I receieved James Gurney's 'Color and Light' book yesterday. It's the follow up to his very successful 'Imaginative Realism' (which up until now had been firmly at the top of my art book collection – and I have a LOT of art books.
It now looks like 'Color and Light' is going to overtake his previous book and sit proudly at the top of the pile. (It's not really a pile – just a large section of my IKEA bookshelves).
James Gurney keeps a very regularly updated and informative blog
and if after my rambling review you fancy a copy, there are details there on how and where to get it.
Like his previous book this is just a goldmine of useful and very well presented information. He's not a digital artist – he works mainly in oils, but on every single page there's something to be learned. It's almost like an art cookbook in a way – Every section introduces something which leaves me thinking “I must try that soon.”
He talks about: Types of light (overcast, sunlight, candlelight to name but a few), light and form, types of shadows, a very informative chapter on colour, colour relationships, visual perception* (how all colour and value is relative as our brains take the raw info from our optics nerves and take shortcuts processing it).
That's just a fraction of the info in the book. Even sections that deal directly with real world media, stuff like colour mixing and pigments are interesting and probably useful for a digital as well as traditional artist. I'd recommend this book and it's predecesor to anyone interested in either making art or appreciating how others go about it – and at around 220 pages long it's well worth every penny.
* See here
for a great example of how visual perception or processed visual information differs dramatically from what our eyes are actually seeing.