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Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors
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Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,896 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Millions of people have learned to draw using the methods of Dr. Betty Edwards's bestseller The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Now, much as artists progress from drawing to painting, Edwards moves from black-and-white into color. This much-awaited new guide distills the enormous existing knowledge about color theory into a practical method of working with color to p ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 23rd 2004 by TarcherPerigee
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,896 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Though this book is now ten years old, it is invaluable for beginners who want a working knowledge of color. Edwards teaches us succinctly and clearly just enough theory and then puts a paint brush in our hands and provides a series of graduated exercises.

Edwards bases her approach to color on brain science, specifically the observation that the brain longs for balance and creates after-images that are complements in hue, value, and intensity to the initial image. The exercises that
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Artists and those dealing in color
Shelves: art, non-fiction, diy
Update: I foolishly thought there may be shorter works on mixing and matching colors, looking at the books on color at some local libraries showed me how wrong I was. I've up the rating to a five, it's the best out there that I can find for now.

Edwards has been teaching: drawing, painting, and other art topics for many decades. She found that students that did well in her color theory classes had a problem in mixing and using colors in their art. She totally revamped her color theory curric
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Informative overview of color theory as it relates to painting and mixing colors. My reason for reading it was to cultivate a better color-sense, not as much to learn to paint, so a lot of the instruction wasn't helpful to me. However, I'm still glad I read it.
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Betty Edwards describes in detail the method she has used to teach art students how to paint. Just as her earlier book - Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain - was to some extent a training course in how to look at the world, this book is a serious training course in the understanding and appreciation of colour. In particular, she wants her students to develop the skill of identifying and naming the exact hues, shades, intensities of colour they encounter. Is the yellow of that daffodil to b ...more
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people wanting to learn more about using colour in their art
Shelves: re-reading
This guide published in 2004 is by the bestselling author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This is a primer for people wanting to learn more about colour written by an author who focuses on making art theory and practice accessible. Of all the books concerned with learning about colour it's probably most suitable for those who are just starting to learn about colour.
Patsy Parker
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have read on understanding color theory and how to mix colors. I refer back to it often even though I have been doing art for ten years. I highly recommend it!
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very informative, although a book that is probably only for beginners and introduction to colour theory. It probably deserves a reread, along with doing all the excercises mentioned.
Ben Zimmerman
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I read Color because I had found Betty Edwards drawing book to be very helpful to improving my knowledge of art fundamentals. The major pros of this book are discussing the attributes of color (hue, value, and intensity) in practical ways that translate to technique in painting and by providing step by step instructions for how to proceed in painting, which is excellent for a novice like me.

The major cons for me revolve around the presentation of the neuroscience behind color. First,
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've found the information mostly elsewhere already in books I already have (good thing this is an inter library loan!). Text is a bit dense and my gut feeling is that I find James Gurney to be more helpful when it comes to things like color. My attention did catch at the value chapter, as that is something I struggle with; it's been a helpful feature in several other books I've read recently.

As for the content of the book besides lots of text, there are twelve-ish simple projects in this book,
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quilting, non-fiction
Dr. Betty Edwards is a professor of art at California State. The book is divided into three parts: part 1 about color; part 2, using the color wheel to understand hue, value and intensity; and part 3, harmony in color. I will order this book back in to read fully when I have time to address it fully.
Chris Carithers
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautifully concise and accessible intro to color and color theory for artists and art teachers. The exercises and skills/concept progressions are very helpful and clearly are the work of a teacher and artist who has road tested these ideas.
Anderson Cubillos
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book for learning the basics of color. I read it to check again some concepts and other things that I had forgotten, and I did a couple of exercises. Important for beginners, it trains your eyes and teach you how to see the world from the color perspective
Àngela Maria
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing knowledge, it has been very helpful.
Thejashwini Dev
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
In reference to the previous book Drawing from right side of the brain, this book falls short in explaining color.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never thought there was so much to seeing color. Dr Edwards does a great job of explaining the complexities of color and helps deepen your artistic perception of them.
Annie Shay
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gonna go back and paint. I'll buy the materials and do the exercises.
Curtis Seven
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've just started to read this after getting a copy in the mail from but I can already tell it is a pretty useful introductory work to the topic of color theory. One almost might have thought it a monograph due to the fact that it is a relatively compact work but the author while focusing on a specific topic does draw in references to a wider range of disciplines. Make no mistake it does not go into depth as to the physiological aspects or so called hard science research of human percep ...more
Erika Mulvenna
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
A basic book on color theory written for art students. The author includes many hands on activities for learning about color with paints, and includes very basic instructions for readers with little to no experience painting. I think this would be a good book for anyone really interested in learning more about color in art.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: about-art
I am finally reading this wonderful book given to me by the author when I last saw her in 2005. Thanks to my friendship with her daughter, Anne, the three of us enjoyed a lovely lunch in the garden served up with stimulating conversation about art.
This is the book I wish I had read when I was studying Art History at Uni. It explains so much about the concept of colour, the history of colour theory and most importantly how to determine the hue, value and intensity of a colour. I am reading
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Made me want to paint and try the exercises! Even learning that I also had the misconception that complementary colors don't infer that they at complimentary was valuable. While I may not become an art guru, understanding the lingo and behavior of colors better should help me later.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it

Some very useful insights in this book that I had never thought about. Though there seems to be a lot of disagreement between authors on how to think about colour relationships, which is itself interesting.
Tina Rose
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed, as an art teacher, drawing on the right side of the brain. I don't think I learned as much from this book but it was still interesting. A nice book to have on hand in the classroom for reference.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Good resource for artists.
Sandy  Kemp
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
nice book, not what I was looking for tho
Dec 02, 2015 added it
Shelves: mindfulness
Love to refer it again.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Should have read this ten years ago... this book is a life saver.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Julie Smith
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: behavior-mh
Excellent book on the meaning behind colors. Highly recommend it for my peers who are pursuing art/play therapy certification.
Teri Temme
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. I can't wait to do the exercises. I have always been fascinated with colors. Now I have a much greater understanding as to why.
Angela Roberts
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly what I was looking for. Betty put into words what I naturally know how to do - this makes teaching a breeze. Color theory is way too important to not read this book!
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“Al parecer, dibujar un tema percibido requiere principalmente de las funciones visuales perceptivas, no verbales, del hemisferio cerebral derecho, sin intervención del sistema verbal del hemisferio izquierdo. El color y la pintura, por otro lado, requieren esas mismas funciones visuales perceptivas, y además la intervención del hemisferio izquierdo, verbal y secuencial, para obtener los colores mediante mezclas.” 0 likes
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