Limited Color Schemes

It is not uncommon in vintage children's books to see illustrations with a limited color palette. Done to save money on printing costs, it also made the job more challenging for the illustrator.  It's a testament to the skill of the artist when striking illustrations are produced under such confines. Here are several illustrations that in my opinion, fit the bill.

Click on the link under the images to go to my original post on each book for more images.

ABC de Puerto Rico

One of my favorite ABC books is ABC de Puerto Rico. I like the way that the limited color scheme is changed up, it keeps things fresh.

Frog Went a Courtin'

Feodor Rojankovsky, (say that three times fast) illustrator extraordinaire, made this illustration sing in green and black. :>) 
Joey and the Birthday Present

Evaline Ness chose a pink and brown color scheme for Joey and the Birthday Present with great results.

Finders Keepers

In Finders Keepers, illustrator Nicolas Mordvinoff does a tremendous job with the limited color scheme, making it feel like there are more colors then there actually are.

Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Leonard Weisgard was a master of limited color schemes and proves it in Hailstones and Halibut Bones, a book about colors.

The Lollipop Party

I think in my post I said The Lollipop Party was a mid century book, but it actually appears to be from the 70's. Brinton Turkle does a great job in this book with it's orange and brown color scheme.
The River Queen

Peter Burchard's illustrations in The River Queen are striking and
stunning and just plain great.


  1. Hailstones and Halibut Bones was a great favourite of mine, both for the ideas and for the images. I would love to see more of it again...
    PS I love your blog!!

  2. Thank you! You can click on the link underneath to go to the post to see more images.