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This is a great instructional book for anyone wanting to learn color theory and the New England Impressionist's School method of painting. I've read other books that have covered this method, but this author has expanded it to cover a range of mediums... including acrylics, which is my preference. Best of all, she goes into depth on how to get a painting started in this style, which was something that had me scratching my head and wondering about...before I read this book. Everything is explained in bite-sized pieces, and each bit of info you learn expands upon what you've already read. This book makes me want to try oils again to see the difference in effect. To test what I learned, I painted an 11"x14" acrylic landscape that I included a pic of with my review.
This book is ok at explaining one way to think about color. It is padded to reach book length with a lot of elementary material. Much of the student work is mediocre. The author ends the book with her unexciting cat paintings. Some of the color diagrams / charts of mixtures, are not accompanied by all the pigments / paints used. On the plus side there are enough examples to show how the method works, and some are quite nice. So one can use the book as an inspiration to make some new experiments. There is no info on which paints are fugitive and which lightfast, This info can be found online. These are my first impressions
Just a few flips through this book and it's clear Julie Hanson is an accomplished, award-winning artist/painter. Still, not all able artists can teach — and Julie Hanson is a gifted and inspiring teacher. In Fire & Light, she shares her unique method of understanding how color works... and how it can work against even the most accomplished artist who doesn't fully understand color. This book has something of great value to offer to both the new painter and the seasoned artist.
Julie explains in detail and with exercises how each color has a specific"job” to do. And she teaches you, step-by-step, how to implement the use of full color to develop form in your painting process.
The Julie Hanson method places both color and light at the very center, i.e., these elements become the most important features of painting. Value and tone are not lost but they take a back seat to color. Color and light become the lead players.
She explains this process in plain-speak, making it easy for any novice to understand. Still, she does not in any way dumb it down to the more seasoned student. Both will find great value in her teaching.
It is important to note that while there is a definite method to her system, it is hardly a “paint by numbers” approach. Julie’s understanding of color will only enhance your very individual style and offer you new pathways for creative growth. If you doubt this, there are clear examples within the book that illustrate how her students have applied her exciting technique while maintaining their creative identities.
I would encourage all lovers of color — from the most timid beginner to the very accomplished fine artist — to explore Julie Hanson’s exciting insight into understanding the world and the life of color and light. It will not fail you.
Ms Hanson shares a wealth of information in this book. I have taught art workshops for years and she breaks this down very simply and goes into detail the use of color temperature and it’s value relations. For a beginner that wants to push themself to grow in their color theory knowledge I would highly recommend this book. For the intermediate to advanced painter she gives helpful insights as how to push yourself to a new level of painting with color use. How to see color in a different way. Color is a science, especially how the pigment properties of paints make a huge difference in how they paint. Bravo Ms Hanson for a book well written.
This is a beautiful book, well written, and lovely artwork. I appreciate the stages of the art by the author and two other talented artists to compare styles. Julie's style is my style, but she makes it look wonderful as I'm still practicing. Thank you, Julie, for this book that I can really sink my teeth into.!
As soon as I opened the book I was struck by the lack of harmony in the colors that were chosen to be used together. I realize everyone sees color somewhat differently, but some of the paintings literally hurt my eyes when I looked at them. I am in my 60's and have been this way since a young child. I figured something was wrong with me and I just had to live with it. About 10 years ago I met an interior decorator, and while discussing color she told me she has the same anomaly as I have.She explained it like this: there are people with perfect pitch [one of my daughters] ant that the way she and I see color is like that. finally an answer!
This book was a lot more useful than many art books I've read. I'm just a recent painter, but I was able to put this into practice. It can be a little too detailed if you want to commit it to memory (speaking as someone with a crappy memory), but, that's what cheat sheets are for.