Quirky Books: Theory and Use of Color by Luigina D Grandis

Monday, March 26, 2012

Theory and Use of Color by Luigina D Grandis

A compilation of Color Theory of the finest artists over the past century "Theory and Use of Color" is one of the best books for understanding modern usages of color in visual art, including painting, home decor, clothing and lighting.

This book compiles notes focusing on the usable passages from Helmholtz, Goethe and Kandinsky into one short textbook. Including various images, there is a lack of information regarding Grandis. Translated from Italian to English by John Gilbert, the overall content is essentially a thesis written in conjunction with the University of Padua. With copyrights to Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, one of the largest publishing companies in Italy, I am fairly certain the book contains original content for the purpose of teaching art students.

Learning the basics of color is important to Artists. It quantifies depth, hue, tone and luminosity into understandable terms when approaching modern techniques. A new discovery involves mixing a solid black; instead of, a muddy black which was the former standard of mixing all primary colors in equal amounts. This does not appear in the book, yet an explanation of the experimental technique for determining mixing color is the main topic of a chapter.

With focus on foundations of paint many terms and explanations have greater meaning though the author assumes readers are fluent in design and art. Even without a background in art philosophical and experimental viewpoints of Artists and Scientists is comprehensive.

Summarizing vast amounts of information into easy to understand bites of functional information, the orientation is primarily functional in understanding why color theory and technical usage is important to increase visual appeal for most people, while admitting there is an innate instinct of visual arts for all Artists.

It does not tell a person how to be an artist, only how to improve artwork. It is dry and confusing even with an interest in a professional vocation or formal education in design and art. There are few common term explanations though some passages are repetitive. It is easy to lose focus between reading about examples and studying examples in greater depth. Artists, Art Enthusiasts, Designers and people considering working on film crews will benefit the most from "Theory and Use of Color."

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