Best Books On Color Theory for Students, Photographers, Designers, and Artists

Best Books On Color Theory

You are here because you are searching for the best books on color theory, am I right? If so, we will list ten popular books on color. We collected these books according to the color specialist. Also, we checked the various online places, previous buyers’ positive reviews with feedback, and top ratings. We can ensure you that all of the books are important who have the desire to be an expert on color combinations. Read the whole article to know the specification of the various texts. HAPPY READING…

Color Theory is the practical guidance to color mixing in the visual arts. It also refers to the visual effects of how colors mix and match. In other words, color theory is the science and art of using colors. It explains how human beings perceive color and shows how colors deliver messages. The method of color replication is also understood from the color theory. The tradition of color theory started in the 18th century.

According to color theory, all the colors are categorized into three groups on the color wheel. These are – primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.

Primary colors: Primary colors are colorants or colored lights combined in different proportions to produce various colors. This method is used in electronic displays, color printing, and paintings.

Secondary Colors: A secondary color combines two primary colors in a given color space. For normal human vision, the primary colors are red, green, and blue (RGB). When lights of these colors are mixed, a wide range of visible colors is produced.

Tertiary colors: A tertiary color combines 100% saturation of one primary color, 50% saturation of a second one, and 0% saturation of the third one in any given color space. This color space can be RGB, CMYK, or RYB. Tertiary colors are also known as intermediate colors.

Best Books On Color Theory

For a better understanding, check this list of top-rated books on color theory:

1 Color Theory For Dummies Color Theory For Dummies 63 Reviews $29.99 $20.49Amazon Prime
2 The Complete Color Harmony, Pantone Edition: Expert Color... The Complete Color Harmony, Pantone Edition: Expert Color... 1,060 Reviews $26.99 $16.99Amazon Prime

1. Color and Light, by James Gurney

James Gurney is an American artist and author. He is best known for his illustrated book series “Dinotopia.” He specializes in painting realistic images of things that cannot be photographed, ranging from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations.

Color and Light are one of the best books on color theory that describes the effects of color and Light on paintings. Color and Light are the two most fundamental themes of art. This book bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge.

It contains a survey of underappreciated masters who correctly used color and Light. It also discusses how light exposes the features of paint and pigments and the atmospheric effects. This book will become a handy tool for any artist with a glossary, pigment index, and bibliography.

Gurney breaks all the confusion and contradictions regarding color with the help of science and observation. This is one of the best books on color theory for interior designers and photographers.

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2)...
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2)...
Gurney, James (Author); English (Publication Language); 224 Pages - 11/30/2010 (Publication Date) - Andrews McMeel Publishing (Publisher)
$29.99 −$13.40 $16.59 Amazon Prime

2. Interaction of Color, by Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a German artist and educator. His contributory works formed the foundation of twentieth-century modern art education programs in Europe and the U.S.

Interaction of Colors is a fantastic masterpiece in art education. The Yale University Press published it in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates. Later in 1971, this book appeared in paperback with Albers’ ten color studies.

This anniversary special edition contains a vast selection of sixty color studies and the original text. In addition, it demonstrates the principles of colors, such as color relativity, intensity, temperature, and much more.

The book also explained vibrating and vanishing boundaries and the illusion of transparency and reversed grounds. Considered a handbook and teaching material, this book will help all artists, instructors, and students.

Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition
Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition
Albers, Josef (Author); English (Publication Language); 208 Pages - 06/28/2013 (Publication Date) - Yale University Press (Publisher)
$19.95 −$3.74 $16.21 Amazon Prime

3. Color, by Betty Edwards

Betty Edwards is an American art teacher and author. She is best known for her 1979 book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” She founded the Center for the Educational Applications of Brain Hemisphere Research.

The color turns your existing color theory knowledge into a practical working method. It will help you to produce different combinations of colors. The book contains techniques tested in Edwards’ five-day intensive color workshops.

The author explains how to see colors, use them, and mix and combine hues. The last part will be helpful specifically for those involved in art, painting, or design.

The book includes over 125 color images and exercises, ranging from simple to challenging. It shows how to manipulate the hue, value, and intensity of color and transform it into opposite colors. Describing the psychology of color, the book explains how to balance color in landscape, still-life, and portrait paintings. This is a valuable book for the beginner’s guide to color psychology.

Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of...
Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of...
Used Book in Good Condition; Edwards, Betty (Author); English (Publication Language); 224 Pages - 09/23/2004 (Publication Date) - TarcherPerigee (Publisher)
$24.00 −$8.26 $15.74 Amazon Prime

4. Color Theory, by Patti Mollica

Patti Mollica is an American impressionistic and contemporary painter. She believes a painter should be able to show the viewers the subjects’ natural beauty. Therefore, Golden Paints selected her to conduct workshops explaining different color techniques.

Color Theory explains the essential aspects of oil and acrylic painting, like pigment characteristics and color psychology. This book is considered the best book on color psychology. This book will help you to choose dynamic, pleasant, and meaningful colors in your works. Featuring step-by-step projects and practical techniques, this book will guide you to using striking colors. In addition, Mollica discusses the complexities of color and methods of using it as a communication tool.

This masterpiece is one of the best books on color theory that gives you an overview of color history and its science. It also explains the color wheel, hue, saturation, temperature, relativity, color schemes, etc.

Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic...
Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic...
WFAL53; Mollica, Patti (Author); English (Publication Language); 64 Pages - 01/01/2013 (Publication Date) - Walter Foster Publishing (Publisher)
$9.95 −$2.96 $6.99 Amazon Prime

5. Making Color Sing, by Jeanne Dobie

Jeanne Dobie is an American watercolor artist, author, educator, and juror. She was a Juror of Awards for the American Watercolor Society International Exhibition, NY, in 2014 and 2017. She was awarded the High Winds Medal for her painting “Three Bretonnes.”

In Making Color Sing, Dobie explains how to make color work for you through 31 straightforward exercises. She says that colors do not exist in isolation; they constantly interact with each other. The book discusses that understanding the color relationship leads to a successful painting.

This book explains the push and pull of warm and cool colors to create space with beautiful illustrations. It also shows how to accent a color disguising the other one. This is a valuable handbook on color psychology. The author also puts forward the idea of composition and design in painting. This handbook generates different ways to think about colors and unlocks your creativity.

Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition: Practical...
Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition: Practical...
Dobie, Jeanne (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages - 01/11/2011 (Publication Date) - Watson-Guptill (Publisher)
$21.99 −$2.79 $19.20 Amazon Prime

6. Secret Language of Color, by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut

Joann Eckstut is a consultant for color and materials for various architectural projects. Her mission is to put harmonious colors in architecture and interior design. Arielle Eckstutis, an agent at the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. She is also the co-founder of The Book Doctors.

Secret Language of Color is one of the best books on color theory. It explains the influence of color in all aspects, from the subatomic realm to human culture and psychology. The book begins by describing the physics and chemistry of colors. Then, it shows how the lives of plants, animals, and humans are affected by color.

Readers will learn how and why we see colors, the rainbow’s nature, animals’ color vision, and more. The authors also exhibit the distinct hues of the visible color spectrum. With hundreds of stunning photographs and infographics, this book demonstrates the role of colors in the world. You can learn the natural research history of color psychology from this book.

Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture,...
Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture,...
Used Book in Good Condition; Hardcover Book; Eckstut, Joann (Author); English (Publication Language)
$32.00 −$3.68 $28.32 Amazon Prime

7. Color, 2nd Edition, by David Hornung

David Hornung is an American painter, author, and teacher. He has taught painting and drawing in many institutions, including Indiana University and the Rhode Island School of Design. At present, he is a professor of art at Adelphi University.

Color, 2nd Edition contains all the essential things you need to know regarding color theory and its application. It bridges the gap between color theory and practice with specially designed projects and detailed discussions. In addition, the book discusses the major color principles with its new format in this Edition. These include color perception, visual structure, material and techniques, color psychology, and much more.

Providing a unique set of tools, this book makes the complex theory of color easier for any artist. With its in-depth discussions and a wide range of contemporary examples, this book will be a handy tool for designers of any level. In addition, you can learn the psychological effects of color from this book.

Color, 2nd edition: A workshop for artists and designers (A...
Color, 2nd edition: A workshop for artists and designers (A...
Hornung, David (Author); English (Publication Language); 168 Pages - 09/05/2012 (Publication Date) - Laurence King Publishing (Publisher)
$34.94 Amazon Prime

8. Color Choices, by Stephen Quiller

Stephen Quiller is an internationally recognized painter. He primarily works in water media, monotypes, and intaglio printmaking. With his innovative water painting approach, Quiller works with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein, and combinations.

Color Choices helps readers to discover and develop their color sense and perfect their color styles. It is one of the best books on color theory, where Quiller explains his “Quiller Wheel” of 68 precise colors. With the help of these colors, the author explains how artists can develop their unique color combinations.

The author initially exhibits how to interpret color relationships using the wheel. Then he explains how to develop five structured color schemes and apply underlays and overlays. He also shows how to use color in unique ways. This book will bring out their unique color sense in whatever medium artists use in their works. This is one of the best books on color theory for the film.

Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory
Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory
Used Book in Good Condition; Quiller, Stephen (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages - 02/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Watson-Guptill (Publisher)
$23.99 −$6.15 $17.84 Amazon Prime

9. Confident Color, by Nita Leland

Nita Lelandis an Otterbein University graduate who teaches workshops throughout the United States and Canada. Her workshops mainly discuss watercolor, color creativity, and collage. She has published many books on the effective use of colors.

Leland forms a foundation for color selection in Confident Color by combining logic and perception. This will help the artist be more creative, think out of the box, and play with new colors. Leland’s techniques allow you to use colors excitingly without trial and error.

This book features over 50 artists’ artworks demonstrating their approaches to color. This is a color grading book. It also provides 85 activities to develop your awareness of the colors and combinations. Learn to use good color schemes, dynamic contrasts, and compatible colors with Confident Color. This is one of the best books on color theory ever written.

Confident Color: An Artist's Guide To Harmony, Contrast And...
Confident Color: An Artist's Guide To Harmony, Contrast And...
Leland, Nita (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages - 10/21/2008 (Publication Date) - North Light Books (Publisher)
$29.99 −$7.08 $22.91 Amazon Prime

10. Color Lab for Mix-Media Artists, by Deborah Forman

Deborah Forman is a Rhode Island-based artist and color theory expert. She is mainly inspired by the sea’s vastness, Euclidian geometry, architectural drawings, and traditional quilting.

Color Lab for Mixed-Media Artists is one of the best books on color theory. This book will strengthen your understanding and use of color through 52 exciting projects. These projects include painting, collage, drawing, assemblage, and more. Forman discusses color from multiple perspectives, like nature, history, psychology, and expression.

The book provides essential techniques and instructions for bookmaking, sculpture, and installation. In addition, Forman invites readers to understand how color works and what tint and shade they should use in their projects. After completing this book, readers will have 52 exciting and meaningful projects and the inspiration to do more. “Color Lab for mix-media Artists” is one of the best books on color theory for graphic designers.

Color Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Exercises for...
Color Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Exercises for...
Forman, Deborah (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages - 11/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Quarry Books (Publisher)
$43.51 Amazon Prime

The color theory explains the nature and various forms of color. But unfortunately, it still has not developed an explanation of the influence of different media on color appearance. Colors are always defined in the abstract. These books will help the readers to get a clear idea about color theory. And even a beginner artist can create unique projects with this knowledge. So, from our post titled “Best Books On Color Theory,” we think you could learn about a few essential books on color. We can also guarantee that these books are the best design books. Feel free to comment if you have any other questions regarding this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different color theories?

There are three fundamental logical and functional color theories –

The Color Wheel is a circle with a red, yellow, and blue foundation. It is used in the traditional field of art. The first circular color diagram was developed by Sir Isaac Newton.

Color Harmony: Harmony, in a general sense, is defined as a pleasing arrangement of elements, maybe in music, poetry, or color. So color harmony creates a dynamic equilibrium in the visual experience of drawings and paintings.

Color Context: It studies how color behaves concerning other colors and shapes. It is a complex area of color theory.

Why is color theory critical?

Color plays a vital role in the world and influences us daily. Color can influence our thoughts, make us take specific actions, and cause reactions. It can bring a sensation of irritation or please your eyes, increase your blood pressure or subdue your appetite. The colors we see on products, websites, business cards, logos, etc., influence us to like or dislike them. Color theory is critical to understand the nature and different forms of color.

Which is the most irritating color?

Yellow is considered to be the most irritating color. The reason is that bright colors reflect more Light, which creates excessive stimulation of the eyes. As a result, our eyes get irritated when we see bright colors like yellow.

What are warm and cool colors?

Warm colors make you think of warm things, like sunlight and heat. Orange, red, yellow, and combinations of these colors and their shades are warm colors. These colors are used to make big rooms cozier.

Cool Colors: Blue, green, and light purple are considered cool colors. These colors remind you of water, sky, ice, and snow. They are used to make small rooms appear more prominent.

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Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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