Customer Review

108 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in Theory, November 21, 2004
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This review is from: Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors (Paperback)
I was surprised to see in all the rave reviews this book has received that no one has mentioned the practical problems of actually finding acrylic paints in the colors she tells you to buy. I searched on three continents and was unable to find any supplier that carried all of them. The only manufacturer who actually makes a "cobalt violet" is Golden Acrylics - I ordered this paint with relief only to find out that it was completely different from the color swatch in her book and doesn't work at all in color mixing. Same for "permanent green" which is always light or dark - not specified by her - and which in the case of Golden Acrylics does not mix correctly. I assume she'll eventually come out with her own line of Acrylics for use with this book, but for now good luck. It's absolutely unworkable without the basic materials, and what are they?
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2007 3:45:51 AM PST
P. Ferdinand says:
I noticed this as well, and have had to make do with what I could find locally combined with what I already had on hand. I've settled on Emerald Green by Liquitex, Medium Violet by Golden, and Naphthol Red instead of Alizarin Crimson. (From what I understand, Alizarin is being phased out entirely by many manufacturers since it's not entirely lightfast.) I haven't had any problems so far with mixing, but I'm keeping in mind that these exercises are just to give me a general background in mixing and that I'll probably learn more/different as I progress.

Posted on Mar 1, 2008 8:21:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2008 8:23:13 PM PST
Yes, I agree. The colors are expensive and often involve an odd choice, and it is not always clear what shade one is really getting. The cobalt-violet in Old Holland was $74 for a small tube, and the basic nine would cost one about $300, and still no clarification of whether the color is a hot or cool version. The Italian Art Store appears to offer the best price.

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 8:44:50 PM PDT
This is an extremely important point. Golden acrylics are hard to find and horribly expensive when found, so as an Aussie I avoid books that promote brand name products like the plague, unless I know I can get them locally and for a reasonable price. Thank you for the warning! I've taken the book off my wish list.

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 6:47:12 PM PDT
Terry94705 says:
Thank you! I was just about to purchase the golden cobalt violet and noticed how red it was. It is annoying that 9 years after publication this significant glitch is still not corrected. I see no corrections at (what I think is) her website. Not a responsible instructor!

Posted on Sep 13, 2013 7:31:45 AM PDT
Mariam says:
In 2013, 9 years after your review, I'm still finding the same exact problem: the palette she recommends is not as easy to get as it is said in the book. And not as cheap as it is intended. Some alternative color choices would be great.

Posted on Oct 22, 2013 7:18:29 AM PDT
M. K. Foley says:
Although I don't work in acrylics at the moment (watercolor, ink and pastels are my mediums), I recommend Hilary Page's "Guide to Watercolor Paints". The pigment used in paints are the same, regardless of the medium you're working in. This book revolutionized my palette. I use only single pigment paints now and find my work is no longer 'muddy' looking, since I know what my paints will do now when combined with other colors. I made my own 'swatch' book of my standard palette colors, alone and mixed with the other colors. Very helpful thing to do, my own personalized reference guide.
In her book, Hilary tells you many qualities of the pigment, whether staining, fugitive, lifts, granular, etc. Not sure if any one has done this for acrylics and oils.

Posted on May 5, 2014 1:12:27 AM PDT
GGGWorcs says:
After being enthused by Betty Edwards book, Colour, and eager to put theory into practice by completing the recommended exercises in order to produce the various colour wheels, I was then totally thwarted by not being able to obtain the advised acrylics even though I went "worldwide" in my seach. I also investigated trying to do the exercises in other mediums but still couldn't find the correct hues. At the stage I am with trying to get colour mixing right, I didn't want to get confused. All in all, very disappointing. Back to the drawing board for me!
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