...and that was the great beauty for me of 'Blue and Yellow...' It was the understanding - once you 'understand'. The whole thing gets simplified - thank you. You must often find that you are knocking your head against a brick wall - keep going - brick walls can fall down! Anonymous
Although not colour-blind, I've always felt keenly that I don't understand colour, can't choose clothes or decor colors without risking a comic disaster. Swatches in fabric and paint shops always seemed pretty arbitrary to me, and didn't help. I was having a coffee in the bookshop when "Blue & Yellow Don't Make Green" called to me from shelves I had never visited. I can't tell you how excited I was just reading that title.
When I read, "Blue and yellow (as such) make black", I could just about feel my brain growing. It's a weird sensation, in middle age, to feel yourself understand something for the very first time that's so fundamental. Now I have been going through the exercises with acrylic paint, the tactile experience of mixing paint has been a joy and a revelation. I may never learn to paint forms, but just experimenting with colour is wonderful!
Going through the "Blue & Yellow" book is giving me the same paradoxical feeling discovery/recognition that learning Lithuanian did: encountering a vocabulary with no obvious connections to the ones I knew (in Romance/Germanic languages) but at a deeper, structural, cognitive level, there's an incredible sense of "fit". And also, of course, you begin to see the world differently -- quite literally. Elspeth Kane
...This book makes so much sense, works so well, and shows the conventional colour wheel theory to be so flawed that it has changed my life as an artist. Essentially the book presents how to mix colours based upon what actually goes on it pigments, not according to what you think you know about conventional colour theory.
If you mix yellow and blue for instance, you are supposed to get green. Try mixing cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue then! You get a brownish drab colour that can barely pass for green. Why? His answer is a revelation that will empower you as a confident mixer of colour. You will learn from this book what it takes artists years to learn thru trial and error.
Anyone who says this book is too difficult or covers old territory hasn't read it carefully. This is the most important art book you will every read. You will come away "empowered" rather that overpowered by color. Nigel Austin
...Michael Wilcox's books will pay for themselves in the money you save on paint. This is a startling book which finally explains why some colour mixes that you would expect to be good are just awful!
When I made a colour wheel for a water media class I asked the teacher why some of my mixed secondary colours were so poor. She said because of student grade paints. While that may have contributed a little considering what I was using for paints at the time that was the incorrect answer! Cotman paints weren't THAT bad. It was because neither she nor I understood the physics of paint mixtures.
Paint mixtures aren't magic - they are a blend of light frequencies that behave in a predictable way. (Clue: The famous color wheel does not have a lot to do with it!) But people have a lot of difficulty giving up a paradigm - even if it is wrong. Time for a new one! Great book!!! A. Reader
...This book is great. As a hobby, I started painting a little over a year ago. However, after investing hundreds of hours and dollars, I was on the verge of giving up painting all together because of the frustration resulting from failing to mix colours accurately, wasting time, money and going nowhere.
In his book, Mr. Wilcox, starting from the colour pigment level, clearly explains to us the entire colour mixing process with thousands of examples backed by illustrated scientific information, and takes out the guess work, thus allowing the artist to concentrate on the composition. After reading this book, my colours are now a hundred percent accurate with colours ending up on canvas rather than in the trash. The only critisism I may have is his continuous repitition of the evils and shortcomings of traditional colour-mixing theory. Other than that, thank you Mr. Wilcox for bringing back the joy of painting. Gayle S. Ataceri
...This is a great book. No more wasted paint and confusion (or even depression) about colour mixing. Good colour mixing is a complex and confusing business but this book goes a very very long way to make it far less so and more logical and accurate. It's gives excellent results. Read it, buy it, learn it! Nick Dell'Oso
This book's central lesson is: "Colour mixing should be a thinking process based on knowledge." This book discusses the physics of colour and light. It has pages and pages devoted to the properties of various colours, and what will happen when you mix Colour A and Colour B. I just wish this were a lightweight paperback so I could throw it in my painting kit. Cherab
...This book confirmed for me what I was already discovering on my own in colour mixing of acrylic paints. It really is such a simple premise and easy to apply. It just makes sense and beautiful colours! Mrs Jekyll
...Don't let the title fool you, sometimes Yellow and Blue DO make Green (just like on Sesame Street and in that commercial for zip-locking plastic bags.) But depending on what paint pigment you use, yellow and blue can give you gray or some other shade. It's all to do with how the pigments are balanced (greenish, reddish, bluish) and how they reflect light in a mixture.
The book has you do a number of swatch painting exercises (for watercolour) and these are fun to do. The first involves using cerulean blue (a greenish blue) and cadmium red, a yellowish-red. You get shades of gray. Nice ones, mind you, but if you thought you'd get PURPLE from this mix, well, no way, Jose.
I did about 20 of the exercises and found it quite useful when I subsequently did a painting involving a lot of masonry in the picture. I used a limited paletted of cerulean, cadmium red and a brownish yellow and found I got a nice gray for the masonry, but the yellow (Nickel Azo Yellow) did NOT work well.
In summary, if you paint watercolor, this is an essential text to keep you learning about color mixing and what works, what doesn't. I highly recommend this to amateurs and experts alike. Joanna Daneman
...LOVE YOUR BOOK-- BLUE AND YELLOW. NEED TO STOP MIXING MUD!! L. Horvath