Colour my world

When I started wrapping, I went for colors I liked or colours that spoke to me. I didn’t study art at High School (it was economics, art or ancient history and economics won) or university ( where colour theory is not traditionally part of a law degree). I do know that colours impacts we humans mentally and physically and that  using colors harmoniously creates wrapping that pops. My daughter has a great eye for colour. Her advice, advice with which I am sure Shaynna Blaze would concur  – mum ….get your head around warm colours and cool colours. So on this 10 May I have and I did.

I should have realised colour theory is a whole area of study – including the universal question “what, indeed, is colour?” Crikey…I ‘ll have to work on my answer to that. I went back to the colour wheel also known as the colour circle. I was interested to know that the  first circular colour diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. My favourite explanation of this is a children’s cartoon – why not? It’s all learning. There’s also a more grown up version at ehullquist.

Obviously things have moved on a bit since Sir Isaac first got out the texta colours, but I feel safe in saying the most common version is a wheel of 12 colors based on the RYB (or artistic) colour model. I did learn in infants school that the primary colours are red, yellow and blue, the three secondary colours (green, orange and purple) are created by mixing two primary colors and that another six tertiary colours are created by mixing primary and secondary colors.

Color wheel


What about these warm and cool colours then? I learned there is no universally agreed-upon warmest or coolest colour but there is general consensus around approximately where “warmest” and “coolest” are found on the wheel. Artists and theorists seem to agree that the warmest colours is somewhere in the red-orange-yellow range and the coolest colours is somewhere in the green-blue-purple range. White, black and grey are considered to be neutrals. However you can get warm purples and cool yellows…..

I distilled it down to this.Warm colours are made with orange, red, yellow and combinations thereof. They tend to make you think of sunlight, fire and heat. They are the colours of heightened emotion, cheerfulness and comfort. Warm colours are active and jump into the foreground or advance as though they come closer.

Cool colours such as blue, green and light purple have the ability to calm, soothe and refresh. Think water, sky, an icescape or a lagoon. Cool colours look as though they are receding.

{ color sail } image via: @lisaridgelyphotography
Beautiful cool blues from my absolute favourite colour site Design Seeds

I suppose we all have a natural preference – warm or cool colours. After much self reflection, I think my preference today is for cool colours so my wrap features cool blue and ocean hints. Because I was so aware of it, it actually took me way longer than normal to choose the paper and the embellishments. I went for a a blue marble paper with a sandy starfishy accent. Are you feeling refreshed?  Cool ? Thoroughly soothed?



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