Color Books

Art 260 / Greg Clayton

Recommended Books

These books are not required for this course, but are particularly worthwhile for various reasons.
They are categorized according to areas of interest.

Basic Color Traits and Practices

Color: A course in mastering the art of mixing colors

Betty Edwards

The book actually aims for more then the title suggests. Edwards breaks color use down into very doable exercises. (She's also wrote the classic drawing text: (The New) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.)

Color Manual for Artists

Arthur L. Guptill

An older standard that introduces all of the basics of color. Aimed primarily at painters. (Amazon)

Color: A Workshop Approach

David Hornung

Color Studies

Edith Anderson Feisner

Color Design Theory

Interaction of Color

Josef Albers

This is a class text by a premier theorist, educator and artist. Published versions are compromises — fewer illustration, often less content, and always cheaper printing (and thus poorer quality color examples). Alber's hand-screen-printed editions offer the best color — the Arkansas Arts Center, in Little Rock, has one of these rare copies

The Organization of Color

Richard Gordon Ellinger

Long out of print, but a very useful scheme planning strategy. (Amazon)



Dimensional Color

Lois Swirnoff

Interior Design

Interior Color By Design: A design tool for architects, interior designers, and homeowners

Jonathan Poore

Explores all of the standard hue schemes, includes ample photos and many color proportion studies of palettes.
('94 original on Amazon) ('05 Volume 1) ('05 Volume 2)

Color in Interior Design

John Pile

Graphic Design

Web Design

Color History, Culture and Psychology

Color and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism               (Amazon)
Color and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction              (Amazon)

John Gage

Gage is a current master of the history of color, color culture and psychology. If you want to know where we've been in our use of, ideas about and response to color, start digesting Gage's works.
(Color and Meaning) (Color and Culture)

Dynasty of Light

Alan Shijo McManus Burner

An extensive introduction to many varied aspects of color.


Color Technologies



Greg Clayton
2D Design
Color Theory


Photography Course
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Course Schedule
Independent Study