# Thread: Art Books on Perspective and color

1. ## Art Books on Perspective and color

I know there are a lot of threads discussing books, and personal choice libraries, but I was hoping that I could get some more specific advise.

I've always struggled with perspective. I know basically about vanishing points, one point, two point, and three point perspective. This is all well and good, and it's taught from 8th grade art, through every art class since. As most can tell you, this education most get is really basic.

I want to find books that give the whole science on perspective. I know there are math equations and so on that explain what we see.
Now that may go over my head right now; so maybe going that deep may be pushing a bit far- but I would like to go in depth to the study of perspective. Right now maintaining perspective, is really holding me back. I can't figure out angles as I'm looking at them, and I'll be well into an image, before I'm able to realize that the skewed perspectives have given a distorted, sometime fish lens like composition!

so:
1. Are there any books that explain perspective very well? something that doesn't get too bogged down with rulers and complex equations; yet do give you enough conceptual understanding, that you can look at the world more accurately?

2. Along with perspective are their any recommended books on landscapes and backgrounds, since due to my bad perspectives these have often been a problem area for me and something I've tried to stay away from?

Another area I could specifically use help is in color. I would love to learn some great color theory and observational color, again beyond the basic color wheel we've been given since elementary school art classes. I've recently found http://www.huevaluechroma(dot)com/index.php and what I can understand it is really some great new knowledge; but I'm having trouble keeping up. I think it may be too technical for me at this juncture in my artistic understanding.
Right now I'm to the point where I understand cooler colors tend to go back, and warmer colors forward- value creates the illusions of lights and darks; but my knowledge is very limited. when I pain/draw I layer colors to try and get a full tonal value (please excuse my bad usages of technical terms) and I wind up often making muddy colors.

so:
3. what are some of the better books for a beginning to intermediate artist learn color and it's usage? Not too technical, but not so simple either-perhaps technical with a lot of photo reference to make the complex concepts makes more sense?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and any advice could be helpful. and I'm not only looking for books. any forms of tutorials could be greatly helpful such as online resources, videos, PDF, articles etc.

2. No offense but that is an oddly contradictory bunch of questions and statements. There are many good books on perspective...get a few and work on it. For color I recommend Gurney's "Color and Light". It sounds to me like you're making the common mistake of trying to understand things before actually engaging in doing them. Working from life will teach you about color - especially the environment. To better understand landscape and composition in general I recommend Hamm's "Drawing Scenery". Perspective there are just so many...

3. Originally Posted by themegagod
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and any advice could be helpful. and I'm not only looking for books. any forms of tutorials could be greatly helpful such as online resources, videos, PDF, articles etc.
I think you're in the wrong place. There's nothing like this whatsoever on this site. Don't bother with sticky topics or search either

This thing like going to google and typing in the search box with "site:conceptart.org" won't work. You'll find nothing to help you out.

4. For perspective, go here (take what you need and leave the rest--until you need it):

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/tech10.html#index
Last edited by bill618; November 15th, 2012 at 08:47 AM.

5. You'll find huevaluechroma.com much easier to understand if you first read the James Gurney book Jeff recommended, which is a very good general introduction. If you still strike problems please drop in on the discussion thread for the site in my sig.

I'm seeing five threads on perspective books under "similar threads" at the bottom of this page, so you should get some ideas from those. They're mostly very cheap and some are free out-of-copyright pdfs, so get a couple at least - that way you can cross check points that may be confusing in one or other book.

6. I feel stupid that I didn't know you could search a specific site in google with just typing in site: until now. Welp that's going to help immensely in looking up hard to search keywords on here

7. Learning perspective is pretty straightforward, as the basic info is what it is. It's just a matter of trying out different books/presentations until you find the one that clicks for you.
Color, on the other hand, is trickier, because so much of the information out there is incomplete, outdated, or just plain wrong. Color and Light, and/or the color sections of Jim Gurney's blog, are as good a place as any to start. Huevaluechroma.com, David's related discussion thread here, and the Color section of handprint.com go into even more detail. If you don't mind spending a bit of cash, I highly recommend the Munsell Student Color set. Not only is assembling the charts informative, but the included book is a really good intro to modern color theory.

8. Registered User Level 3 Gladiator: Catervarii
Join Date
Dec 2008
Posts
130
There are a lot of books available about perspective, but I wanted to offer a recommendation for "Vanishing Point" by Cheeseman-Meyer, as it both explains perspective very well and is the only book I've come across which teaches five-point curvilinear perspective, as well as the more well-known types.

9. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
Join Date
Aug 2012
Posts
39
I am in the middle of reading and would recommend for learning perspective Perspective for Artists by Cole.
It is very detailed in helping you learn techniques for perspective beyond the basic ideas of 1, 2, and 3 point perspectives.
It has helped me to better understand more effects of perspective on inclined planes and depth.

EDIT: I would also recommend, as others have, Color and Light by James Gurney... for colors and light of course.
Last edited by DreamArt; November 17th, 2012 at 08:47 PM.