Book Review: Color by Betty Edwards

This week, I continued my research into color by reading Color by Betty Edwards.

I've been refreshing my approach to color recently through a series of exercises and reading different books. An artist friend of mine [Angela Moulton of Pratt Creek Art] has been working her way through Betty Edward's books. I hadn't heard of her book Color before so I grabbed a copy for my own color refresher course.

The book starts with all the basics: hue, value, intensity, and primary, secondary etc...things we've heard a bunch of times. What makes Edwards unique is that she finds approachable ways of demonstrating these ideas. My favorite is her suggestion to add a 1/2" tube to your artist toolbox. Use the tube as a viewfinder to isolate colors. I actually did this last night when someone asked me how I would mix a color we found in the sky. 

The book has helpful tips, like how to set up your palette and steps to work through your painting. A good refresher and no doubt quite useful for many artists. 

One area that I didn't really care for was her description of color harmony. I don't disagree with her points it just felt like a long-winded way of explaining the color wheel masking tool mentioned here. You can play with the tool yourself on Adobe Color.  In short, the point is to find a balance between the three elements of color: Hue, Value, and Intensity.

This book is helpful in its exercises and is well researched. I would recommend Color to artists new to painting or artists looking for a refresher on the topic.