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Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors Paperback – September 23, 2004
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The book starts out at by explaining the basic vocabulary and works its way up to what makes a harmonious color arrangement. It achieves this with a number of exercises that are designed to give the student firsthand experience with mixing color and picking a palette. Though this book is written for painters, designers will get a lot of use out of it. In fact, I was able to do almost all the exercises digitally and got a good bit of benefit from doing so. I am a painter as well as a graphic designer, so I will be doing the exercises twice (once digitally and once with oils), but even if you are solely a graphic designer, this book will be of great benefit for you if you do not have a good foundation in color theory.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about the book was the numerous side bar quotes from famous artists and designers. We hear from the likes of Goethe to Itten. Though the quotes are not really needed for the text, it is certainly interesting to hear some of the greats talk about color.
The book's sub-title includes the word "mastering," but I do not think you will be a master of color after having read this book. However, you will have a firm foundation in color theory and will be pointed in the right direction to reach that goal if you put in the effort. So if you have always been mystified by color theory or never have gotten around to studying it, then this book is for you. You will come away from reading this book with a firm understanding of color and what makes good color design.
For those of you who have taken art classes or consider yourselves to be artists, I don't know how you take the book. But for those of us who yearn to express ourselves through art but were never instructed, this book is a godsend. No one ever explained color theory to me before, at least that I could grasp, but Edwards' no nonsense way of teaching as a step-by-step process explains color theory in excruciating detail.
I tried to paint before, but failed to mix the colors the way I wanted to, or to match what I was seeing. Edwards makes sure that this never happens to you again, at least that is what I got from the book. What I found the most helpful on an emotional level were the little blurbs in the margins, which some other "reviewers" criticized. Why do these help? Because now I know that Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and others had to LEARN color theory like I have to learn it. They didn't just pick up a paintbrush and oils and voila!, they were masters. They worked at it, just like me. I don't feel so stupid about art anymore.
Edwards will make you see color structures in a better way, an artists' way. You should be able to express what you see in front of you better after reading her instructions in this book and doing the lessons. Painting used to be mysterious to me, and now I know how to achieve the colors I want, how to balance out my paintings, and how to think like a painter.Read more ›
I have executed the lessons, and they work. Even though I have been painting for 10 years I learned a lot from this book and doing the exercises. Doing the exercises is key, but they are very straight forward to do and one can learn even in "failure" (I had to do a couple of them more than once).
So there you have it. This is an instructional book that works in that it communicates to the reader (student) lessons about color and color usage that are invaluable. The lessons are clear and the results of doing the lessons are an increased understanding of art and color.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the information in the book on Color by Betty Edwards very much.Published 14 days ago by dandilion41
Love this book. It really started me on a path of understand color like I did not before. As a result, I have continued to study color and how it works. Love it.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you've wondered about how to get started trying to paint, this book lays a foundation and then takes you through the steps to feeling like you really can do it!Published 3 months ago by Amy H
This product was exactly what I wanted. I will order more in the future.Published 3 months ago by Patricia M. Bereskin
This book is based upon 18th and 19th century science that has been largely refuted by modern academia. Read morePublished 5 months ago by mrrafs
I'm currently self learning drawing fundamentals and this is the book I am using as a guide for color theory. Very understandable. Read morePublished 5 months ago by arnold