Newtonian rainbow scale with the aid of digital technology. Though Ball, a chemist, is more inclined toward scientific description than aesthetic judgment, he is quick to point out that although science has always accompanied artistic advances, it is "a mistake to assume that the history of color in art is an accumulation of possibilities proportional to the accumulation of pigments"-and a mistake to overvalue science at the expense of art in general. Ball has devoured whole libraries to turn out this work, and though there are a couple of puzzling silences (Goethe, that great theorist of color and art, isn't much heard from, for instance), Ball's study is an altogether pleasing embarrassment of riches. A welcome addition to any artist's-or art lover's-library.

1-0 out of 5 stars interesting science, poor art history
If you are a painter, or other artist interested in science you should get this book. This is the only book I have seen that focuses on the history of pigment, especially in relation to painting. And the book starts with a useful overview of the physics and physiology of color, though there are many other books that go into more detail on that subject.

Why isn't this book worth 5 stars? The art historical sections that situate the artists are shallow, trite, and full of clichés. I get the sense that the author researched the artists for this book, and regurgitated some of these notes. Great art history requires the meditation of a lifetime.

I recommend "The Renaissance Artist at Work", by Cole, to dispel the notion that art historians do not care about materials. I recommend "The Nude", by Kenneth Clark, as a book that manages to say something profound in nearly every paragraph. I also recommend buying "The Bright Earth", it is the best book I have found on this topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars color the old fashioned way
ball's theme is disarmingly simple: that the history of western art can be illuminated by the history of the physical substances used to create color.

ball explains very early that his materialistic approach has often been disparaged by artists, who do not want to be seen as mere craftsmen but as visionaries and poets. his reply is simply that the luxury of buying premade paints is a relatively new phenomenon; before this century artists almost always made their own paints and for that reason understood in great detail the best ways to use them for permanency and color effects. ball describes these uses in great detail, in artists as diverse as titian, cezanne and yves klein, and the insights he provides into painting techniques are fascinating.

trained as a physicist and chemist, ball understands the scientific aspects of color perception and pigment manufacture, and has mastered the basics of how these are used in artworks; better yet, he can describe all these facts clearly and enjoyably, with vivid images and graceful writing. i found a few details that struck me as inaccurate or incorrectly interpreted, but as a whole the book is extremely reliable and informative, a testament to careful research and editing.

ball's book is well worth reading along with john gage's "color and culture" (a book ball quotes with approval), which focuses on the social and intellectual aspects of color in art. ball's title might be "pigment and technique," since he shows that the continual appearance of new pigments opened up new technical problems, and technical possibilities, for artists to work on. this is still a relatively new approach to art history and art interpretation, but it is gaining influence: see for example james elkins's "what painting is" for a free interpretation of the parallels and points of contact between painting and alchemy. ... Read more


20. Color : A Natural History of the Palette
by VICTORIA FINLAY
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812971426
Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 6919
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors.
For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn’t afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.
... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Travel History of Artist Pigments
This is a joy of a book. Victoria Finley has taken a subject that is very important, but seldom discussed - namely how did we get the colors used by artists for painting - and wove it into a personal account of her travels to find their sources. In the process she introduces the reader to all manner of exotic and little-known, but delightful facts, peoples and places. From cochineal (I might note here that as an entomologist I was somewhat discouraged by her apparent inability to decide whether to call the source a beetle or a bug- it is a BUG! - the one clinker in an otherwise well done book), through madder as a source of orange, saffron for yellow, and on to lapis lazuli for blue, etc. The book is (as noted) also a personal travel narrative with lots of side trips. I found these to be fascinating and to add interest to a book that might have been a dry compendium of facts about chemicals.

"Color: A Natural History of the Palette" is a good book to curl up with at night or to read on an airplane. The reader will find enough local "color" and interesting tidbits to make the hours very pleasant indeed. This is, I think, especially true of artists who may not know much about the colors they use in their work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learned so much
I recommend this book to everyone. Ms. Finlay's research into the history of paint pigments offers so many interesting facts, from the source of the color known as 'mummy brown', to the toxicity of the original white pigment, to what gives some soda its red tint.
In this book, not only are we treated to information on hues in the paintbox, but learn some interesting facts about the people, culture, and geography of the areas of the world where these colors originated.

5-0 out of 5 stars History through a kaleidoscope
This book takes you on rollicking adventures all over the globe in pursuit of the origins of natural pigments and dyes used throughout history. The writer is one gutsy lady - she's the kind who will go to Afghanistan, twice, while still under Taliban rule, to see some idle lapis lazuli mines just to complete her story. So the reader gets the benefits of her audacious journeys minus the formidable dangers, visa and permit applications that never get approved, and the flapping boot that she had to endure.

Overall, this book suited me just fine. I am interested in color, love travelogues, and appreciate it when I can get an intelligent account of something minus the pretension, i.e. with some of the earthy details of everyday living and the real, human emotional reactions that go with it. I enjoyed reading about Finlay's interactions with people of all different colors, cultures, social stations, languages, and cuisines. I was amazed at how she would simply up and fly to a tiny, exotic place mentioned in letters or other historical documents as the source of some pigment, armed with only persistence and the expectation of good luck - and then actually succeed in tracking down a story for her book. I wonder how many disappointments and wild goose chases she omitted from the text! Prepare for journeys on the rough through aboriginal Australia, Spanish saffron farms, Monghyr and Barasat, India, Mixteco-speaking Mexico, Tyre, Lebanon, and the Dunhuang caves in Western China. You will learn why Spain worked so hard to keep the origin of cochineal red secret, how Indian farmers rebelled against forced labor on indigo plantations, about yellow and orange ochre body paint in the Australian outback, deadly Scheele's green (is that what really killed Napoleon?), and mummy brown, which really did come from mummies.

I especially like how this book draws on history that I have a passing acquaintance with and suddenly makes it feel close and real, peopled with men and women like anybody you know.

I didn't much care for the 'I would like to imagine...' parts, since once something is in print it is so easily cited and re-cited and soon becomes part of the historical canon - I think Finlay could have practiced a bit more restraint and omitted these.

I read the original UK version of this book, entitled _Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox_, and wish that books from the UK could just stay in British English for the US market, maybe with footnotes added for clarity when needed - it would help increase mutual understanding, for one thing, and it's also nice to keep the original flavor of the writing.

Order, and get ready for a heady, dizzying journey into colors with a past.

3-0 out of 5 stars More about her journeys than the actual colors
This is a book about writing a book about colors. The actual color information often gets lost in the oh-so-charming stories of how she researched the information. The author has a fine eye for the "telling detail." And often that's all you get - a string of telling details, without a backbone. And when she wanders off into "I like to imagine that..." I just want to throw the book across the room.

I think it's a fantastic idea for a book. And if it had more substance and less chatter, it would be a fantastic book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
An incredible weaving together of science, religion, art, government, exploration... Finlay travels to the remotest places of the globe to understand where our pigments and dyes originate. She brings the esoteric to light in a empathetic and engaging manner. Recommended to anyone working with color. ... Read more


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