Monday, September 14, 2015

Color Week #1: Collections

I was at the home improvement store last week when I spotted these new paint sample folders from Sherwin Williams, who teamed up with HGTV to put together some neat color collections. I especially fell for the individual color paint chips, which are shaped like fat bookmarks and have a punch in one corner which you might use with a binder ring to keep a stack together.

Collecting colors in some fashion can help you improve your own descriptions when you're writing. Paint manufacturers invent some terrific names for their products that invoke a sensory connection to the shade, i.e. Brookside, Mint Sprig, Cabin Plank. You can almost hear the rushing water, taste the cool sharpness, feel the weathered wood of those colors -- not something that may happen when you default to the standard blue, green or brown. I find that when I study colors with inventive names I become more creative with describing them myself, too.

I think exploring color wakes up more of your storytelling side. I've talked about creating palettes for characters and stories, but I also use them for working out and enhancing my settings, and even creating a particular mood in a scene or a chapter. Learning more about color psychology can help you understand how assigning a particular color or palette to a story element can affect the element, but I think once you start working with color and storytelling this tends to evolve naturally as well.

This week I'll be showing you various ways to think about color, use it to inspire your creativity, and incorporate more of it in your writing. I'm also putting together a color collection notebook to help anyone create, find and save color combinations for future reference, so stop in when you have a chance.


  1. Fun! Can't wait. Since we recently moved into an older house, I collect a lot of 'chips' because we were painting rooms. Can't wait to see a color collection notebook.

  2. (Happily setting up lawn chair & waiting with, pale Bazooka-colored lemonade...)