Today, I want to share my review of Colors A Workbook, by Amy Lindenberger.
I don’t often review new products. So many new tools and products enter the market every week that it wouldn’t take long for this blog to become a product review blog if I tried to review everything.
Ann Kullberg released a new book May 1 that I wanted the moment I saw it. I bought it the same day.
Before I begin the review, however, I need to issue a caveat or two.
Caveat #1: Colors – A Workbook is not a casual read. Yes, you can pick up a few things just by reading it, but you will not get full benefit from just reading.
Author Amy Lindenberger has designed several exercises to download and do (that’s why this book is called a workbook.) One of two exercises are fairly easy. The rest are more in-depth.
Caveat #2: This book is designed for artists serious about learning how to choose colors. Every subject. Every brand of pencil. Exercises include a color wheel, blending bars, and drawing projects.
No hand holding involved! The author designed each exercise for a specific purpose. Give them the same attention you give regular drawing projects, and by the time you finish, you won’t have to ask someone else which colors to use.
Now for my review!
My Review of Colors A Workbook
Long-time artist Amy Lindenberger has several tutorials published by Ann Kullberg, so you may already be familiar with her work. In addition, she also teaches in person, so it’s possible you’ve attended one of her classes or workshops.
Having said that, this book is not a tutorial in the traditional sense. It’s very in-depth. Amy covers many general color-related topics beginning with color perception and the basics of color theory.
She also designed drawing exercises that walk you through basic color mixing. And I do mean color mixing. Students start with three colors—the primaries—and graduate to a total of twelve colors. You complete every exercise in the book except for the first two with twelve colors.
You need only three colors for the first two exercises.
My Experience So Far
I say “so far,” because although I bought the book the day it was released, I ‘m still reading it. Quite frankly, it’s taken nearly two weeks to finish the color wheel.
That in no way reflects on my level of interest in the book or the exercises. It’s just that there’s no way to rush through the material or the exercises and do a good job.
The first exercise is probably the easiest one in the book. Making color isolation cards. Basically, punching two holes in a small piece of medium gray paper (I used Canson Mi-Teintes Steel Grey.) My color isolation card is shown here.
The next exercise is a color wheel, which you can download and print on Bristol (Amy’s recommendation) or printer paper. I spent at least an hour on my color wheel to reach the point below, just to show you this is no fast exercise.
I finished the color wheel in eight days.
Granted, I try to give at least half an hour a day to drawing, but don’t always succeed. Artists with more time to draw will finish more quickly.
Colors A Workbook includes practical drawing exercises in addition to exercises in which students create their own drawing tools.
These pages show one of these projects, a collection of colored eggs, but students also draw cherries and pears.
The Bottom Line in My Review of Colors A Workbook
Colors – A Workbook is 80 pages in length and stuffed full of encouragement as well as instruction. It’s available in print format or as a PDF download.
The individual exercises are also available for download and I highly recommend them.
In fact, I highly recommend this book. The content and drawing exercises benefit every artist willing to treat them like a course, no matter your level.
After all, if I can learn more about color matching, mixing and selection after over 20 years of using colored pencils, you can too!
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I also bought this book when it first came out as I really wanted more knowledge in color picking. I started just reading the book but have now gone back and am working thru it doing the exercises. It’s fantastic so far! I am on the color wheel exercise. Some of this is review but I know that will create a foundation for everything else. Thank you for the review…. I liked reading that too. 🙂
I’ve been an artist all my life (I’ll be 61 this week,) and I thought I knew about color wheels and layering. I did know a few things, but this book has revealed just how much I still have to learn. I’m up to the blending bars, now. The exercises so far have been studies in deliberation. I’ve been working on slowly down and also practicing scumbling. Two things I’ve needed for a long time!
Well Carrie, I need some of the practice too on scrambling. BTW…I turned 59 last month so we are near the same age.
Happy belated birthday, then!
The computer auto corrected scrumbling and put scrambling…ugg!
LOL, that’s why I usually turn off the auto-correct.
Carrie, I also purchased this book. For the first time, I feel like I “get” it. I am working through the exercises, but I read it all first. This made value and intensity very clear to me. I understood value in graphite, but could not get the hang of it in colors. This will do a lot for my abiity to “pick” the right color. That was my biggest issue. I am so excited!
Excellent, Lori, and thank you for sharing.
I usually like to read through something first, then do the exercises, but I was so interested in Amy’s exercises, that I read about the first exercise, then did that before moving on to the next.
Well I might just have to download that book and get me some of this training I desperately need [being just a little color blind myself]. And by the way, young ladies—–I’m 66 years old. LOL
The book is a very good one. I have loved doing the drawing exercises, and have also learned a lot about color mixing, layering, and scumbling. I’ve been at this art business for over 40 years, so there’s something to learn for every one!
By the way, Richard, I’m not that far behind you in age. I turned 61 this year!
I absolutely love this book. If I had only one complaint, it would be the jumping around and that is only because I struggle learning that way. For instance, the cherries. I struggled retaining the information because of the jumping around between the cherries and leaves. I do wish you could have worked on one at a time. I will probably do that one again. Otherwise, this books is amazing and truly one if a kind. I learned a lot I can take with me along my new journey of art.
I’m glad you found the book useful and helpful.
However, I did not write the book; I only reviewed it. But your point is taken. Every artist works in a different way. Some of us work through an entire piece, completing it as a whole. Others finish one section, and then move on to the next section.
If you do the cherries exercise again, you might try doing one cherry to completion following Amy’s instructions. You’d have to find each of the steps for that part of the drawing as described in the book, but I think it could be done.
Thank you for reading my review of Amy’s book, and for taking the time to leave a comment.