on January 3, 2012
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.
on July 10, 2013
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).
on October 13, 2012
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 ...
on June 24, 2015
This book is absolutely a must have. I've spent 5 years in 3 different art programs and took many classes, and none helped me understand lighting as well as this book. Like Gurney mentions in the introduction, cutting out swatches and making colour wheels is not enough to understand light.