I had two ‘go-to’ books to support this project. The first was the recommended reading textbook Colour, a workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung. I found this a clear explanation of colour theory which supplemented the exercises which we followed in the course. It is precise, explanatory and theoretical, so that concepts in colour are clearly explained at an intelligent level. The assignments are well-developed so that I was really keen to follow them. However, it would have taken me away from A Creative Approach too much to fit in time to follow the course. I think it is an excellent reference which deserves a much fuller study than I found I could give at the time, and I will refer back to it many times, I am sure, in future.
On the other hand, I was recommended Color For Painters, a guide to traditions and practice by Al Gury, at the art supplies shop here in Bahrain, and I really want to enthusiastically suggest everyone adds it to their shelves! This book is both practical, user-friendly and encouraging. It follows the history of colour, how paint colours were developed, and then how colour has been used in the variety of styles and techniques in Art History. I found the book well-organised and very stimulating. The various styles, layering, shaping, lighting etc are illustrated by ‘the masters’ and by contemporary artists. I particularly loved the sections on demonstrating techniques, and so was enticed away from our A Creative Approach to try out his demonstrations on pointillism myself, using threads in addition to paints. I know I will be dipping into this book many a time and whole-heartedly recommend it.
The two books serve different purposes, one technical and analytical, one a book to treasure and browse, helping our understanding of the creativity in colour. It is interesting that Hornung’s book is filled with practical assignments and exercises and I found these interesting and would refer back to them. However Gury’s approach wouldn’t let me just put his exercises away, I still want to try the ideas out. They serve different needs and both are complimentary to each other.
Colour, A workshop for artists and designers. David Hornung ISBN978-1-85669-877-1
Colour for Painters, A guide to traditions and practice, Al Gury ISBN 978-0-8230-9930-6