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Best Color Theory Books

Dive into a curated collection of the best color theory books, praised for their insightful and educational content by various art and design authorities.

Recommendations from 27 articles, Neil Pasricha.
Best Color Theory Books
39 books on the list
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Interaction of Color book cover
Interaction of Color
50th Anniversary Edition
Josef Albers - 2006-05-15 (first published in 1971)
Goodreads Rating
This masterful work in twentieth-century art education explores unique and timeless ideas of color experimentation that are valuable to specialists and a wider audience. Originally limited to a silkscreen edition, this influential resource has expanded to include over thirty color studies and Albers's unabridged text that demonstrate principles of color relativity, intensity, temperature, and more. This expanded edition celebrates Albers's iconic study and brings it to a new generation of readers.
Color by Betty Edwards book cover
Color by Betty Edwards
A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors
Betty Edwards - 2005-01-25 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Learn the practical methods of working with color in this much-awaited new guide by Betty Edwards, the author of the bestseller The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This guide distills the enormous existing knowledge about color theory into a basic understanding of how to see color, how to use it, and how to mix and combine hues. With over 125 color images and exercises, you can learn how to balance color in still-life, landscape, figure, and portrait painting, understand the psychology of color, and harmonize color in your surroundings. Accessibly unweaving color's complexity, this must-have primer is destined to be an instant classic.
Color Choices book cover
Color Choices
Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory
Stephen Quiller - 2002-02-01 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Color Choices by Stephen Quiller is a must-read for artists looking to perfect their personal color styles. With the help of his "Quiller Wheel," readers will learn how to interpret color relationships, mix colors more clearly, and develop their own unique color blends. Quiller also offers step-by-step instructions on developing structured color schemes, applying underlays and overlays, and using color in striking, unusual ways. This book is perfect for artists of all mediums and will help bring out their unique sense of color.
Color and Light book cover
Color and Light
A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art)
James Gurney - 2010-11-30
Goodreads Rating
Color and Light is a must-read for any artist looking to perfect their understanding and use of color and light in their paintings. Written by bestselling author and artist James Gurney, this book takes a practical approach to the fundamental elements of art while also delving into the science behind them. Gurney's beautiful paintings and extensive research make this book an indispensable tool for artists seeking to improve their craft.
The Secret Lives of Color book cover
The Secret Lives of Color
Kassia StClair - 2017-10-24 (first published in 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the surprising histories behind 75 fascinating colors in The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair. From the brown that influenced battles to the white that protected against the plague, this book weaves colorful stories throughout human civilization. Explore the impact of colors on fashion, art, politics, and more in this unique study of society.
Recommended by
Neil Pasricha
Color Theory book cover
Color Theory
An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications (Artist's Library)
Patti Mollica - 2013-01-01
Goodreads Rating
This beginner-friendly guide covers all aspects of color theory for oil and acrylic painting. Learn about pigment characteristics, color mixing, and color psychology to make meaningful color choices in your art. With step-by-step projects and practical tips, this essential guide will teach you everything you need to know to use color as a tool for communication and expression. From the science and history of color to creating vibrant mixes and realistic flesh tones, Color Theory is the ultimate guide for painters of all levels.
Secret Language of Color book cover
Secret Language of Color
Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet
Joann Eckstut - 2013-10-22
Goodreads Rating
The Secret Language of Color dives into the fascinating world of color, exploring its origins, science, and cultural significance. With stunning photographs and informative graphics, this book takes readers on a journey from the tiniest particles to the far reaches of outer space, and from the natural world to human psychology. Whether you're a lover of art or science, this captivating book is the perfect guide to understanding the role of color in our lives.
A Dictionary Of Color Combinations book cover
A Dictionary Of Color Combinations
Various - 2010-12-31 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the fascinating world of color combinations with this inspirational book. Discover the work of Sanzo Wada, an artist and designer who laid the foundations for contemporary color research through his development of traditional and Western influenced color palettes. In this book, you'll find 348 eye-catching and sensuous color combinations, based on Wada's original six-volume work from the 1930s. Immerse yourself in the artistry and creativity of this iconic designer and discover new possibilities for your own color choices.
Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition book cover
Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition
Practical Lessons in Color and Design
Jeanne Dobie - 2000-04-15
Goodreads Rating
This 25th anniversary edition book explores the subject of color through illuminating exercises, inspiring new ways to think about color. It offers insights on how to unlock personal creativity and express oneself with paint like never before. Discover how the interaction of complementary hues can trigger vibrations, how warm and cool colors affect the feeling of space, and unique tricks to accentuate a particular color in a scene.
Theory of Colours book cover
Theory of Colours
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - 1970-03-15 (first published in 1810)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the nature of colors and how they're perceived by humans with this classic book by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Published in 1810, it contains detailed descriptions of fascinating phenomena such as colored shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration. Goethe's writing provides a catalogue of how colors are perceived in various circumstances, offering a new perspective that goes beyond Newton's observations. With a focus on the qualities of human perception, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the philosophy of color.
Color Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway
Color by Victoria Finlay
The Art of Color by Johannes Itten
Pantone by Leatrice Eiseman
The Pocket Complete Color Harmony by Tina Sutton
Color Inspirations by Darius A Monsef Iv Iv Monsef Darius A. Darius A. Monsef IV
Design Elements, Color Fundamentals by Aaris Sherin
Chroma by Derek Jarman
Color by Alexandra Loske
Color Design Workbook by Sean Adams
Contemporary Color by Steven Bleicher
1,500 Color Mixing Recipes for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor by William F. Powell
Special Subjects by Patti Mollica
The New Color Mixing Companion by Josie Lewis
Bright Earth by Philip Ball
Exploring Color Workshop, 30th Anniversary Edition by Nita Leland
Color and Culture by John Gage
A Visual Guide to Classical Art Theory for Drawing and Painting Students by Eric Mantle
Confident Color by Nita Leland
Artist's Color Manual by Simon Jennings
Color Problems by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel
Color Studies by Edith Anderson Feisner
Color Lab for Mixed-Media Artists (Lab Series) by Deborah Forman
Color and Meaning by John Gage
Understanding Color by Linda Holtzschue
On Color by David Kastan
Applying Color Theory to Digital Media and Visualization by Theresa-Marie Rhyne
ROY G. BIV by Jude Stewart
The ABC's of Triangle, Square, Circle by Ellen Lupton