Monday, February 11, 2008
Book Review: Seeing and Painting the Colors of Nature
At the library I recently picked up Seeing and Painting the Colors of Nature by Joseph and Gloria Dawley. I've really wanted to find a book to help learn how to see colors, so I had high hopes for this one.
To be honest, I think it is rather misnamed, but on to that in a moment. It's an inspiring story, Mr. Dawley was a realist painter who when diagnosed with Parkinson's disease became an impressionist painter (after his wife's urging him to paint.) His work is lovely in either stage and there are lots of examples in this book. It has made me think about what I would do if my body could no longer function as I wanted it to, would I give up art all together or find a way to make it work? What would you do?
He has many standard sections on painting, composition, improving photographs, brush strokes, figures, creating depth etc. However, he doesn't seem to really cover how to see colors. There is a blurb on the back that says you should take what's there and then play around to find what works. That may be the best way to learn, but if so, why write the whole book?
So, I'd say it's an interesting take on painting, with a bit of inspiration thrown in, however, it is not really about learning to see color. The Amazon reviewers both liked it, but I'd say two or three pencils out of five.