Top 23 Best Books On Color Theory For Artists 2022

Best Books On Color Theory For Artists

Are you looking for the Best Books On Color Theory? Then you NEED to see this list below.

Color Theory is your sensible advice to color mixing in the visual arts. Additionally, it describes the observable effects of how colors mix and match with one another.

To put it differently, the color concept is the art and science of using colors. It describes how human beings perceive color and reveals how colors send messages. The procedure of color replication can also be known in the color concept. The custom of color concept started in the 18th century.

So What is Color Theory? and Who Invented the Color Wheel? (

What Is Color Theory In Art?

What Is Color Theory In Art

Before thinking about creating anything, you need to have a basic understanding of color theory. These principles include the meaning of the color wheel and the emotions that each color evokes in the spectator.

The color wheel is straightforward; it displays which colors contradict one another and which colors close by will provide color harmony. When two or more colors combine to produce a highly visually pleasant result, it may be said that the colors are harmonic with one another.

The color combination of yellow and purple, which may be used in several tones, is a prime illustration of this. The complimentary colors, which are the colors that are immediately opposed to one another and may sometimes be used together to produce a high-contrast picture, are plainly seen on the color wheel.

Neutral colors include shades of Black, White, Brown, Ivory, and Cream that do not appear on the color wheel. These hues are often used as wall colors in homes and serve as a good background for other hues.

Top Rated Best Color Theory Books To Read

Why Is Color Theory Important?

One of the main points I want to make is that, even if you didn’t go art school, you could still educate yourself in color theory and that everyone can benefit from having a decent education in it.

A simple, or even comprehensive, study in color theory will be very helpful for any artist, designer, or craftsman. This will help them employ colors much more efficiently and organically, which will enhance their work on many levels and help them enter a more creative state of mind while they’re working.

The study of color theory has enormous benefits for artists who already have a strong natural or innate understanding of color and who use it to the best of their ability because it not only helps them understand their own instincts and choices but also sharpens them, resulting in even more confidence, even more choices (and new perspectives), and even more effective in the use of color.

Even those who have studied color theory before can always benefit from doing so, either to refresh their memory and re-energize their relationship with and use of color or to update their knowledge base with a new theory for instance, color theory as it relates to computer graphics or technology in general.

Therefore, learning about color theory may truly change your life if you’ve always been cautious or uncertain about how to utilize color. Even if you already feel confident and/or knowledgeable about color, learning about color theory can still have a significant impact on your life. In any case, your job will be better, and you’ll feel more confident and productive.

How Should One Study Color Theory?

Although the focus of this essay is on the greatest books on color theory currently in print, I would be remiss if I failed to highlight another excellent option: online courses.

I feel especially confident teaching color theory because I not only have a strong natural eye for color and its uses in art, design, and craft but also a fairly deep and thorough understanding of color theory. As many of you may already know, I have created a number of excellent online courses, if I do say so myself. Additionally, I just like instructing, and I believe that my excitement helps my classes be both more useful and entertaining.

Top Rated Best Color Theory Books To Read

Top Rated Best Color Theory Books To Read

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Below are the best books about color theory for artists that Penn Book recommended reading:

Color and Light: A guide for the realist Painter (Volume 2) by James Gurney

Would you need to be a realist painter, then color and Light from James Gurney is a must buy. James Gurney is the author of this bestselling Dinotopia series. Color and Light is the next book on arts and colors backed by a careful study on light and colors.

Colors and light are the basic topics of art. Also, James Gurney has attempted to describe the two of these and practically. The publication starts with an appreciation of several underrated artists who mastered the usage of colors and lighting.

This publication covers many facets of light and colors. It explains how mild change forms, distinct properties of colors and pigments, and the air’s effects on those fundamentals.

The publication is a comprehensive instrument for an artist to integrate the learnings from the artwork he provides. Also, he displays his mesmerizing paintings from the book to make you interested in what he clarifies.


The Secret Lives of color by Kassia St Clair

The Secret lives of Colors is a colorful quantity composed by Kassia. St. Clair in an amazing way. The book is a fun mixture of culture, language, and art that does not let you become bored. The book is written beautifully, including the intriguing history of colors and the tales behind them. The book tells the odd stories of seventy five stunning colors of colors.

The book is endorsed by study and a mix of colors with human culture. The book is very thoughtful and keeps you stuck to it until the end. Normally, the novels on color notions are very dull, but this book is intriguing enough to win almost all readers’ hearts.

It Looks like Kassia. St. Clair is obsessed with colors and also infused her obsession quite artistically from the Secret Lives of Colors.

Color: A course in mastering the art of mixing colors by Betty Edwards

Professor Betty Edwards, Art’s teacher at the University of US, is a helpful course author. The very first thing that grabbed my attention is the wonderful cover.

The last book of Betty clarified how to draw out while this publication is a powerful painting step. She’s infused the publication with a tremendous practical understanding of colors.

This publication is a comprehensive how to manual about color theory. It clarifies How to observe colors, the way to use them, and how to combine them. It includes 125 color images and exercises which assist you in understanding the concepts readily.

This classical book will force you to realize the psychology of colors, color balancing, and harmonizing colors in the surroundings. Another intriguing aspect this publication explains is that the transformation of colors into their opposites.

Color Choices: Making Color sense out of color Theory by Stephen Quiller

This publication is composed of Stephen Quiller, who’s an internationally recognized performer and famous for his bestselling books written about the topic. This publication is also a stunning victory and a valuable object of manual for people who wish to excel within their coloring style.

Quiller has a special method of teaching through his own Quiller Wheel. This wheel features roughly sixty eight colors. Quiller informs the viewers how they could combine these colors to acquire perfect art.

Moreover, he’s also provided a step-by-step approach to making five color schemes. This book will cause you to realize how to use the colors in the most striking way that attracts out the best.

Confident Color: An Artist’s Guide To Harmony, Contrast And Unity Spiral-bound by Nita Leland

Composed and written by celebrity and writer Nita Leland, Confident Color explains the artist’s knowledge and understanding of natural color choice and color coordination.

She utilizes her innate wisdom and logic to decode every color’s workings on the wheel and put down the basics to you in an understandable format. The book can help you develop a notion about the most suitable choice for art and the interaction of colors among themselves.

The best thing the publication does is to discard the bothersome guesswork to figure from the complementary colors on the pallet so you could confidently proceed with the perfect colors for your art.

That makes it incredibly helpful for all novices at the artwork and the painters in heart!

This spiral bound publication consists of over 80 workbook exercises and published tutorials from approximately 50 artists showcasing their styles in coping with colors and offering hints, hints, and hints concerning the use of different colors.

In general, it’s indeed a wonderful book for covers and all excellent articles to the price it comes in.

Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition by Josef Albers

Interaction of Color from Josef Albers is just one of those brilliant classics, considered among the best books in describing the theories and mechanics of colors. This publication’s approach in defining the items is relatively old-school; the publication itself is a couple of decades old. However, with that said, its seniority from the art book department makes it a tried and tested, dependable manual on color theory.

It’s a staple for virtually all images designing classrooms because the publication mainly applies to all mediums of artwork and paint work. Among the things this book does well provides a thorough insight into some crucial facets that may or might not be discussed in routine art books. These are tremendously important for everyone that is only beginning in the area.

These include themes and sub-topics like color borders, color intensities, casual graduation, and color juxtaposition.

This can be an exceptionally useful reference book that you might always keep at hand while working on your project and find something useful and new each time you go through it.

The writer explains his concepts and comprehension of the color scheme and how specific colors can impact our understanding, depending on the complementary colors. This is an intricate subject in art and needs every performer to understand it completely.

Instead of being easy and consisting of the simple sub-topics on color theory, this publication provides a developed take on a few of the more complex and severe facets of the subject. That makes it well suited for professionals and intermediates who wish to improve in their color choice abilities. But, it might be somewhat tricky for novices to grasp.

Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition by Jeanne Dobie

The book packs more than 30 different exercises that teach you how you can combine colors and why specific colors work better than others.

Everything you need to understand is that no color is different alone but always from the VIBGYOR color spectrum. All painted expressions have been outcomes of a perfect mix and interaction between colors, reflecting the subtle connections between the colors.

The color theory book teaches you how you can achieve and keep clean makeup in any way at times in artworks.

This book’s most significant thing is to develop an intuitive awareness concerning color schemes because of its reader to get a watch for finding the perfect colors and synchronizing them in the right order on an art.

By practicing with the publication frequently, you can create an inborn sense of understanding about the interaction of colors amongst one another and understand which group of colors would ideally react to produce dramatic results on the canvas.

This book will especially be useful for intermediates and innovative artists who have a basic understanding of colors and have had some experience to better their abilities. But, beginners may find this a bit hard to follow along with.


Exploring Color Workshop, 30th Anniversary Edition by Nita Leland

Researching Color Exploration is a novel that shows you how the color concept works outside one medium and the way the different colors use each other to devise a painting.

However, this novel’s very best thing is that it comes packed with 70 different exercises and eight detailed and specific, step-by-step tutorials that you could do anywhere.

This lets you build up your strokes and strategies to know what will do the job for you and whatnot.

Even though there isn’t any singular approach for producing the best color for painting, you can create a good color for every expression you would like to make as soon as you realize the fundamental principles and guidelines of color theory.

Secret Language of Color by Joann Eckstut (Author), Arielle Eckstut

It analyses how different colors affect our visual understanding and also socialize with one another.

This publication that takes nearly comes across as cosmic research of colors, highlighting the science and scientific areas of color mechanism.

The publication also brings many cultural anecdotes about the topic and psychological profiles that research color interaction inaccurate information.

The publication discusses the symbolic and figurative connection between colors, lights, and shadows and engages the reader’s focus on the basic association between these components.

These can help you create a perspective while painting and gauge the perfect mix for your palette.

The Secret Language of Color is one of those novels that set forth a very scientific approach involving color appreciation. It may result in a radical shift in your view and perception towards color and force you to find a painting in a different light.

Theory of Colors by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Theory of Colors by Goethe is an intriguing book that points out a number of those matters that we take for granted about how we see color and lighting. He made his decisions solely predicated on in-depth private monitoring of the happenings of colors. Goethe’s color theory motivated the color wheel of chromatic opposites.


Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color by Leatrice Eiseman

This publication by Leatrice Eiseman is a fantastic reference book concerning the emotions and senses behind different color schemes. It’s hundreds of color combinations and proven color fundamentals for UX and UI designers who must make an effective layout.

The Secret of Lives by Kassia St. Clair

The Secret Lives of Colors finds the background behind 75 different color shades and colors and informs their narrative. Kassia St. Clair has contributed random trivia and fascinating facts about different colors.

You’ll find this book a fascinating read. An intriguing book for UI and UX designers who wants to know more about the background of colors from an unconventional perspective.

Color: A Workshop for Artists and Designers by David Hornung

A detailed book for people that are interested in the analysis of colors. This publication by David Hornung is a priceless resource for UI designers and creative professionals.

The well illustrated novel has a collection of missions and in-depth discussions that are beneficial. It covers various subjects about colors, from principles in blending colors to color interactions, principles, and mixes.


Color Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway

Ian Sidaway’s Color Mixing Bible is a really handy book for novices who want a guidebook. It consists of several sections that describe the science of colors and how you can mix colors with acrylic, acrylics, watercolors, inks, and pastels. It includes many graphs that describe how to combine colors.

The book is full of ideas and techniques. It comprises a package of information that makes you understand exactly the color concept in detail. The subject covers include ascertaining the potency and capacity of colors, picking out a color palette, organizing and organizing the colors, and visual and optical mixing techniques.

Color and Light, by James Gurney

James Gurney is an American artist and writer. He’s famous for his illustrated novel series Dinotopia. His specialty is he can paint realistic pictures of items that can’t be photographed. These vary from dinosaurs to historical civilizations.

Color and Light are among the greatest books on color theory that explains the effects of color and lighting on paintings. Color and light are the two most basic themes of artwork. This book bridges the gap between abstract theory and technical understanding. It comprises a survey of several underappreciated masters who created proper use of light and color.

Additionally, it discusses how mild exposes the features of pigments and color and the atmospheric results. Using glossary, blossoms index, and bibliography, this book will get a useful tool for any artist. Gurney breaks all of the confusions and contradictions regarding color with the assistance of science and monitoring.

Color Theory, by Patti Mollica

Color Theory describes the vital facets of the oil and oil painting, such as pigment features and color psychology. This publication is considered the best book on color psychology. It can help you choose lively, enjoyable, and purposeful colors for your functions. Featuring step-by-step projects and practical methods, this publication will direct you to utilize striking colors.

Mollica discusses the intricacies of color and approaches to utilize it as a communication tool. This masterpiece is one of the best books that summarizes the color history and the science behind it. It also describes the color wheel, color, saturation, color temperature, relativity, color schemes, plus even more.

Making Color Sing, by Jeanne Dobie

In Making Color Sing, Dobie describes making color work for you via 31 clear and simple exercises. She states that colors don’t exist in isolation; they constantly interact with one another. The publication discusses that comprehension of color connection leads the way to a successful painting.

This book explains the push and pull off cool and warm colors to make space with beautiful illustrations. Additionally, it shows how to highlight a color disguising another one.

This is a great handbook of color psychology. The writer also puts forward the concept of design and composition in painting. This guide generates different ways to consider colors and unlocks your imagination.

Color Lab to Mixed-Media Artists by Deborah Forman

If you would like to find a bit more specific with your color, attempt Deborah Forman’s Color Lab to get Mixed-Media Artists.

This book looks into the world of mixed media and how it applies to paint. You will find out about color selection methods and how to utilize colors for almost any medium you decide.

Each chapter covers a different color, and you will come across a small number of recipes for blending vivid color palettes from scratch. This truly is more of a mixing manual than a painting manual, so that you need the expertise to put this to great use.

Conventional painters may find this valuable for many combined media work. There are scores of great color schemes in this publication, and they are all super simple to replicate on your own.

The Designer’s Dictionary of Color by Sean Adams

The publication is composed by Sean Adams, who’s a Designer. That’s the reason why He’s written a publication that aims at the fraternity of painters. The book provides a thorough guide about thirty colors and their application to art and graphic design.

Each chapter provides information about a single color, Its History, and its institution with civilization. The chapters also contain different colors. Each of the chapters has been illustrative and equipped with graphs showing color arouses and palettes.

The case is very intriguing and striking and improves its usefulness for many subscribers. It describes whatever you’re able to feel about colors, particularly the colors’ cultural and historic institutions. The educational book is quite straightforward to read and browse and proves to be an excellent set on your bookshelf.

Design Elements, Color Fundamentals by Aaris Sherin

The plan is the art of colors. Who can comprehend that better than the developer? The publication is composed by Aaris Sherin, who’s a designer. That is a reason she’s written a novel about the value of colors for designing. Color is the most significant element of any layout, helping a designer convey through the design.

This is a well-written book for designers who wish to communicate through colors and combine colors with graphics to make a purposeful design.

The publication also defines the matching and selection approaches used in the design projects and causes you to understand through the number of illustrative examples the way the color combinations are applied to various projects in line with the various cultures and sections.

The book also shows some strategies and techniques about the best way best to use colors to get a customer-based layout arrangement. This publication is a superb addition to your bookshelf should you look and search for a coloring guidebook to add value to your profession.


Best Color Theory Workbooks

Best Color Theory Workbooks

Color Design Workbook A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design

This new book, which is excellent for commercial artists, goes beyond color theory to discuss how to apply it to work in commercial art and design, as well as how to have the knowledge and confidence to effectively communicate with clients about color choices and the effects of various colors and color schemes.


Color and Pattern 50 Playful Exercises for Exploring Pattern Design

This fantastic book, ideal for designers and crafters, takes you on a delightful and adventurous voyage into color usage and combinations. It also helps you develop a stronger connection with and understanding of color.

Color Third Edition: A Workshop for Artists and Designers

The classic book by David Hornung, which is best for fine artists and painters but is also quite helpful for commercial artists, is wonderfully rich in exercises and lovely examples and images.



Color theory is a complex and ever-evolving topic, and there is no one “best” book on the subject. However, some popular titles on color theory include “The Elements of Color” by Johannes Itten, “Color Harmony” by Maitland Graves, and “Color and Light” by James Gurney. These books offer a comprehensive introduction to the world of color theory and provide readers with a solid foundation to build their knowledge.

Thank you for reading!

Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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