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Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter [Paperback]

James Gurney
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.99
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Book Description

Nov. 30 2010
From New York Times best-selling author of the Dinotopia series, James Gurney, comes a carefully crafted and researched study on color and light in paintings. This art instruction book will accompany the acclaimed Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.

James Gurney, New York Times best-selling author and artist of the Dinotopia series, follows Imaginative Realism with his second art-instruction book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. A researched study on two of art's most fundamental themes, Color and Light bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge. Beginning with a survey of underappreciated masters who perfected the use of color and light, the book examines how light reveals form, the properties of color and pigments, and the wide variety of atmospheric effects. Gurney cuts though the confusing and contradictory dogma about color, testing it in the light of science and observation. A glossary, pigment index, and bibliography complete what will ultimately become an indispensible tool for any artist.

This book is the second in a series based on his blog, gurneyjourney.com. His first in the series, Imaginative Realism, was widely acclaimed in the fantastical art world, and was ranked the #1 Bestseller on the Amazon list for art instruction.

"James Gurney's new book, Color and Light, cleverly bridges the gap between artistic observation and scientific explanation. Not only does he eloquently describe all the effects of color and light an artist might encounter, but he thrills us with his striking paintings in the process." --Armand Cabrera, Artist

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Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter + Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist + Figure Drawing
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Product Description

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for any color enthusiast Sept. 1 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book covers so much it's incredible. I studied color theory, but it was never explained so clearly. If you have any use for color in your work, you should get this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book July 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I only recently got into art and painting so I am definitely a beginner and this book is definitely not so much for people like me. However, it is an excellent book.

It's hard to recommend this book for a beginner but at the same time it feels like you would probably be wasting your money if you bought something else for the topics of light and colour.

The author talks about things that were nowhere even close to being on my radar as an "artist"; an eye opener to say the least. This book made me quickly realize how little I actually know about painting (a big plus in my books). It`s rare that an instructional book these days actually leaves you with a new found appreciation of the topic you are studying.

The author paints pictures that look better than some photographs, so needless to say he knows what he is talking about. There are tonnes of topics covered and each topic gets about two pages with usually about 2-3 paintings that the author uses to visually reference the topic being discussed. Two pages probably sounds pretty light but from my own personal experience that is usually enough to allow you to get inspired to just paint something instead of spending all of your time reading about it.

There is a lot of information here so I recommend you read it slowly and piece by piece. I tried giving the book the cover to cover treatment and it was a little too overwhelming (as a beginner).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book ! Oct. 13 2012
By Diane C
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the few books in my collection I feel I couldn't do without : the essential basic notions about real color and light elements are comprehensively grasped, explained and illustrated in a simple, yet clear and practical language. This is a must for any serious painter who wants to tackle any realistic subjects on the canvas - whether with or without dinosaurs in it ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Jan. 3 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The trouble with ignorance is that one does not know one is ignorant, until one is no longer ignorant.

Though I've studied art in various forms for over two decades, until I've read this book I remained chiefly ignorant of Colour and Light.

As a reference, this book is an absolute must! It answered many questions that I did not know I had, and some I did not know how to ask.

James Gurney dissects theories of light and colour into an easy reference that is a pleasure to read. He approaches art from an artist's view, as well as a scientific view. The amount of his knowledge at times can be quite frightening. Before reading this book, I thought I knew quite a bit about working with colour. Now, I realize how much of my work was instinctive, and I can only anticipate improvement in my work when that instinct is tempered by my freshly gained knowledge.

Reading the table of contents should be enough to convince you that this book will be worth your money and your time. It does not hurt your decision making to know that Mr. Gurney's art is beautiful, or that it enriches this book with the art to text ratio of ~ 7: 3.

Lastly, when you are finished reading this book, if you feel that you still need further explanations, Mr. Gurney includes a list of books you can use to continue your study.

What else can I say?

'Colour and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter' by James Gurney is absolutely amazing. Thank you Mr. G for writing it, and I look forward to reading your other and future work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Feb. 24 2014
By Lauren
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've painted for years but upon reading this book I realized there is always so much more to know and learn about colour. I have never been afraid of colour, but it can be a hard thing to control at times. I've only just started reading but I am already perplexed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good reference June 13 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't really add anything to what the other reviewers have said. Great book that get's your creative juices flowing while educating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Feb. 24 2013
By J.G
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is set up like a text book but it's not a dry read. Incredibly helpful to student who wants to learn how to paint. Also, it's useful reference.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Detailed Information Jan. 28 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Each topic provides clear but detailed information and good illustrations. I read a lot of books about painting and this is one of the best I have come across.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For Intermediate & Advanced
This is a wonderful book which I would recommend for intermediate and advanced artist who have some background knowledge and training in order to be able to really understand it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Aquaoil
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a great book!
I have not found the time to use it much yet, but the short amount of time I reviewed it did confirm some observations I had on art that I did that felt successful as opposed to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Loadedpixels
5.0 out of 5 stars A great companion for Illustrators
since I bought this book it became one of the most important additions to my bookshelve. The author -an Illustrator himself- touch the most important aspects of color and light in... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Antonio
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo !
What a great book . I found it to be a breath of fresh air
and a pleasent suprise . Very concise and informative. Read more
Published 24 months ago by vincent goodeve
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it's the best one.
I liked it, and everything the others speak about it is true. Amazing methodic book. Light is fondamental for realistic paintings.
Published on April 8 2012 by Miqueias
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT buy for an artist, even if you hated Dinotopia =)
I'll be honest... I always HATED the Dinotopia series... never could get into it at all...
But the artwork on the covers was something I always admired, and the author's... Read more
Published on Dec 14 2011 by WryGrin
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