The Oil Painter’s Color Handbook: A Contemporary Guide to Color Mixing, Pigments, Palettes, and Harmony

Monacelli. Oct. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781580935883. $40. ART INSTRUCTION
Painter Casey begins with an overview of the historical use of color in oil painting, with a focus on the Impressionists, who transformed the use of both color and light in their works. This leads into a detailed discussion of color theory, illustrated with several different color wheels from traditional to contemporary, followed by an overview of the pigments used in oil paint and their properties. Casey also discusses palettes for different types of paintings (still life, portrait, landscape, and figure), best practices for color mixing, ways to use color to create visual harmony in a painting, and properties of light as related to color. Each topic is illustrated via paintings that include Casey’s own work, as well as historically significant works from the Renaissance through the modern era. Practical exercises for artists interested in exploring color-related concepts are included throughout.
VERDICT Casey’s thorough and well-designed guide provides an extensive overview of color theory and the ways color can be used in art. Although there’s some beginner-friendly content, it’s best suited to artists with some experience with oil paints.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing