Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green: Or How to Mix the Color You Want-Every Time
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Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green: Or How to Mix the Color You Want-Every Time

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Wilcox casts away theory and looks at how pigments really work -- so artists can mix their own colors and get the most out of those greenish blues and purplish reds.
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published July 9th 2009 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 1989)
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The ideas in this book are probably not news to artists, but they were new to me, so it was instructive. But, even though it's a short book, he explains things to death. There was *lots* of repetition of the same basic idea.

The basic idea is that when you mix blue and yellow, they don't always make a nice, clear green as you might expect based on what you were taught in school. You might end up with a muddy brownish olive instead.

The reason that might happen is because no paint color is true bl...more
This book debunks the myth of the traditional three primary colors being able to mix all the secondaries. Wilcox introduces a color wheel with two of each of the primaries (yellow-green, yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet and blue-green) and talks in depth about why we see colors the way we do and what is actually happening when we mix colors. He makes an interesting argument for limiting our palette to twelve basic colors from which we can mix all the colors we will ever need. I...more
Excellent reference book for mixing pigment colours. It explains how to mix different qualities of colours starting with the biased colour relationships using warm and cool versions of each primary colour.
Not a good book for reading, but it shows millions of examples of color mixing in acrylic paints. Geared to paints, the ideas apply to dyes as well. The premise is that there are no pure blue yellow or red to yield clear greens, violets, or oranges. Every primary color leans one way or another. For example if you take a red with a lot of yellow in it and a blue with a lot of green you are bound to get a subdued purple as the red and green (direct compliments) brown each other out. I know this is...more
OK, this is for artists! Wilcox begins with a review of light and how we see color. Then he presents a more modern (and accepted) theory about color mixing versus the traditional concepts of the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow.

Wilcox seems to present the material as if it is his theory alone. But that is not my understanding. Regardless, it seems to make perfect sense and I look forward to making less muddy colors and taking a workshop from Susan Fisher on color mixing early next year...more
Aug 28, 2010 Mirian rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Painters
Recommended to Mirian by: Lyn Lasneski
Good common sense color theory. I originally gave it three stars because it was kinda repetitive, but upped it to four because it's great information and really straight forward.

There's an exercise (I'm 90% sure was from this book,) where you mix every possible color combination on your palette. Now that I think about it, I'm only 50% sure it was from this book. But it's more fun and interesting than it sounds. It was a great way to learn about the strengths of colors you choose and make compari...more
Dec 27, 2007 Utahpainter added it  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: painters
I did not like the way this book was written. It seemed more of an advertisement for this guys watercolor products and I know that has put other artists off about this book. The good part is that for some reason it sticks with me that this was one of the first books on color that I remember dealing more with the qualities of colored paint over colored light. As a painter this book gave me a push in the right direction. It's written for watercolorists but the info is good for all color media.
Very in-depth look at subtractive color theory in paints. Most of it seemed intuitive or obvious to me, but I suppose others may find it more useful. Lots of repetition, e.g., "This is what happens when you mix orange-red and yellow-green in varying amounts... This is what happens when you mix orange-red and yellow-orange in varying amounts..." etc.
It's hard to say you've actually read a color mixing book, when you've really dragged it off the shelf in moments of panic trying to figure out what the heck you just did wrong and your canvas is now a putrid yellow green... Its like having a dictionary. This one is very nice and clear and doesn't browbeat you too terribly.
I suspect this book is a really good reference for colors and color mixing, but I just couldn't get through it. It's so technical and doesn't inspire me to play around with my colors. I'll just keep on experimenting as I've been doing, and learn color mixing through practice.
Apr 16, 2013 Sheree rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
Such a great reference book for color mixing. I will have to buy this one for reference! Nice discussion and examples for watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting. Pastels discussed as well.
I've learned to properly mix colors with this book. Easy to follow and extremely helpful. Saved a bunch of money learning to mix with a few essential colors.
If you are into Color Theory, you have to get this book. Totally explains why and how to mix color. Great for students or teaching color.
Bruce Jones
An important look at the practical rather than the theoretical side of mixing colors. An excellent reference book.
Dec 20, 2013 Andria rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
I really understood color theory after working my way thru the book but it was dull.
Sharon R.
This would be a valuable resource if I ever continue experimenting with oil painting.
A must if you ever mix paint!!!
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