Monday, November 29, 2010

James Gurney's "Color and Light"

I received my copy of Color and Light today from Jim Gurney. I have to tell you you MUST get this book. This book is like nothing written on color before. Most books I have read on color are hard to understand and harder still to apply to your art. James has really sorted it out from a painters perspective AND explained the science of color too.

James Gurney is an illustrator and does mostly science fiction or fantasy work. He has worked for National Geographic, done book covers and published the wildly successful series of Dinotopia books that have been translated into about 2,900 different languages except that weird one with the clicks in it.

I have little interest in fantasy literature, but Gurneys drawing skills and his amazing abilities put him in a class all by himself. I don't think I know of anybody today who draws better. He is an amazing artist. Check THIS out. That image should be clickable, click it and stare. That friends, is an amazing tour de force.

He also has an insatiable curiosity that leads him into all sorts of research on the "why" of the things that we painters wrestle with.
Here is an example of one of his paintings that he uses to explain multiple light sources for instance. This book is filled with plates of his own works, the masters, great illustrators and the academics of the 19th century.

He also shows photographs of light effects the painter will encounter when painting skies, reflections, sunsets, and well........dinosaurs.Below is an explanatory photo about the color in skies for instance.

Below is a you-tube flip through of the book.

I think this is one of those books an aspiring painter needs. It is easy and fun to read and will equip you to deal with the problems of color in your painting and cheerfully explain the reasons why things look the way they do, all without being hard to read or tedious.
You can get a copy, signed if you like from Jim himself Here.
Or you can get it from Amazon or your local bookseller. Jame's last book was a New York Times best seller in the art instruction category and this one will probably be too.


Abel said...

still waiting for mine! I feel lucky to have started painting recently, during this time where I'm coming across so much valuable direction from blogs like yours and Jim's. Keep up the good work Stapey (that's what we call you in my group of school buddies)

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

You rarely gush, Stapleton, so I'm putting this book on my Christmas list

billspaintingmn said...

I'm hearing good things about this book. I trust your advice. I want to make a better painting. I'm gettin' the book, it's on my to do list.

Barbara Carr said...

JG's blog readers (including me) have been waiting for this book for about a year. He (like you, Stape), is a fount of priceless info for artists of all types. If anyone is put off by the fantasy-art thing, know that he also does wonderful plein air watercolors of places he travels and animals he encounters. These two guys are an art academy all on their own.

Paul Bachem said...

I've been a fan of his work since my illustration days and will add this to my library. Always great to hear a masters thoughts. Thanks Stape!

Susan McCullough said...

Thanks for the tip Stape- I just ordered mine!

Karla said...

Thanks for sharing. I wasn't going to fork out the money until I realized it is only 16 bucks. wow!

Unknown said...

If anyone wants to buy me a Christmas gift......

ps. still waiting for YOUR book to come out.

James Gunter said...

Two or three years ago, I came across James Gurney's blog when I googled "plein air." I'm not especially attracted to Dinotopia, but in Gurney's blog I found a treasure trove of information about painting, drawing, and all things related to visual art! The only two art related blogs I follow daily are by Stapleton Kearns and James Gurney. They are both tremendously helpful, and entertaining, in their own individual ways. (And they both sometimes have baby animals!) They should come with warning labels, though, because they can be both overwhelming AND addictive.

Now I will lay down with my arms at my sides and wait for Stapletons book to come out!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Stapey? I am 32 feet tall and weigh over 1600 pounds!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Did I gush? gosh!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am excitedly studying my copy.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The ideas of light and color are the same for a fantasy illustrator as they are for any other painter,

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is a cheap thrill.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gee. I hope you like it!I did.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Any time you can buy knowledge rather than fight to learn it, count me in. It is so much easier. You could experiment for years, or spend the price of an average restaurant meal and buy it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gurney scared me so bad, it may be a while.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I try to be informative, and end up addictive.I should try serializing things, maybe a teaser for tomorrows entry at the end of each post.