James Gurney's blog and Jeanne Dobie's "Making Color Sing"

I had hoped to be writing more about color but, alas, I don't have as much time to paint as I'd like and I'd like to have at least a few paintings totally done before I write more about color, because although I've read a lot about color and learned a lot, I'd like to be able to know for sure that my advice will lead to a decent result.

In the meantime, there are other people who actually are very knowledgeable painters that share their knowledge, especially James Gurney, creator of "Dinotopia". He has a great blog called "Gurney Journey" where he talks about color, painting and illustration in a very easy-to-understand and straightforward way.

If that weren't enough, he has a book coming out soon called "Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter". He's already written one that is really good that's mostly about how to help yourself visualize and paint things that don't really exist (I think you can see a lot of it at Google books - I checked it out there before I bought it). It's called "Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist".

Anyway I hope to share more soon but, like I said, I'd like to be able to show some tangible results before talking about how I got there. There are a lot of other resources I have found helpful as well, and I will mention them soon, but I am finding that there is no one resource that I find completely helpful one hundred percent. I am learning a lot by trial-and-error and, although it's great to read what works for others, I am finding that what works for me is usually not the same technique that other people find works for them. So as you read anyone's advice about painting (or drawing, or anything) use it as a measure against what you do, and take what you can from them that helps improve your work. But where their method doesn't help you, and seems to hold you back, always retain the ability to experiment and make your own mistakes and discoveries.

For example, I have really gotten a lot out of Jeanne Dobie's book "Making Color Sing", which is wonderfully short and clearly written, full of great advice about watercolor painting. In the book, she recommends a very limited palette of colors, and I was very grateful to have some direction on what colors to use at first. But as I worked with her palette of paint colors, I found they didn't give me the results I was looking for, and I am trying a different approach these days...which I will hopefully share soon, or if I find that that approach doesn't work, I will keep looking until I find one that works! And once I have one that works, I will let you know what I have learned. I just don't want to share until I feel more confident about my method.

But I never would have found my way without Jeanne's book to guide me along and I definitely recommend it and I will talk more about what I got out of it soon. There are other books I have found helpful and I will share more about them as I keep going (and keep discovering more books too).