Crafts!, Inspiration

Color Lesson #6

I was feeling inspired by color this morning… Always am – Right? (Just take a look back at Lessons #1, #2, #3, #4 or #5!)

I think the colors of Independence Day inspired me to think bright and electric colors. Does color really get any better than bright fireworks shooting into the black sky?

photo courtesy:
photo courtesy:

Our family watched the fireworks from the coast in Newport Beach. We were able to sit on the rooftop deck of a neighbor’s home. At one point we saw six firework shows in various parts of the night sky. We identified the colors even when they were as far away as 15 miles or so. It’s that strong contrast of bright colors, the movement of color and the black background that helps to see the shapes and movement of this display of lights and colors.


Bright colors are also called saturated colors. They are literally saturated in color – colors that have no gray in them what so ever. These pure colors are referred to as prismatic color, or the colors of the rainbow.

A little science lesson will help out at this point.

photo courtesy:
photo courtesy:

We all know that when the sun comes peeking out from behind a cloud in the sky after a rainfall we might have the opportunity to see a rainbow. This rainbow is a mix of water and sunlight. This mix of elements creates the prismatic colors.

When we see colors as pure as the saturated blues and reds against the black sky we are able to see the shape and the intricate details created by the pyro-technician and his/her vision for these bursts of light. It fascinates me that these clever light shows are so exciting with the use of color and movement. I was really inspired by the white fireworks that seemed to have so many intricate details – they looked like budding hydrangeas!

When we use saturated colors in our everyday life, we see how we don’t need a lot of these bold bright colors to make a big statement in any room in our home. These colors literally demand attention as they bounce off of most background colors.

Often when I am working with a client I find that the color palette they present to me is a series of bright or saturated colors. They like to show me 5-6 saturated colors as their color choices. I am able to distinguish that this person loves color; that they have no fear of color. It is my job to perhaps gray these colors down just a bit to create a comfortable yet happy environment using their color choices-but with a lot less brightness to it.

When we gray a color down we are muting these colors. This correct formula of gray and saturated color makes a color that still appears happy and bright but is a color that will be a lot easier to live in and to enjoy for a longer period of time.

There is nothing serious about saturated color. Think of all the uses of bright colors in the market place and in fashion. On their own these colors often create a whimsical, playful and energetic feeling.

Take the time to notice what happens to these same colors when we display them on a dark background like navy blue or black. These saturated colors are taken more seriously and actually create a regal and perhaps elegant emotion. Some of the greatest marketing is created with these saturated colors.

I’ll leave you in the spirit of the Independence Day, and the blessings of living in such a great country. Continue to enjoy the colors around you and keep up with the inspiration journals!


4 thoughts on “Color Lesson #6

  1. Thank you so much for this fun and educational post about color. I’ve been wanting to do more research about color lately with in my graphic design. It’s fun to find different color palettes that go well together. Do you have any sites you made or use to go to when looking for good and sometimes more unique combinations? Thanks!

  2. I would love to add color to our walls in our house. My favorite combination is in a commercial. The husband and wife use turquoise and purple in dark shades in one room. I love it! I have the same question as Tiana 🙂

    1. We do have a few sources, I’ll put them together for you. Mostly we rely on our Interior Design training and general rules of color theory.

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