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Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter Paperback – November 30, 2010


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Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter + Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist + Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740797719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740797712
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Gurney’s unique blending of fact and fantasy has won Hugo, Chesley, Spectrum, and World Fantasy Awards. His work has been featured in one-man exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, and the U.S. embassies in Switzerland and Yemen. He lives with his wife, Jeanette, in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

More About the Author

James Gurney is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Dinotopia book series. He designed the World of Dinosaurs stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and has worked on over a dozen assignments for National Geographic magazine, painting reconstructions of Moche, Kushite, and Etruscan civilizations. He has won the Hugo, Chesley, Spectrum, and World Fantasy Awards. Solo exhibitions of his artwork have been presented at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and currently at the Lyman Allyn Museum of Art. He has recently been named a "Grand Master" by Spectrum Fantastic Arts and a "Living Master" by the Art Renewal Center. His most recent book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, was Amazon's #1 bestselling book on painting for over 100 weeks and is based on his daily blog gurneyjourney.blogspot.com. For more information, visit www.dinotopia.com or www.jamesgurney.com
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Customer Reviews

His writing is clear and concise and contains a lot of good information which is illustrated by his paintings.
Mayre Stewart
The book,COLOR AND LIGHT , is a beautiful and useful instructional book for a realist artist desiring to learn more about using color to express light in a painting.
Sandra Winkler
When I need to learn some new skill, I look for a book that will get straight to the point - hand over all the secrets without holding anything back.
Chris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

196 of 200 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Singh on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here I am an artist with three art degrees... and I never learned most of this information! My main degree was in painting and Illustration!!!! Honestly the most I learned was about cool and warm color and value - that's IT!

This book is easy to grasp, pithy and organized in such a way that you can go right to the area you are interested in without having to scan the entire book. I learned more about how to use color and paint light in the hour I ravenously scanned through it than I did in all those years of college. If you wish to learn anything about painting you must have this book!

It may seem such a simple subject, but how to set up a palette is one of the MOST confusing things an artist learns. Many times you just pick up a palette that someone else used and wing it until you get comfortable with it. Mr. Gurney actually takes so much of the mystery out of how to choose your palette of colors and how to work with what you have in that palette. This section ALONE is worth the price of the book!

Also he explains how our vision works so we can be aware of it and make better choices in how we render color and light in our images - as well as how to pay attention to depth of field! I especially loved the comparison of a photograph and a painting from observation and how much you miss in the photo. Again, this information alone is worth the price of the book!

If you are and artist looking to learn how to render an image realistically and believably, this book MUST be in your library. Mr. Gurney has taken information from many divers sources that would take another person years to gather if you could even find these out of print books and information, and he has put it all in a well-organized and easily read book that is so deeply appreciated for its clarity.

Thank you, Mr. Gurney, for all your hard work. This book should become and textbook in any painting class!
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 1:01 Mins
Color and Light is the latest book from James Gurney and it's fantastic. It is a very accessible guide that's filled with interesting and useful information on color and light. It's fortunate we have so many colors today at our disposable, and now with this book, something to help make sense of them.

The book talks about color in a very practical sense, as you would see them in life. The lessons are observations of light and colors from James Gurney's years of painting experience. He brings his points across with his own beautiful paintings as examples, clearly explaining why and how he uses colors. It amazes me the amount of work James Gurney has created over the years, and this book is filled with them, from his plein-air to Dinopedia paintings.

There are lessons on sources of light, light and form, understanding the color wheel, how light reacts with surfaces and other elements, and visual perception. You'll learn interesting things like why the moon looks blue, when happens to light when it travels through green canopy, tips on mixing colors, and a whole lot more. There are lots of tips and techniques included. The book is also well researched and I enjoy reading the history of color as they were used in the past by other artists.

It's really a no-brainer to pick this up if you're into creating art, or even if you just want to check out the beautiful paintings in the book.

Highly recommended reference. And you should also check out his other book Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist.

(There are some pictures of the book on my blog, just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By H. Blair on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(I gave this book my first fully-supported 5 star review I've ever given on amazon.com)

This book replaced at least 2 books on my shelf upon arriving and reading. It takes artists' color theory and describes it in a way that is both approachable and understandable to the beginner and professional alike.

Compared to a lot of people who have written reviews for this book (not only here but on third party sites), I have had a different trail to tread as far as trends in both art and art instruction compared to not only Gurney but artists who were taught from the 1980> . I've been drawing for about 13 years, and started right about the time that digital art was beginning to enter the playing field as a mainstream media/medium (late 90s). An advantage of that is that you were being exposed to both traditional drawing techniques and digital drawing techniques at once, where for today's generation of artists it seems that digital media has nearly swallowed many of the traditional media, and along with them, their techniques.

So, as someone who works about 50/50 with digital and traditional media (albeit leaning more traditional as I get older), this book helped to clarify a lot of very helpful relations between the color and light I was trying to simulate in my images. Not only that, it did it in a language that was not steeped in scientific babble and light theory that I was either skimming over or falling asleep through.

I recommend this to anyone and everyone who paints primarily non-abstract art, especially portrait artists and fantasy/scifi artists. To any professors (or TAs!) who see these reviews, I hope you consider putting this book as required reading in your syllabus. And for those not interested in college, I hope you have the foresight to grab up this edition of the book while it's still in stock.
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