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4 BET m ell ign) (Ory eel mons JAMES GURNEY COLOR AND LIGHT A GUIDE FOR THE REALIST PAINTER Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC Kanses City + Sydney + London INTRODUCTION This book examines the painter's two most fundamental tools: color and light. Iti intended for artists of all media interested in a traditional realist approach, as well as for any- one who is curious about the workings of the visual world. When I was in art school I took a color class that consisted of painting a lot of flat swatches, cutting them out with a sharp knife, and pasting them down into color wheels and gray scales I spet months leaning how to pa smooth swatches and trying to g¢ steps betwe Ac the end of each day I would leave them exactly eve the classroom and look up at the colors of the sky, the trees, and the water around me, The sky was not composed of adjacent flat colors, but rather of an. infinite variety of gradating hues. Why did dark colors turn blue as they went back toward the horizon—except in such as in the paintin| Few instanc opposite, when a setting sun easts the far vista in orange light? Why did the leaves have a sharp yellow-green color when the light shined through them, but green color on top? In school I was learning how to see how to apply this experience to real-world painting problems. Color th more like a branch of c! mathematics, a separate science that hhad little to do with making a realistic painting. I felt like a piano student who had played alot of scales, but had never and mix color, but [ had no id emistry or gotten around to the melody, If there were answers to my questions about how light interacts with color, atmosphere, water, and other material: T would have to find them in fields like ph science. I started diggin and materials back into jes, optics, physiol art instruction books from more than seventy-five years ago, when it was taken for granted that artists were trying to create an illusion of reality. Artists as far back as Leonardo da Vinei were to explain the beh: the visual world around them. Each old book had its vein of gold, but the information needed to be translated ‘and updated for our times, and the old theories needed to be tested against recent scientific discoveries. Tinvestigated recent findings in the field of visual perception and found that many of my assumptions were mistaken, even about such basic things mary colors. I learned that the ye is not like a camera, but more like an extension of the brain itself. [learned that moonlight is not blue. [t only appears blue because of a trick that our eyes are playing on us Durin the release of Dinotopia: Journey to the last few years since Chandara, Uhave aught workshops at 4a lot of art schools and movie studios. Thave also kept up a daily blog that explores the methods of the academic painters and the Golden Age illustrators and have adapted some of the blog content into my r Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist. As 1 assembled that volume, I realized that the information on color and light was so extensive: popular with blog readers and so that I decided it required a second volume. This book begins with a survey of his toric masters who used color and lig interesting ways. Althe act to follow, for the rest of the book I'll use my own paintings in zh those paint ings are a toug both observational and imaginative—as examples. Since I painted them, I can cent book, Imaginative tell you what I was thinking when I made them. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the vat ‘ous sources of light, and we look at how light creates the illusion of three-dimen- sional form. Chapters 4 and 5 cover the well as an basic properties of color introduction to pigments and paints. Chapters 6 and 7 present the method | mut mapping, which helps in choosing colors for a g ven picture