books on color theory?
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  1. #1
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    books on color theory?

    Does anyone know of any books that deal with helping understanding how to paint (oil paint specifically, but digital as well) correct colors? I've got this problem when I paint.. I have pretty good drawing abilities (I can draw or paint about anything in black and white) but when color is introduced, it makes it so much more difficult, and my paintings look bad.. I think one of my problems is seeing value through color.. I can see value in B&W well, but with color, i end up using the wrong brightness of color..

    I've got Richard Schmid books, but I'm looking for something that deals with this more in depth...

    Any suggestions?

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  2. #2
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    I may not be the best person to respond, because I'm in a similar boat (color troubles), but I like Quiller's book on color and Harley Brown's Eternal Truths for Every Artist.

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    Yeah, seeing just the B&W value in color was the hardest thing for me to do, but beyond that there comes the question of saturation, then temperature, and so on...color is a pretty big mountain to climb, but its the journey not the destination right?

    Anyway, Steven Quillers books are my favorite, Color Choises, or Painters Guide to Color. His books are all watercolor based, but color is color, and the lessons to be learned are applicable to oil, gouche, digital, whatever. His approach is also less about realistic color mixes and more just straight up color interaction and relationships.

    The thing about painting "correct" colors is that it's entirly contextual, there are no absolute "good" colors it's about how the colors within a piece interact. The dominant color in one piece my completely tie it together, and look utterly out of place in another. Even "mud" has its place as counterpoint to the brighter more saturated colors....just some thoughts, hope they help.

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    It's not a book, but have you already checked out Ron Lemen's Color Theory Notes in both the Life Drawing and turorial sections? They help understanding color a lot easier in itself.

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    I'm quite fond of Johannes Itten's books (The Elements of Color amongst other). I didn't discover his work in art classes, I did in a physics class (Physics of sound and light.)

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    Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, put out a nice book on color theory. I think it was called "Color."
    It was very straight forward with some good exercises. Cheap too.

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    Without a doubt Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima - Everything I Know About Painting."

    I'm one of those people who's always had trouble with colour (mainly because of my pen an ink background) and this book was an immense help for me. I just about understood the damn stuff after reading it. Should really read it again, actually.

    http://www.richardschmid.com/book.html

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    a great book that you may be able to find at your local library or used bookstore is "Creative Color for the Oil Painter" by wendon blake.. the info applies to pretty much all painting, not just oil, although it helps a little to be using oil, but its not a huge deal..

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    Thanks for all the info, guys.. I'll haev to see what books my library has... I should read my Schmid book again as well! I've jsut been trying to overcome it (I admit, i don't paint or draw anywhere near as much as i should, though)

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  10. #10
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    one of the best, simple, and complete books on color theory is called "Interactions of Color" by Joseph Albers. it's a pretty small book, shouldn't cost you more than a few bucks. and it's worth every penny.

    Hey dog. . . . did you see the size of that chicken?!
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