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Color and How to Use It (Artist's Library series #05) Paperback – January 1, 1984

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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  • Color and How to Use It (Artist's Library series #05)
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  • Perspective (Artist's Library series #13)
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  • Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications (Artist's Library)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Serious Instruction for Serious Artists

That's what the Artist's Library series is all about! The books in this series will help you expand your creativity, overcome technical obstacles, and explore new media. Each 64-page paperback focuses on the materials and methods of a specific medium and provides step-by-step demonstrations, helpful tips, and plenty of encouragement.

The quality of instruction in this series is unsurpassed. Each book is written and illustrated by a professional artist who specializes in the particular medium and is uniquely qualified to guide the reader to a new level of expertise.

About the Author

William F. Powell studied at the Art Student's Career School in New York; Harrow Technical College in Harrow, England; and the Louvre Free School of Art in Paris, France. His work has been represented in major galleries and reproduced in the form of illustrations, prints, and limited-edition collector's plates. He has been professionally involved in fine art, commercial art, and illustration for more than 45 years. His experience as an instructor includes oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, colored pencil, and pastel with subjects ranging from landscapes and seascapes to still life, portraiture, and wildlife. He holds awards for the technical side of his art, which has been used in major space and environmental programs.
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Product Details

  • Series: Artist's Library
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing; Reissue edition (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929261054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929261058
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have even read about Introduction to Color Theory. I've outlined it, underlined it, I keep a copy in my book bag, I keep a copy in my locker, and I've printed a few pages and put them in zip locks just so I can use them while I'm Painting.

This book is Simple. This book is thorough. It's loaded with visual examples. It packs in a lot of information, everything you need to know to get started, but it doesn't have a bit of extraneous text. It starts with a very brief overview of optics, light and refraction. This section is very brief but also very well written and it's fundamental knowledge to anyone who wants to know how paint actually coordinates with the eye.

Value, Hue and Intensity are next. Then comes one of he best descriptions of the Color Wheel that I have ever read. You Learn about analogous colors, complimentary colors and monochromatic colors. The sections on mixing grays and browns are spot on, A+, they couldn't be done any better. The same for color mixing and color blending, using just a little bit of one or two colors in all the colors of the painting to create harmony.

I don't think one could write a better introduction to Color Theory.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have recently retired and have returned to painting after many years with little time to do this. I am taking lessons in painting with oils and have found this book interesting and helpful. The information on mixing the colors I want to use enables me to produce the painting I envision. I will be looking at other books in this Artist's Library Series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These newer books seem to be better written, communicate better, and are more helpful that those of the olden days when I was young. I especially like his two books on color recipes for landscapes and for portraits. you should look into these three. They are very helpful.

In my younger days I tended toward the browns, and overworking paint usually produces "mud." Knowing where to start with some expectation helps you gain a confidence with your color pallet quicker than the hit and miss surprise. Some of those "happy little accidents" Bob Ross used to call them, are not so happy.

Having a firmer grasp of color and how to use it to convey mood, time, and so forth is extremely helpful in painting in oil or acrylic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find these small books not only get to the point quickly, they are an easy reference to locate when I want help with a particular problem. I do prefer the ones that are spiral bound, which this one is not.
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By CeleB on November 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like math because it is either correct or not. Drawing with a graphite pencil is similar. Understanding the color wheel is not a strong point for me. This book makes it easier to understand how it works and why.
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Format: Paperback
It is easy to follow and gives a great deal of information that is best delivered in illustrations.The painting samples could be better but the content is useful and easy to access.
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Format: Paperback
My art teacher required me to buy and read this book. It's a good, basic book about color theory and applying that theory to painting for people who don't know much about it. I've read books since then that were better at helping me understand color choices while painting. This book did cover that but perhaps I needed to hear several different people explain it in different words (and some experience) before I really started to understand.
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Format: Paperback
I love to draw with paper and pencil, but adding color to a drawing changes everything. I failed at my painting class because no teacher could adequately explain to me about color and how it works. How was I supposed to learn something that a teacher couldn't or wouldn't explain. Just because we live in a world of color doesn't mean that we innately understand color, light and dark. I tried reading books and studying the color wheel, but nothing helped until I got this little treasure of a book.

I could never understand how people could look at one color and each describe it in different ways. To some it was warm, to others cool. It was this; it was that; it was another thing. How can one color be so many different things and how do you keep track of it all? Sometimes I felt I was color blind because I just didn't see colors the way other people seemed to see them.

But thank you Mr. Powell and Walter Foster Publishing. I am now beginning to understand how to make color work for me. Sixty-four pages of graphics, examples, easy-to-understand text and principles that make sense all contained in a small, but valuable and portable book.
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