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Exploring Color: How to Use and Control Color in Your Painting Paperback – September 15, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is a highly competent study of color, especially for the beginner. Leland explores the history, science, and theory of artistic uses of color before diving into comprehensive exercises and projects. One learns to control color in glazing, shadowing, and toned supports and sees the effects of six different palettes on the same painting. This volume is recommended for all artists in their early studies and can be followed by Zoltan Szaho's Color-by-Color Guide to Watercolor (North Light, 1998) for more advanced studies.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; Revised edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891348468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891348467
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nita Leland, a resident of Dayton, Ohio, began her journey into art in 1970 when her husband presented her with a gift of watercolor paints, brushes, and papers for her birthday. She taught watercolor painting for several years and developed a passion for color, which led to teaching a color workshop, and then, the publication by North Light Books of her first book, "Exploring Color," in 1985. "The Creative Artist" followed in 1990 and "Creative Collage Techniques" in 1994. "Exploring Color Revised" was published in 1998; "The New Creative Artist" (2006) and "Confident Color" (2008) continued her exploration into creativity and color. "New Creative Collage Techniques" followed in 2011. In 2000 she self published "Exploring Color Coloring Book," a workbook that accompanied the revised version of her color book. She continues to teach watercolor classes in Dayton and instructs workshops throughout the United States and Canada in color, creativity, and collage. Her Web site, titled "Exploring Color & Creativity," has provided information and links for artists since 1998; her blog of the same name was first posted in 2005. Her DVDs "Creating Confident Color" and "Paper Collage Techniques" were released in 2009. "Collage Art Techniques" and "Creative Art Class" DVDs appeared in 2011.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
87%
4 star
9%
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4%
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See all 45 customer reviews
This book came highly recommended by a fellow artist.
Lynn Carpenter
She gives just enough information to put the use of color in painting into context and as a starting point if one wants to do further research.
Amazon Customer
This is an excellent little book with a lot of exercises to make it all quite clear.
J. Bell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Margaret P. on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! "Exploring Color" lived up to all of the 5-star reviews, and surpassed them all. I've never been able to say that about a book before. This book focuses mainly on the use of color in artwork -- why some color schemes work, and why others fail. Many other topics are covered and related to back to the use of color, such as composition, presentation, design and types of contrast. Example pictures are taken from a wide range of artwork in different mediums by various artists -- simply wonderful! After each description, the author inserts an exercise for the reader, to help you understand and apply the principle presented. These exercises can be done in any medium (watercolor, oil, pastel, cloth, etc.), and far surpass the "paint by number/follow me" exercises in books aimed at nervous beginners.

"Exploring Color " targets intermediate to advanced artists. Beginers should give it a chance, also. Try it, you'll be wowed.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "thinkinrainbows" on February 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think every artist should read this book. it immediately changed the way I look at color. just ONE part of the book saved me a lot of headaches and explained a lot of the reason I was having so many problems working with color.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Susan R Frank on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book clarifies the properties of color by first defining them, (transparancy, intensity and tinting strength,) and then creating working pallets based on this truly understandable information. It turned on a light for me, a watercolorist, as Nita Leland appears to be particulary interested in that medium. This book is available in our local library, but it is such a valuable resource, I chose to purchase it, as I functions as a reference book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Livingston on September 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is just terrific! It is so well done and the color and reproductions are beautiful. There is a wealth of information here, concise and easy to understand -- no matter what medium you work in, these concepts will apply. The book is filled with gorgeous artwork in a variety of media and styles. It is also beautifully designed throughout. This one is not for the bookshelf, it's for the worktable. I plan to keep it handy for reference and inspiration. Positively the most comprehensive book on color and how to use it I have seen -- and I have them all.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barb Solomon (PastelsUSA@aol.com) on October 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is useful for a variety of readers. It is a good detailed text on color theory.With the new lay-out it is a good quick reference for the artist or student. The illustrations are wonderful. While it concentrates on watercolor, it would be useful to those using a wide variety of artistic media.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive book I've seen to date on the topic of color. The discussion, examples, exercises and demonstrations are all first rate. This book should be added to any artist's library, regardless of medium.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Hetzel on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I read this book I considered myself and intermediate painter. This book cranked me up a notch. It is full of useful, well stated information that inspired me to try new things, and refine what I already knew. It would be useful to new and intermediate painters.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Bell on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this based on other reviews about it. I don't know doodley about color and have always gone on gut instinct...and I've painted over a lot of ruined canvas and wasted a lot of paint.

This is an excellent little book with a lot of exercises to make it all quite clear. Every page teaches me something - I have so far had quite a few "AHA" moments. I am beginning to understand why sometimes a color works and sometimes it is just a little off...

I recommend this for everyone. Thank you Nita Leland.
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