12 top books on color and coloration
Color selection is a major challenge for all arts. Whether you are working in oil or digital painting, it is imperative that you master the art of color. In this article, you will find 12 universal books that will be useful for everyone who works with color.
1. Johannes Itten “The Art of Color”
The cult book by Johannes Itten, a Swiss artist, the largest researcher of color in art, a leading teacher of the famous Bauhaus, an expert on classical and modern art. The book is written on the basis of the artist’s observations of color in nature and works of art of different times and peoples, and analyzes the patterns of color contrasts, color harmony and color construction.
2. Jean-Gabriel Koss “Color. Fourth dimension”
The author examines how to correctly use the palette of colors available to the human eye, arguing that mastery of color is not only the lot of people of art. Almost all areas of our life are in one way or another connected with color, and, according to Koss, it is absolutely impossible to neglect it.
3. Terence Conran “On color”
One of the world’s leading designers, renowned master of color effects, Terence Conran, tells fascinating stories about simple and complex colors and their features in this book, gives invaluable advice on their use on the example of the best modern interiors from around the world – examples of a brilliant combination of thoughtful design and unique individuality.
4. Mikhail Matyushin “Color Guide”
The book by the classic of the Russian avant-garde artist Mikhail Matyushin was written on the basis of his many years of research into the perception of color and form. Conceived by the author as a practical guide for artists, designers and architects. Color charts illustrate the principles of harmonic color matching.
Book in pdf.
5. Joseph Albers “Interaction of color”
Another of the world’s premier books on art theory. “Interaction of Color” is the result of many years of experiments by Joseph Albers, who sought to comprehend the nature of color and its properties. First published in 1963, it immediately became a bestseller, which it remains to this day. Reveals the secrets of color effects and optical illusions, makes it possible to comprehend the mystery of the game of color shades and their endless variations.
6. James Garney “Color and Light”
The work of the famous writer and artist James Garney, the author of the famous book “Dinotopia”, will be useful not only for artists, but also for designers, and everyone who wants to understand the laws of the relationship between color and light. Detailed explanations about the peculiarities of perception and reproduction of color and light, given in the book, are based on the material of the lectures that Garni gives to aspiring artists. The artist shares his experience with novice and professional artists, making it as easy as possible to enter the template of lighting and play of colors.
7. Cassia Saint-Clair “The Secret Life of Color”
The English journalist Cassia Saint-Clair, who has studied color all her life, has conducted a whole investigation and invites you to plunge into the amazing and unpredictable world of color.
8. Gavin Evans “The History of Color. How colors have changed our world “
The book tells about how the attitude of people to color developed, how these or those colors were obtained in different countries, how they got their names. Why did you choose yellow for the taxi? Why does white symbolize purity in some cultures and death in others? Why is jealousy green in some countries and red in others?
9. Nikolay Volkov “Color in painting”
The book “Color in Painting”, along with “Perception of an Object and a Drawing” and “Composition in Painting”, is one of the main works of the outstanding Russian artist and art theorist Nikolai Nikolaevich Volkov. The book is divided into two parts. The first examines color and light as natural phenomena. The second analyzes various types of color system using the examples of great painters and shows the variety of color solutions and the connection between the color system and the content of art.
10. Books about color by Michel Pasturo
A well-known French historian-medievalist, head of the department of the history of Western symbolism at the Practical School of Higher Studies (Paris), Michel Pasturo is engaged in a large-scale study of the history of color in Western European societies, from Ancient Rome to the 18th century. At the moment, five books about color have been published: “Blue”, “Black”, “Green”, “Red” and “The Colors of Our Memory”.
11. Alexey Zaitsev “Science of color and painting”
The book is devoted to the connection of the modern science of color with the problems of artistic practice and theory. The author pays great attention to such basic concepts from the field of theory and practice of painting as color harmony, color, tone, local color. The book contains a series of color tables and albums of reproductions from the works of masters of painting.
12. Sean Adams “Color vocabulary for designers”
The perception of color is not only individual, it is also embedded in culture, in the variety of invisible phenomena and associations rotating in infinity. Color evokes memories, emotions and creates many references. Anyone interested in color will find practical advice in this book with explanations and examples to answer many questions.