Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Color Symbolism In Writing

Have you been feeling blue? Yellow bellied? Red-faced? Green with envy?

While these examples are cliché, using color to describe characters and the world around them is almost mandatory for a writer. But finding new and innovative ways to use color in writing is a challenge.

There are three primary colors of light. They are red, green, blue. These three colors create every other color in the light spectrum.

Similarly pigment also has three primary colors – red, yellow and blue – which create every color in the spectrum.

The major difference between pigment and light is this: In light, all the colors together create white but in pigment all the colors together create black. In light, black is the absence of any color where in pigment white is the absence of any color.
They are mirror images of one another.

Color Symbolism
Red Excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, aggression, all things intense and passionate.
Yellow Joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard.
Blue Peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, depression, appetite suppressant.
Orange Energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention.
Green Nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.
Purple Royalty, spirituality, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning.
Gray Security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring
Brown Earth, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity, and comfort.
White Reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.
Black Power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, good technical color, mourning, death (Western cultures).

Here is a great website with interesting and helpful information. Everything you ever wanted to know about color and more.

How do you use color in your writing?

Casea Major is a writer of contempory, erotic and fantasy romance. Her Humors Short Erotic Pinocchio Syndrome is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all major retailers.


mirriamsmyth said...

Wow, I never looked at colors like that. Beyond red and black, I mean, colors in writing never held any significance for me. Thanks for sharing :)

Brenda said...

Excellent post!
Very informative--and pretty, LOL.

Jenna said...

Love this post! And my two cents worth: in the Renaissance orange was the color of jealousy. In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare writes "Seville is an orange and something of that jealous complexion."

Great post Casea! Lots of food for thought.

D'Ann said...

Super post!

I always blend colors into my stories. It is very important symbolically in almost every story I write.

Lisa Kumar said...

Love this post. In one of my psych. classes, I remember learning about how colors effect out moods. Denim blue is the color for good mental health or so one my bosses always said.

Sheri Fredricks said...

This really makes sense. I'm going to look into this further. Thanks Casea!

Martha Ramirez said...

This is my kind of post! Love it!

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Until now I didn't use it with meaning! This is a wonderful post. Thanks so much for this new tool! I try to use the five senses, but never thought of using color to enhance my writing.
Great post!