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Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (James Gurney Art) Paperback – November 30, 2010
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James Gurney's series of illustrated fantasy adventure stories, beginning with 1992's Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, produced a generation raised on Gurney's highly realistic paintings of an entirely unreal subject.... Still it was no surprise to the author-artist-blogger and his long-time publisher Andrews McMeel when his recently released second volume of art instruction, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, became a bestseller for AMP immediately upon its release in December 2010, selling out its 10,000-copy run in just two months. (Mark Schulz, Publishers Weekly)
Dinotopia author and plein-air painter Gurney offers a practical, well-organized, and informative handbook for artists of all levels. (Chronogram Magazine)
This is a terrific book, highly recommended not only for young artists but anyone with an interest in traditional art technique. (Karen Haber, Locus)
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.
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But I want to note that this book is still very much in print, its just been delayed. Mr Gurney's blog has more information; needless to say you do not need to pay the outlandish prices being offered by third-party vendors to get a copy. $95 or more now, or $17 - $25 if you wait a bit and Amazon or Mr Gurney will have the book back in stock....
The fundamentals of light are no longer a mystery. With Gurney's help, you can begin to understand it's intricacies and how it changes. The sophistication of his discussion even enters into how our eyes incorrectly perceive light, and how we can adjust for that with pigment choice. It is unreal how learned this book is.
I would not call this book one of 'color theory' but rather, a survey of different techniques and observations about color, and a survey of different color theories. In short, it is the distilled wisdom of James Gurney's experience as an artist.
Frankly, I think this is a much better way to learn about color and light than a single 'unified field' theory - because most single color theory or methods rarely are applicable to all circumstances.
Each concept is accompanied by one or two paintings illustrating the concept.There is also a pretty thorough reference and reading section for those who want to dig a little deeper.
This is an excellent book by a knowledgable and skilled artist and author.
Jim Gurney manages to get the basics into your head and cause you to see the world you are painting more clearly then most teachers or artists. He really causes you to see what you are doing in a new light. ( if you will pardon the pun) He shows you what he did to achieve the effects in each lesson and discusses why he missed catching certain things and why he succeeded in others. He points out how light and color affect your view and how a camera can lie when you are working from a photo.
When I finished my first reading of this book I could see an improvement in my work.
His use of color and of light is exquisite and he is able to pass on what it is he looks for and does so your work improves because of it.
Who can ask for more?
Mr Gurney writes in such an engaging way that you find yourself forgetting the fact that you're learning...you find yourself enjoying the ride so much that when you close the book it's only then that you realize how much more information you have in your memory banks.
Mr. Gurney's book is open AT ALL TIMES in my painting area--even if it's not being used for reference at that particular point, the wonderful artwork reproduced in the book inspires me to stretch my talent and create some magic.
This is the art book to read. Let the others gather dust for a bit. Unplug the phone and begin the fantastic ride with Mr. Gurney--you will be a better artist for it.