COLOR THEORY AND PRACTICE: GENERAL


130. Abbott, Arthur G. The Color of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947.

294 pp. Index, bibl., endnotes/footnotes, color illus.

    Intended for the general reader, this book discusses light and vision,

color in nature, man-made colors, color characteristics and phenomena, and

personal color preferences. Guidelines, based on the work of Faber Birren

and Albert Munsell, are given for selecting colors for apparel, interiors, and

exteriors. Among the interesting features of this book is the list of the

effects of colored lights on the primary and secondary colors. This well-

documented, comprehensive overview is an interesting example of writing

on color from the 1940s.


131. Birren, Faber. Color: A Survey in Words and Pictures. New

Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1963. 223 pp. Index,

endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus.

    This overview of color in history, science, culture, painting, nature,

and psychology is well illustrated and very readable. The chapter on color

theory briefly describes the major systems. The broad scope of the book

accounts for the brevity of the information on so many specific topics.

Consequently, readers seeking in-depth coverage or documentation will

need to supplement this entertaining survey with additional reading.


132. Birren, Faber. Color Dimensions: Creating New Principles of Color

Harmony and a Practical Equation in Color Definition. Chicago: Crimson,

1934. 57 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    Birren approaches color as sensation and attempts to explain in

psychological terms that the art of color is about a personal response of the

eye and mind rather than about instruments, charts, and scales. He explains

the Maxwell wheel and the Munsell and Ostwald systems. A revision of the

Ostwald system that incorporates the “natural” value of colors is presented

as the “Rational Color Circle,” with 13 hues and nine value steps, which

places gray not in the center of the hue circle but closer to the blue side.

Birren enumerates six dimensions of harmony based on his revision. He

also summarizes basic color theories, traditional color harmonies, and color

in history and nature. This is a unique title among Birren’s many books

because it describes in detail a color system that he abandoned in his later

writings.


133. Birren, Faber. Creative Color. West Chester, PA: Schiffer, 1987. 128 pp.

Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-88740-096-5.

    First published in 1961, this book provides basic information on

color theory and color systems. The first section introduces color circles,

color scales, uniform chroma scales, color organization, color mixture,

color harmony, and value, and then applies color theory to the palettes of

master painters and Birren himself. The second half deals with perception

and uses illustrations and many Birren paintings to demonstrate luster,

iridescence, luminosity, mists, and transparency. Each chapter ends with

an exercise that introduces the student to hue, value, chroma, and the hue

circle. Topics are covered briefly but well. However, inferior illustrations

detract from this otherwise useful introduction to color.


134. Birren, Faber. Principles of Color. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,

1969. 96 pp. Bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    This elementary color handbook briefly discusses color circles,

theories of color harmony, and color effects, that is, color and value

combinations that produce Birren’s favorite illusions: luster, iridescence,

luminosity, and transparency. Principles of Color appears to be a

simplified and briefer version of his Creative Color. The poor color plates

do not effectively illustrate his points. Nevertheless, readers new to the

subject may find this an adequate introduction.


135. Cheskin, Louis. Colors: What They Can Do For You. New York:

Liveright, 1947. 333 pp. Glossary, color illus.

    Cheskin provides a broad overview of color science, theory, and

application. The largest portion of the book deals with application in the

personal environment and clothing, and to art, interiors, and merchandising

Eclectic in its breadth, the book concludes with a chapter on how to draw

and paint. While much of the information is now dated, this book provides

an interesting summary of ideas about color in the 1940s.


136. Chevreul, M. E. The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and

Their Applications to the Arts. Edited by Faber Birren. New York: Van

Nostrand Reinhold, 1967. 256 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, glossary,

B/W illus., color illus.

    First published in French in 1839, this historic work influenced

19th-century painters, including Delacroix and Seurat. Of greatest

importance are Chevreul’s laws of simultaneous contrast, color harmony,

and visual mixtures. Each law is explained in detail with references and

color illustrations. Color problems in painting and tapestry and practical use

of color in home furnishings are also considered by Chevreul. The

introduction and annotations by Faber Birren make the work more

accessible to modem readers.


137. Crewdson, Frederick M. Color in Decoration and Design. Wilmette, IL:

Frederick J. Drake, 1953. 232 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus.

    The harmonious use of color in artistic, industrial, and commercial

applications is the stated goal of this book, though most of it is devoted to a

broad overview of color science and theory. The author uses the

psychologist’s color circle because, he says, it most closely relates to colors

observed in the spectrum. Color permanence, standardization, harmony,

and contrast and the impact of illumination on color are also discussed.

Only the last three chapters, which cover 40 pages actually address color

use. Color-mixing formulas are provided for 250 hues. Although

somewhat dated and entirely undocumented, this book contains many

interesting facts and gives an overview of color in design in the early 1950s.


138. De Grandis, Luigina. Theory and Use of Color. Translated by

John Gilbert. New York: Abrams, 1986. 159 pp. Index, bibl., B/W

illus., color illus. ISBN 0-8109-2317-3.

    This Italian artist-teacher’s “complete panorama of the various

aspects under which color can be considered” is a very thorough and

readable compendium of important topics. After an introduction to color as

light, a definitive color theory chapter reviews luminosity, warm and cool,

value and lightness, saturation and intensity, and much more. The brief

discussion of major color systems leads to an explanation of Alfred

Hickethier’s CYMK color system that will be valuable to those interested in

color printing because Hickethier’s system rarely appears in American

publications. Careful attention is given to the objective and subjective

nature of color in chapters on physical   chemical factors, psychophysical

parameters, and painting techniques and practices. A strong emphasis on

the “The Visual Apparatus” includes several theories of color vision and the

CIE triangle. Discussions of lighting conditions, perception, and color

equilibrium -- which explore successive and simultaneous contrast and

harmony -- round out the book . De Grandis credits some of her sources

and includes several European color authorities in her selected 29 item

bibliography, for example, including Heinrich Friehling. The beautifully

printed color plates, many by her students, and illustrations of examples

from art and design are well located adjacent to explanatory text. While

intended to serve as a reference and handbook rather than as a text, the lack

of specific student exercises may be viewed as a shortcoming by teachers.


139. Delaunay, Robert and Sonia Delaunay. The New Art of Color: The

Writings of Robert and Sonia Delaunay. Translated and edited by Arthur A.

Cohen. New York: Viking, 1978. 257 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus. ISBN

0-670-50636-2.

    The Delaunays argue that color alone is an art form and comment on

color usage in the art movements of the late 19th century. They also claim

that Chevreul’s theories inspire their studio production, which includes

Sonia Delaunay’s innovative designs for textiles. The book will appeal to

those interested in the writings of artists who not only are serious about the

role of color in painting and applied art in the early 20th century painting,

but seem to receive their creative energy from color .


140. Gatto, Joseph. Color and Value. Worcester, MA: Davis, 1974. 80 pp.

Index, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-8'll92-O65-4.

    All of the photographs in this generously illustrated and easy-to- read

work are by its author, an art educator. Most pages show several excellent

examples of value found in the creative work of architects, craftworkers,

artists, industrial designers, sculptors, and photographers. The text and

captions discuss many color concepts including characteristics of color and

of value, factors affecting them, and how color affects visual

communication. The text offers a good introduction to the subject for the

novice or for the instructor looking for a way to organize this content.

Unfortunately, the quality of the printing makes the book seem dated, and

although the author writes about color qualities very well, the only color that

appears is in the 20-page color plate section bound in the book’s center.


141. Gerritsen, Frans. Evolution in Color. West Chester, PA: Schiffer, 1988.

88 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-88740-143-0.

    Gerritsen summarizes color theory from ancient times to the present

with an unusual level of detail. He also provides information that will aid

the reader in constructing a personal, three-dimensional color-perception

model. This work, originally published in Dutch in 1982, could be of use

to color practitioners, whether in architecture and interiors or in the line and

applied arts, who are looking for a good overview of ways to organize and

explain color.


142. Gerritsen, Frans. Theory and Practice of Color. New York:

Reinhold, 1975. 179 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-22645-4.

    This clear presentation of Gerritsen’s color theories emphasizes

human perception and the physics of light rather than pigments or inks. A

comprehensive work, it includes thorough explanations of subtractive,

additive, and partitive color; how the eye senses and perceives color; and

simultaneous contrast. A three-page transparent overlay of Gerritsen’s

color circle illustrates both additive and subtractive color mixing. Excellent

illustrations combine with practical application of the ideas to make this a

valuable resource.


143. Gerstner, Karl. The Forms of Color: The Interaction of

Visual Elements. Translated by Dennis A. Stephenson. Cambridge:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1986. 179 pp.

Endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-262-07110-2.

    This book continues the personal and idiosyncratic investigations

Gerstner chronicled in The Spirit of Colors. He cites the work of Philipp

Otto Runge, Gunter Wyszecki, Wilhelm Ostwald, Hans Hinterreiter, and

Wassily Kandinsky in an overview. He examines systems of forms to

determine their structural interrelatedness and pays particular attention to the

Alhambra and other Islamic geometric patterns as he looks at the vital

interaction between color and form. This inspiring, beautifully designed

and illustrated book is more meaningful when viewed from a knowledge of

the history and application of color theory. Gerstner concludes the book

with his own computer-assisted works, for which he used Kandinsky’s

“Color Signs” as a model.


144. Gerstner, Karl. The Spirit of Colors. Cambridge: Massachusetts

Institute of Technology Press, 1981. 228 pp. Bibl., B/W illus., color

illus. ISBN 0-262-07084-7.

    This Swiss designer interprets the science of color, color

psychology, and color theory, and weaves in contributions from color

theorists, thinkers, and innovators including Goethe, Lüscher, Giotto and

Mondrian. A portfolio of his own powerful nonobjective color designs

makes up much of this handsome book. The magnificent color printing and

the clean book design are special features of this publication. The

“annotated bibliography” is in fact a brief chronology of Gerstner`s own

work and writing.


145. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Goethe’s Color Theory. Arranged and

edited by Ruppert Matthaei. Translated and edited by Herb Aach. New

York: Reinhold, 1971. 274 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus.

    This edition brings together the color theories, observations, and

notes of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 19th century poet and

Renaissance man. Goethe was deeply interested in and wrote about

psychological effects of color, and also carefully recorded his observations

of color phenomena such as “demanded” or negative afterimage colors and

the colors of shadows. This volume contains a complete facsimile edition

of Charles Eastlake’s 1880 translation of Goethe’s “Didactic Part” of The

Color Theory. Marginal explanatory notes by Matthaei are useful. The

greatest strength of this edition is its completeness and the many handsome

color plates, including those that document Goethe’s experiments. While

this book is invaluable for those who want to delve into Goethe’s color

studies, some may find it difficult and long.


146. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Theory of Colours. Translated by Charles

Lock Eastlake. Introduction by Deane B. Judd. Cambridge: Massachusetts

Institute of Technology Press, 1982. 423 pp. Endnotes/footnotes. ISBN

262-5702l- 1.

    Goethe’s Theory of Colours was first published in 1810. Although

some of his scientific writings have since been refuted by physicists,

Goethe’s poetic insight and keen powers of observation continue to interest

humanists and those who study responses to color. His descriptions of

“demanded” or afterimage colors and writings on the meaning of color are

particularly fascinating. The brief introduction by Deane Judd helps

establish a context for Goethe’s writing. This book lacks the beautiful color

illustrations and supplementary materials that can be found in Goethe’s

Color Theory edited by Matthaei and translated by Aach.


147. Goldwater, Robert, and Marco Treves, eds. Artists on Art: From the XIV

to the XX Century. New York: Pantheon, 1972. 500 pp. Index, B/W

illus. ISBN 0-394~70900-4.

    This is a compilation of excerpts of writings by many artists --

including Alberti, Vasari, Palomino, Bossi, Delacroix, Corot, Seurat,

Signac, Van Gogh -- whose statements touch on various aspects of color

theory and application. This publication offers a convenient starting point

for the reader interested in the thoughts of practitioners.


148. Harris, Moses. The Natural System of Colors. New York: Whitney

Library of Design, 1963. 21 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    Harris first published his theories in 1766, and, according to Faber

Birren, who provides historical notes and commentary, this was the first

known publication of the color circle in full color. It was also one of the

earliest attempts to organize colors into a comprehensive system that

included both “prismatic” or primary and “compound” or secondary colors.

Birren’s comments, including his discussion of Harris’s “natural”

succession of hues and why it is appropriate for them to be placed in

circular form, are helpful additions to this historical document.


149. Holt, Elizabeth G. ed. A Documentary History of Art. Volume I: The

Middle Ages and the Renaissance Illustrated. Volume 2: From the

Classicists to the Impressionists. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957,

1966. Vol. 1, 380 pp. Vol. 2, 540 pp.. Index, B/W illus.

    Volume one includes excerpts from the writings of Theophilus,

Cennini, Alberti, and of Leonardo that include discussions of color in

painting. Volume two offers comments on color by Chevreul, Goya,

Rood, Runge, Ruskin, Seurat, Signac and Tumer. This series provides a

convenient starting point for the interested reader.


150. Hope, Augustine and Margaret Walch. The Color

Compendium. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. 384 pp.

Index, bibl., B/W illus, color illus. ISBN 0-442-31845.

    This comprehensive, handsomely illustrated color encyclopedia and

dictionary contains 1,100 entries on a wonderful array of topics, including

color psychology, optics, perception, color and human behavior, color in

advertising, gem colors, color symbolism, current color research, and color

in graphic communication. Thirty essays by a team of experts discuss such

matters as color in architecture and the environment, fashion, and historical

color systems. The value of this book is enhanced even more by its

consolidation of much hitherto scattered information, for example: a list of

66 color specifier systems from The Faber Birren Collection of Books on

Color at Yale; 30 historic color palettes from Margaret Walch’s Color

Source Book; and an unannotated bibliography with over 460 titles.

Margaret Walch serves as director of the Color Association of the United

States.


151. Itten, Johannes. The Color Star. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,

1985. 6 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-24304-9.

    The color star is an integral part of Itten’s color theory and can be

found in both his Art of Color and Elements of Color. This version

includes color disks that easily allow the viewer to see harmonic color

chords made up of two, three, four, five, and six tones. The color star and

eight disks, packaged in a cardboard portfolio with explanatory information

and instructions, can enhance readers’ experiences with either of Itten’s

books.


152. Jorgensen, Charles Julius. The Mastery of Color. 2 vols. Milwaukee:

1906. Vol. 1, 83 pp. Vol.2:, 22 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    The author rejects a scientific approach to color; though he mentions

several color theories, he does not credit their originators. In volume 1 he

uses red, yellow, and blue as primaries to develop his own 18-hue color

wheel. Volume 2 contains 22 beautiful color plates including the author’s

hue circle and many exquisite chroma bridges. Although the value of this

book now is primarily as a historic example and as a document of the

author’s work to organize color, readers will still be impressed with the

quality and beauty of the color plates that incorporate painted color chips.


153. Koblo, Martin. World of Color: An Introduction to the Theory and Use of

Color in Art. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963. 240 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    The introductory portion of this book provides brief information on

additive and subtractive color and their related color circles, the Ostwald

color system, objective and subjective perception of color, color

symbolism, pigments, and painting supplies. Practical application of this

information is first observed in the works of great masters and then related

to oil, tempera and watercolor painting, colored pencils, pastels,

lithography, stained glass, decorative painting and printing. A final short

chapter looks at color use from pre-historic times to the 20th century. This

overview of the use of color in the fine and applied arts has broad appeal,

but readers new to the Ostwald color system will need to supplement the

brief information provided here.


154. Ladd-Franklin, Christine. Colour and Colour Theories. New York:

Harcourt-Brace. 1929. 287 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, glossary, B/W

illus., color illus.

    The author, a psychologist, develops a theory of color based on

what she calls an “evolved color sense.” She opposes the theories of

Hemholtz and Hering. Vision, color, and light are discussed in

considerable detail. Most readers will find this book useful only as a

historical curiosity that documents the thinking of a Columbia University

lecturer whose career is described in the Preface as “long and belligerent.”


155. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci. Edited by Jean Paul Richter. 2

vols. 1883. Reprint. New York: Dover, 1970. Vol. 1, 367 pp.; Vol. II,

499 pp. B/W illus.

    This is a reprint of an unabridged edition of The Literary Works of

Leonardo Da Vinci, first published in London in 1883 by Simpson, Low,

Marston, Searle, and Rivington. Leonardo’s theory of colors appears in the

first volume where he records his firsthand observations of color

appearance in the environment and how to contrast colors in painting. His

knowledge of color relativity is suggested in descriptions of color contrasts

and especially in his guidelines for selecting colors and backgrounds on the

basis of how vivid or intense they appear to the viewer. Other topics

include the reflection of colors, the use of dark and light colors, colors of

the rainbow, colored shadows, and rules for color in aerial perspective in

painting.


156. Marx, Ellen. The Contrast of Colors. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,

1973. 208 pp. Color illus. ISBN 0-442-25114-9.

    This spiral-bound book presents a fine collection of full page visuals

that demonstrate color relativity and the interaction of colors through

examples of relative contrast of complements, simultaneous effects,

brightness, saturation, quantity, and hot and cold color associations. Some

pages are designed with die-cut openings or transparent overlays that enable

the reader to observe and manipulate color relationships. The explanatory

notes are minimal, so the book requires a fundamental understanding of

color theory to follow the examples. The excellent quality of the

illustrations makes this a fine supplement to more general books.


157. Osborne, Roy. Lights and Pigments: Colour Principles for

Artists. London: John Murray, 1980. 163 pp. Index, bibl.,

endnotes/footnotes, glossary, appendix, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-

7195-3739-8.

    This highly readable overview of the science, perception, and

psychology of light and color is intended as general reading for the visual

arts student. Additive and subtractive usage, and the objective and

subjective appearance of color are presented. Concise and well-illustrated

chapters provide a great deal of information on paints, printing inks, dyes,

film, video, and light in a very accessible writing style. The chapter on

“Pigment Sources,” which is supplemented by an appendix, provides

concrete information not often found in introductory books.


158. Pope, Arthur. The Language of Drawing and Painting. 1949 Reprint.

New York: Russell and Russell, 1967. 200 pp. Appendix, B/W illus.,

color illus.

    Inspired by the color scales and color triangles developed by his

teacher, Denman Ross, here Arthur Pope discusses his own color theories

and explains the three dimensional cylinder he developed to express the

relationships of the traditional 12 hue circle. His earlier writings on modes

of drawing and painting, and on color are summarized in this publication

with many illustrations of historic drawings and paintings. Howard T.

Fisher puts the Pope’s work in perspective in his Color in Art (1974).


159. Renner, Paul. Color: Order and Harmony. Translated by Alexander

Nesbitt. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1964. 80 pp. B/W illus.,

color illus.

    First published in Germany in 1947, this book attempts to address

color harmony issues of interest to artists, designers, and craftspeople.

Unfortunately, the writing style of this translation is poor, the descriptions

are wordy and unenlightening, and the overall tone is frequently negative or

self-serving. Renner disparages Goethe and Ostwald, yet his own opinions

do not always stand up to critical review. For example, he explains the

lavender-colored afterimage of yellow is caused by the reddish color of

daylight. The value of this work now is as a historic curiosity and statement

of personal beliefs about color.


160. Research Laboratories of the International Printing Ink Corporation. Color

Chemistry. Color as Light. Color in Use. 3 vols. New York, 1935.    

Monographs on Color: Vol. 1, 18 pp.; Vol. 2, 21 pp.; Vol. 3, 29 pp. B/W illus.

    These booklets deal with an overview of color from three

viewpoints -- chemical, physical, and psychological -- and briefly discusses

materials and processes used to obtain colors, suitability of color, the

influence of color, the physical laws of color and light, methods of color

measurement, and color appearance. The first volume looks at color in

natural and synthetic materials. The second focuses on the spectrum, paints

and inks, and color as sensation. The third volume, which concentrates on

Munsell, color balance, simultaneous contrast, afterimages, and

complementary colors, is especially interesting for its examples of color

relationships, including some relatively complex color combinations. This

series will be of interest primarily as a record of color resources from the

thirties.


161. Riordan, James L. The Dynamics of Color Control and Harmonies. New

York: Vantage, 1970. 75 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    This basic introduction to color begins with a consideration of four

components of color: hue, value, chroma, and intensity. In the context of

subtractive color or paint, the author states that chroma changes occur when

a hue is mixed with its complement. Intensity changes occur when a hue is

mixed with varying amounts of a gray whose value is the same as the hue.

The author uses the concept of dynamic symmetry to achieve harmonious

color and believes that his theories work in practice even though they do not

conform to current, generally accepted theories. The value of this dated

book is as a document of a personal approach from the period or as a

curiosity.


  1. 162.Rood, Ogden N. Modern Chromatics. Edited by Faber Birren. New

York: Reinhold, 1973. 257 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-

442-21028-3. 

    This publication contains a facsimile of the original 1879 edition.

An introduction by Faber Birren discusses its influences on Impressionist,

post-Impressionist, and Fauvist painting. Birren’s notes in each chapter of

Rood’s work also make reference to 20-century knowledge of the subject

and so facilitate comparison with Rood’s original writings on perceptual

color, including visual mix, simultaneous and successive contrast,

complementary afterimages, and other relevant topics. Penelope Hobhouse

notes that Rood’s writings on garden color from the original edition do not

appear in this edition.


163. Rood, Roland. Color and Light in Painting. NY: Columbia University

Press, 1941. 299 pp. Index, B/W illus.

    The author, son of the physicist Ogden Rood known for his Modem

Chromatics (1879), combines his knowledge as a painter with a knowledge

of color science in this work, which was incomplete at the time of his death

in 1927. He worked on this book for 15 years, incorporating information

on the history of painting practice, aesthetic theory, and color science and

perception. The writing is sometimes awkward and obscure, and there have

been many advances in the study of color since this book was written.

However, Rood’s unique qualifications and efforts to address both the

science and art of color may interest those seeking a historical perspective.


164. Verity, Enid. Colour Observed. London: Macmillan, 1980. 171 pp.

Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-333-26900-4.

    Color theory, the physical and psychological aspects of color, and

important developments in color history are included in this comprehensive

overview of color. Especially useful chapters cover color and light;

biological color (how color occurs in nature); and color and the eye (how

the eye works and observes color). This excellent survey ties together a

broad range of color information and successfully integrates a scientific

viewpoint with an aesthetic appreciation of color.


165. Weinberg, Louis. Color in Everyday Life: A Manual for Lay Students,

Artisans and Artists. New York: Moffat, Yard, 1918. 343 pp. B/W illus.

    The author begins with a general overview of color theory and

provides guidelines for choosing color combinations. A chapter on color

design is followed by specific chapters on color in dress, home, and

business. Weinberg then discusses the science of color and takes a more

detailed look at color systems, with emphasis on Munsell and the hue,

value, and chroma dimensions of color. An explanation of complementary

colors and simultaneous contrast serves as a context for a discussion of

color harmonies. Associations of color with music and moods, information

on colored illumination and the use of color in theater conclude the volume.

This book is most useful today as an example of principles for effective

color use from the early 1900s. It is a forerunner of Art in Everyday Life

by Harriet and Vetta Goldstein.


166. Wolf, Thomas H. The Magic of Color. New York: Odyssey, 1964. 47 pp.

index, color illus.

    This little book provides a thorough but extremely brief overview of

color from source, theory, effects, and use to symbolism and color in

animals. While the scope of this book is amazingly broad, information on a

particular topic is often limited to one or two sentences. This book is best

suited as a pleasant little introduction to color probably intended for children

in third grade and up or as entertainment for the casual adult reader.


167. Zelanski, Paul, and Mary Pat Fisher. Color. Englewood Cliffs,

NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989. 144 pp. Index, glossary, notes, B/W/ illus.,

color illus. ISBN: 0- 13- 15 1259-5.

    This fine reference offers a concise yet understandable overview of

essential topics: color physics; additive color relationships; pigment colors

and the traditional 12 hue circle; saturation, hue and value according to

Munsell; color perception; psychological effects of color; color symbolism;

personal color preference; and color expression. Color is discussed from a

design point of view as it relates to balance and proportion, emphasis, and

unity in composition. Historic color theories are traced from Leonardo Da

Vinci, Newton, Moses Harris and Goethe to Runge, Chevreul, Rood,

Munsell and Ostwald. Color mixing principles and notation are related to

dyes, pigments, ceramic glazes, color printing, and color photography.

Other chapters cover light mixtures in the electronic environment and color

combinations and interactions. The history of color in painting, and color

application in the fine arts and in the applied design fields are illustrated with

American, English, and continental examples. The careful placement of the

excellent color illustrations within the relevant discussions in the text is the

highly commendable achievement of the English book designer and color

printing in Singapore. Zelanski (a student of Albers) and Fisher back up

their superb overview with informative chapter notes and a glossary.

While this is a general reference for artists and art students in all media, a

list of recommended student problems is available separately.


168. Zwimpfer, Moritz. Color, Light, Sight, Sense: An

Elementary Theory of Color in Pictures. Translated by Edward

Force. West Chester, PA: Schiffer, 1988. Unpaginated. Index, bibl.,

B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-88740-139-2.

    This basic introduction to color and its perception, the outcome of

the author’s teaching at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, was

originally published in German in 1985. Initial discussions of light and

color and the appearance of color are followed by sections on the eye and

colors created in the eye (e.g., optical mixing, afterimages, and

simultaneous contrast). The organization of color, color effects, color

significance, and color reproduction in photography and printing and on

computer screens are also covered. The 509 neat images, the lucid text, and

logical progression of ideas make this an exceptionally appealing and

useful, though not comprehensive, survey of color.



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