Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James GurneyColor and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

byJames Gurney

Paperback | November 30, 2010

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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, 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
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 Hu...
Title:Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist PainterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 10.5 × 9 × 0.6 inPublished:November 30, 2010Publisher:Andrews McMeel PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0740797719

ISBN - 13:9780740797712

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Doesn't get better than this. I'd challenge you to find a better book on colour and light than this! Correction to the about description, the correct URL for James Gurney's blog is
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from In-depth understanding of Color and Light Absolutely love this book, I've been trying to find books that would explain the science behind light, color and shadow and not the 'step-by-step' of how to render and color with math saying where the cast shadow lands because the sunlight is in a particular angle and distance from the horizon, and this is exactly that, it's knowing why the light is warm or cool and where they fall, why they affect the surface the way they do and what it does to it's local colors, this book is a wonder in observational insight. Definitely recommend not only for realist painters, but also for illustrators, lighting artists, cinematographers, photographers and any one else dealing with the topic of color and light and how to handle it thoughtfully
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best If you paint, you should have this on your shelf. Very concise explanations of complicated light processes - basically, the best textbook. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential for visual artists I don’t use the word “essential” lightly. It really is the BEST book out there for understanding light & colour theory and applying it to your work. It covers just about all there is to cover, and more. Gurney expertly explains how light is diffused through smoke and fog, the differences between incandescent and fluorescent lighting, occlusion shadows, and colour symbolism and perception, to name a few subjects. He goes into great depth in all of them. Also, the layout and artwork included (both his own and that of late classic masters) is beautiful enough in itself.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't judge this book by its cover! I have overlooked this book repeatedly because I don't draw dinosaurs. That was a mistake!! This book, in the concise, well written text, is teaching concept after concept. Here is a man who KNOWS his craft, and is able to teach it well. As artists, we are repeatedly told to look, observe, study our subject. This man tells us what to look FOR. I am wearing out my highlighter as I tag items I wish to commit to my working memory. It is not a beginner's book, and ranks right up there with Quiller and Dobie.
Date published: 2012-12-24

Editorial Reviews

This is a terrific book, highly recommended not only for young artists but anyone with an interest in traditional art technique.  (Karen Haber, Locus)