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Not so colourful

Seeing and Learning: Colour, Age group: GCSE and A level, Colour slides and notes Pounds 19.95. Visual Publications, The Green, Northleach, Cheltenham GL54 3EX. Tel: 01451 860519.

Sometimes we fail to notice anything but local colour and certainly we often miss subtleties until an artist points them out to us in a painting. Our understanding of colour is limited, but to teach the theories and good application of colour is not always easy. This set of slides aims to redress that by providing a range of examples and exercises, complete with notes.

It is good to see the issue of colour being tackled and the basic framework is reasonable, with useful guidelines. But colour is an extremely exciting subject, and here it is dealt with in a somewhat pedestrian way. Some slides are simple colour exercises to copy, others just fail to be dynamic, with hardly a mention of real works of art only three paintings are shown in 36 slides. The adequate text hardly injects interest in the subject. The basics of colour theory are covered, but most teachers, when using this set of slides, would want to inject far more spirit into the presentation than is offered by the notes.

As a resource the slides are reasonable. They explain adequately the basics of colour theory, but basically, this is a missed opportunity: there are masses of examples of "real art" which could have been used to fire up a student's enthusiasm. One inherent advantage of slides is the possibility of inserting other material, so the problem can be redressed.

This is the first title in a new series aimed at GCSE and A Level students. Others will follow on Points and Dots, Lines and Area Division. This set has an almost vintage feel about it. I hope that the others have more life.

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