I’m writing this with a red pen, which seems appropriate since this article is about the color RED. Probably my favorite color, at least this week, I feel qualified on the subject as people are always talking to me about my colors. As a colorist, who has studied color in depth, I have become somewhat of an authority on color and by extension, on red.
From a technical standpoint, red is a primary color (along with yellow and blue), meaning that it cannot be made through the mixing other colors but rather can be used to mix an infinity of colors, including purple, orange, brown, magenta, lavender, etc. Considered a warm color because of its association with heat, red can generate a sense of warmth, embracing and calm. Others find it energizing, volatile, exciting and, at times, representative of anger. We say we are “in the pink” or “seeing red” with fury. So having red (or shades of) in your life can be a powerful thing.
This came up when I was sharing some new work at my artist group. A musician friend came up and said “I really love your red paintings; they make me feel so calm, I’d love to own one.” I was certainly pleased that she felt that way but was taken aback that she called it a red painting. Yes, it did have a lot of red elements but the background was all yellow and as well as some lavender. But there it was, a red painting – red dominates the space.
What effect does RED have on you?