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"Only those who love color are admitted to its beauty and immanent presence. It affords utility to all, but unveils its deeper mysteries only to its devotees." Johannes Itten

Nita Leland's Color & Color Theory Book List

Albers, Josef. The Interaction of Color. Yale University, 1987. Studies in color relativity using colored papers.

Ames, Jim. Color Theory Made Easy: A New Approach to Color Theory and How to Apply It to Mixing Paints. Watson-Guptill, 1996. The magenta, yellow and cyan color-mixing theory.

Andrews, Don. Interpreting the Figure in Watercolor. Watson-Guptill, 1988. Free technique, wonderful color.

Babbitt, Edwin S. The Principles of Light and Color.. Reprint of a 19th century book on the healing power of color.

Ball, Philip. Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color.. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. The artistry of the materials of the artist from the beginning of art.

Bernhardt, Michele. Colorstrology.. Pantone, 2005. What your birthday color says about you. Great book for a party icebreaker!

Beyers, Jinny. Color Confidence for Quilters. NTC, 1995. Useful approach to color for fiber artists.

Bilmeyer, Fred and Max Saltzman. Principles of Color Technology. John Wiley, 1981. Very technical study of color.

Birren, Faber. Color: A Survey in Words and Pictures. Citadel, 1984. Easy-to-follow story of the history and other aspects of color.

Birren, Faber. Color and Human Response. John Wiley, 1997. Color psychology--how we react to colors in our surroundings.

Birren, Faber. Color, Form and Space. Search ABEbooks Reinhold, 1961. Three-dimensional use of color for artists, architects and designers.

Birren, Faber. Color Perception in Art. Schiffer, 1986. Refers to history of optical art and discusses the part of the brain in seeing color effects.

Birren, Faber. Creative Color. Schiffer, 1987. My favorite Birren book, goes into light and color effects.

Birren, Faber. History of Color In Painting With New Principles of Color Expression. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1965. Good basic history of color.

Birren, Faber. Light, Color and Environment. Schiffer, 1988. Practical use of color in the home and workplace.

Birren, Faber. Principles of Color: A Review of Past Traditions and Modern Theories of Color Harmony. Schiffer, 1987. Color harmony and the history of color wheels.

Birren, Faber. The Symbolism of Color. Citadel, 1988. Expressive meaning of colors.

Blake, Wendon. The Color Book. Watson-Guptill, 1981. Basic color instruction.

Bourges, Jean. Color Bytes: Blending the Art and Science of Color. Chromatics, 1998. Unusual theory, useful for digital designers.

Brusatin, Manlio. A History of Colors. Shambhala, 1983. Color theory and history of color use through the ages.

Chevreul, M. E. Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts. Schiffer, 1987. Based on his ground-breaking book of 1837, an essential text for those interested in color theory.

Chiazzari, Suzy. The Complete Book of Color: Using Color for Lifestyle, Health and Well-Being. Element, 1999. Color in clothes, make-up, interiors, diets, gardens, healing, soul colors, and personal colors.

Cole, Alison. Color: A Visual History of Color from Its Ancient Beginnings to the Works of Modern Masters. Dorling Kindersly, 1993. Well-illustrated historical information on color in art.

Crook & Learner. Impact of Modern Paints. Watson-Guptill, 2000. How paint chemistry and the advent of acrylics influenced 20th century painters.

Cumming and Porter. The Colour Eye. BBC, 1992. Color in theory and applied arts, accompanied a six-part television series.

De Grandis, Luigina. Theory and Use of Color. Abrams, 1976. Color theory in light, paint, vision and perception.

Dobie, Jeanne. Making Color Sing. Watson-Guptill, 1986. A fine book, especially good on color mixing.

Ellinger, Richard. Color Structure and Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1963. Color theory and organization.

Fraser, Bruce, et al. Real World Color Management. Peachpit Press, 2003. A comprehensive treatment of the mystifying systems of understanding computer color.

Fraser, Tom and Adam Banks. Designer's Color Manual. Chronicle Books, 2004. The complete guide to color theory and application. Not just for artists--color in modern life.

Gage, John. Color and Culture:Practice and Meaning From Antiquity to Abstraction. University of California, 1999. Very interesting book on the history and symbolism of color.

Gage, John. Color and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism. University of California, 1999. Another comprehensive study on color from science to psychology and cultural interpretation.

Gerritsen, Frans. Evolution in Color. Schiffer, 1982. Color theory and perception; analysis of color systems.

Gerritsen, Frans. Theory and Practice of Color: A Color Theory Based On the Laws of Perception. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975. Historical color, perception, color systems, very sound book.

Gerstner, Karl. The Forms of Color: The Interaction Of Visual Elements. MIT, 1986. Geometry and color with beautiful results.

Gerstner, Karl. The Spirit of Colors: The Art of Karl Gerstner. MIT, 1981. Constructivist works by Gerstner.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Theory of Colours. MIT, 1982. One of the first to approach color as perception.

Graves, Maitland. The Art of Color and Design. McGraw-Hill, 1951. A classic text still available in the used-book market.

Guasch, Gemma and Josep Asunción. Creative Painting Series: Color. Barrons, 2005. A wealth of information and beautiful reproductions of masterpieces. I don't think the demo paintings do it justice.

Guptill, Arthur. Color in Sketching & Rendering. Reinhold, 1949. A nifty old guide for architects.

Guptill, Arthur. Color Manual for Artists. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. An early basic book in color.

Hill, Tom. Color for the Watercolor Painter. Watson-Guptill, 1975. Some good exercises on color.

Hill, Tom. The Watercolorist's Complete Guide to Color. North Light, 1998. Hill's personal approach to color.

Hope, Augustine, and Margaret Walch, ed. The Color Compendium. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990. Useful reference of color history and vocabulary.

Itten, Johannes. The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color. John Wiley, 1997. I love this book and its explanation and illustration of color contrasts.

Itten, Johannes. The Color Star. John Wiley, 1986. Tool for learning Itten's color combinations.

Itten, Johannes. Elements of Color: A Treatise on the Color System of Johannes Itten Based on His Book the Art of Color. John Wiley, 1985. A simplified version of The Art of Color without the beautiful illustrations of paintings.

Jackson, Carole. Color Me Beautiful. Ballantine, 1987. The four-seasons approach to personal color.

Jasper, Caroline. PowerColor. Watson-Guptill, 2005. Master color concepts for all media.

Justema, William & Doris. Weaving & Needlework Color Course. Search ABEbooks Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1971. Equipment, materials, color theory, color schemes.

Kobayashi, Shigenobu. Color Image Scale. Kodansha, 1992. Applications of color to express mood, taste or lifestyle.

Koenig, Becky. Color Workbook. Prentice Hall, 2003. Color and design; includes exercises, history of color in art.

Kosvanek, Jim. Transparent Watercolor Wheel. Watson-Guptill, 2000. Kosvanek's system for working with transparent colors.

Kriesberg, Irving. Working With Color: A Manual for Painters. John Wiley, 1997. Some interesting ideas and exercises for the painter.

Kuehni, Rolf G. Color: Essence and Logic. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983.

Ladau, Robert, et al. Color in Interior Design and Architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. Practical applications for designers.

Lamb, Trevor, and Janine Bourriau, ed. Colour: Art & Science. Cambridge University, 1995. One of my favorites among the newer books--somewhat technical.

Lambert, Patricia, Barbara Staepelaere & Mary G. Fry. Color and Fiber. Schiffer, 1986. Good reference book for fiber artists.

Lambert, Patricia. Controlling Color: A Practical Introduction for Designers and Artists. Design, 1991. Theory, contrasts, color mixing.

LeBlon, J.C.. Coloritto. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. Facsimile of the first book to explain the primary system of color mixing discovered in the 18th century.

LeClair, Charles. Color in Contemporary Painting. Watson-Guptill, 1997. Fine examples and good information.

Lehrman, Lew. Energize Your Paintings With Color. North Light, 1993. 12 artists show their different approaches to color.

Leland, Nita. Confident Color: An Artist's Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity. North Light, 2008. New and exciting ways to use color with examples by 52 contemporary artists. Hardcover, spiral stay-flat binding.

Leland, Nita. Exploring Color: How to Use and Control Color in Your Painting. North Light, 1998. The best book on color for artists--trust me! More than 80 exercises and demos, plus wonderful examples by 65 artists. Look here for more information. Hardcover, spiral stay-flat binding.

Leland, Nita. Exploring Color Coloring Book. Moonflower Books, 2000. A color reference handbook and workbook for Exploring Color printed on acid-free watercolor paper. You don't need the book to do the workbook (but it helps) Look here for more information.

Lidzey, John, et al. Color Mixing for Artists. Barrons, 2002. Minimum colors for maximum effect using watercolors, acrylics and oils.

Luscher, Max. The Luscher Color Test. Pocket, 1987. Color psychology--find out your color personality.

Lynch, Tom. Watercolor Secrets International Artist, 2000. A good source for artists who want to paint color and light effects.

Lyttle, Richard. Paints, Inks and Dyes: The Story of Colors at Work Holiday House, 1974. Excellent resource for for artists interested in understanding their materials.

Martin, Judy. Color: How to See It, How to Paint It. HarperCollins, 1994. Basic color instruction.

Mayer, Ralph. The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. Fifth ed. Viking, 1991. A technical reference all serious artists should be familiar with.

McMurry, Vicky. Mastering Color Cinn: North Light, 2006. The essentials of color illustrated with oils.

McRae, Bobbi. Colors From Nature: Growing, Collecting and Using Natural Dyes. Storey, 1993. Charts on natural dyes: where to find them, how to prepare and use them.

Metzger, Phil. The Artist's Illustrated Encylopedia: Techniques, Materials & Terms. North Light, 2001. A comprehensive reference, lavishly illustrated with contemporary art works, photographs and charts.

Munsell, Albert. A Color Notation. Macbeth. Explanation of the widely used Munsell color matching system.

Murry, Vicki. Mastering Color: The essentials of color illustrated with oils. North Light, 2006. Solid color theory, beautifully illustrated.

Newton, Sir Isaac. Optiks. Search ABEbooks Dover, 1979. Dover edition of Newton's treatise on light and color.

Nurosi, Aki. Colorful Illusions. Sterling, 2000. Meant for children, but gives excellent examples of the effects of simultaneous contrast on colors.

Page, Hilary. Color Right From the Start: Progressive Lessons in Seeing and Understanding Color. Watson-Guptill, 1994. Lots of technical information.

Page, Hilary. Guide to Watercolor Paints. Watson-Guptill, 1997. The best guide to watercolor paints now available.

Parramon, Jose. Color Theory. Watson-Guptill, 1989. Basic color information.

Penders, Mary. Color and Cloth : The Quiltmaker's Ultimate Workbook Quilt Digest, 1995. Color theory, color schemes.

Porter, Tom. Architectural Color: A Design Guide to Using Color on Buildings. Whitney, 1982. Fascinatng look at how architects use color.

Powell, William. Color and How to Use It. Walter Foster, 1990. Handy pocket-guide on color.

Priester, Gary. Looking Good in Color: The Desktop Publisher's Design Guide. Ventana, 1995. Easy-to-understand guide to how color works in print and computer.

Pyle, David. Paint & Colors: What Every Artist Needs to Know. Krause, 2000. The book is comprehensive, covering everything from the history of pigments to the behavior of paints and safety issues.

Quiller, Stephen. Color Choices. Watson-Guptill, 1989. Using color in your paintings--good book.

Quiller, Stephen. Painter's Guide to Color. Watson-Guptill, 1999. Good content on intensity contrast.

Riley, Charles. Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music, and Psychology. University Press of New England, 1996. Very interesting studies in aesthetics of color.

Rodwell, Jenny. Watercolorist's Guide to Mixing Colors. North Light, 1997. One artist's way with color mixing.

Rood, Ogden. Modern Chromatics. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973. Students' textbook of color, with applications to art and industry. Facsimile edition of the 19th century book that influenced Pointillism.

Rossotti, Hazel. Colour: Why the World Isn't Grey. Princeton, 1989. Color perception and science.

Salemme, Lucia. Color Exercises for the Painter. Watson-Guptill, 1979. Systematic approach to color mixing in oils.

Sarback, Susan. Capturing Radiant Color in Oils. North Light, 2000. Glorious color in her paintings.

Sargent, Walter. The Enjoyment and Use of Color. Dover, 1964. One of my all-time favorites.

Schildgen, Thomas. A Pocket Guide to Color, With Digital Applications. Delmar, 1997. Practice of using color in reproduction.

Schlemm, Betty Lou. Painting Color: Best of Watercolor. Rockport, 1998. Some dynamic watercolor paintings.

Schwarz, Hans. Colour for the Artist. Watson-Guptill, 1968. One of the first books to teach me color theory.

Seely, Ann and Joyce Stewart. Color Magic for Quilters: Absolutely the Easiest, Most Successful Method for Choosing Colors and Fabrics to Create Quilts You'll Love. Rodale, 1997. Makes color accessible to those without too much color theory.

Sharpe, Deborah. The Psychology of Color and Design. Littlefield Adams, 1975. Simple explanation of human response to color.

Sidelinger, Stephen. Color Manual. Prentice-Hall, 1985. Color systems diagrams and color symbolism and associations.

Sloan, Annie & Kate Gwynn. Color in Decoration. Little Brown, 1990. Color in interior design.

Sloane, Patricia. The Visual Nature of Color. Design, 1989. Color and light, culture and theory.

Sloane, Patricia. Primary Sources: Selected Writings on Color From Aristotle to Albers. Design, 1991. Essays on color by artists, writers and philosophers.

Silvestrini and Fischer. Color Systems in Art and Science. Golden, 1999. Diagrams and explanations of 56 color systems dating from around 1611 to the present.

Steiner, Rudolf. Colour. Steiner, 1998. A spiritual approach to color and light based on Goethe's theory.

Swirnoff, Lois. Dimensional Color. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. Excellent study in three-dimensional design with color.

Szabo, Zoltan. Color-by-Color Guide to Watercolor. North Light, 1998. Zoltan's ideas on color.

Theroux, Alexander. The Primary Colors: Three Essays. Henry Holt, 1996. A take-off on color names and descriptions throughout the world, more literary than instructive, but entertaining all the same.

Van Wyk, Helen. Color Mixing the Van Wyk Way: A Manual for Oil Painters. Art Instruction, 1995. Formulas and recipes.

Varley, Helen, (ed.). Colour. Amiel, 1980. Overview of a variety of topics relating to color.

Verity, Enid. Color Observed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. How we see color--a very good explanation.

Verrall, Nicholas and Robin Capon. Color and Light in Oils Batsford, 1005. Beautiful paintings, good information and not intimidating.

Vinroot, Sally, et al. The New Dyer With Colorcue Hue Analysis Aide. Interweave, 1987. Origin of dye colors, color theory, techniques and processes.

Walch, Margaret & Augustine Hope. Living Colors: The Definitive Guide to Color Palettes Through the Ages. Chronicle, 1995. Very interesting study of how different cultures have used color.

Weigle, Palmy. Color Exercises for the Weaver. Watson-Guptill, 1976. How yarn colors interact on the loom; a complete course.

Whelan, Bride. Color Harmony 2. Rockport, 1994. The only one of the color-swatch books I like--groups colors into color schemes.

White, Jan V. Color for the Electronic Age. Strathmoor, 1990. Effective color design for print or screen.

White, Jan V. Color for Impact. Strathmoor, 1996. How color can get your message across or get in the way.

Wilcox, Michael. Artist's Guide to Selecting Colors. North Light, 1997. Descriptions of properties of pigments.

Willard, Christopher. Watercolor Mixing: the 12-hue Method. Rockport, 2000. Similar to the expanded palette and color schemes of my Exploring Color System.

Williams, Paul. The Garden Color Book. Chronicle, 2000. A super book for planning garden plantings for great color effects--includes planting zones, heights, etc.

Williamson and Cummins. Light and Color in Nature and Art. John Wiley, 1983. Color science, a highly technical book.

Wolf, Rachel Rubin. Keys to Painting: Color and Value. North Light, 2001. Tricks and techniques by a selected number of North Light artists.

Wong, Wucius. Principles of Color Design, 2nd ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997. Excellent book, especially with the new electronic color information.

Zelanski, Paul, et al. Color. Prentice Hall, 1998. Good color text combining technical and practical information.

Zwimpfer, Moritz. Color: Light, Sight, Sense. Schiffer, 1989. Color theory and perception.

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