Colour Analysis


When I was a kid I used to make sure my crayon or coloured pencils were rigidly arranged in colour order.

To establish and reinforce this order I developed a storyline about the colours and how they felt trapped in their colour hierarchy. (I had no racial or political agenda at the time, being only 8. I just preferred using the more cheerful colours rather than the dark ones.)

The bright colours vs the dark colours was a long drawn out family saga. Dark colours were the ‘bad’ family. The Spectras to the Forresters as it were.

Bright colours left, dark colours right.

Bright colours were arranged whites to light blue, Dark colours were arranged light greens to black.

White and Black were the high priests – The rulers of the colour box. The Light Yellows, Chromes and Oranges were young apprentices and gangly teens. VermillionRed and Pink were the girls. Red was a bit of a tomboy, Pink a shameless flirt. The Dark Blues were gossiping older women, the Purple was an imperious grand dame.

Because Light Green and Light Blue were on opposing sides, but happened to lie next to each other in the line up I made them have a very tumultuous love affair. This was the focus of the family drama.

Because I enjoy my flights of fantasy to have happy endings, I maneuvered the plot so unlike the highly unsatisfying Romeo and Juliet, L. Blue & L. Green hook up.

When I got bored, I made one of the Dark Blues elope and join the Browns. But I didn’t like the way dark blue looked, isolated with the brown colours, so I quickly divorced them. That plot line was going nowhere.

I have hardly altered my colour layout since I was 8. To this day I make sure L. Blue & L. Green are lying next to each other. They compliment each other rather well, besides.

I struggle with colour. Back in M.A. daysFoz and Gary, my then tutors and all round dictators, had to beat my ass down from stubbornly drawing only in black and white to using colour.

Now I can’t imagine just using monotones. Colour is fun even though I don’t have the natural skill some painters have: Gauguin, Rothko, Grayson Perry, The Dulux catalogue.

I think chrome yellow, my old school house colour is a great background colour. Very vibrant.

It took me a really long time to come around to the colour pink. I always resented that the coloured prescribed for girls was this tedious saccharine shade. I felt it was a colour being thrust upon me in order to oppress me. I didn’t want to identify with what was deemed stereotypical of the female sex. Softness, femininity and docility. Pink stood for all these things.

Lately I’ve enjoyed using hot pink. It’s a very strong colour to draw with. In a way more visually interesting than red, as long as it doesn’t get too pale.

While watching QI, my only source of information these days (BC’s have little interesting information) I learned that pink was originally (Victorian era) the colour for young boys while pale blue was for girls. Red was considered an aggressive, masculine colour, while blue was considered suitably calming for ’emotional’ females.

That flipped my idea of colour based gender stereotypes on its head.

I feel so M.A. now, after that in depth colour analysis based on fantasy and TV shows.

Jennifer Maestre Pencil Sculptures

Jennifer Maestre Pencil Sculptures

Peter Goldlust Carved Crayons

Peter Goldlust Carved Crayons

Dalton Ghetti, Pencil Alphabets. Carved Pencil Lead

Dalton Ghetti, Pencil Alphabets. Carved Pencil Lead

Felissimo, Flower Vase Display case.

Felissimo, Flower Vase Display case.

Felissimo Color Wave Display Case

Felissimo Color Wave Display Case

Felissimo Color Wave Display Case

Felissimo Color Wave Display Case

Felissimo Aurora Display Case

Felissimo Aurora Display Case

Felissimo is a Japanese company who’ve created 500 colour pencil shades + various beautiful ways to display them – Not just for colouring in folks.

I really want those display cases. Aurora is perhaps most practical as a wall hanging. The Wave display case however is rather intriguing for display possibilities. The pencils clip together individually so you can make any pattern you please.


8 thoughts on “Colour Analysis

  1. God I used to have so many boxes and tins of felt tip pens and colouring pencils and those funny colouring pencils that were kind of shit watercolours when you wet them, and crayons… And I too used to order them rigidly and make sure they were ALL sharpened with the Caran D’ache label or whatever brand they were facing upwards! You could’ve been a writer you know…!

  2. Ah Mam, my only commenter. I love getting comments. I was just thinking in fact, that i never get comments and it made me feel ‘sad-face emoticon’, and then I saw your comment and my brain turned into a happy-face emoticon.

    I wasn’t as fastidious about the label but i do feel crayon envy when i see a new box of pencils or crayons. Arn’t the felissimo displays AMAZING?? I so love the large wall one. So much crayon envy right now.

  3. Awe happy face and a half winky face that makes me look a bit like a special but please puppy.
    Drop hints to the ex that this would be an acceptable birthday/Christmas gift and that you fully expect a cake with icing too. Surely it’s your turn next!!
    I was obsessed with painting and colouring and general creating of things worthy of putting on the fridge/kitchen cupboards/ oven door. I kind of miss doing that now but I feel a bit daft sitting down and drawing something that has no end purpose or usage… Sigh…

  4. Jennifer’s pencil sculptures are amazing! Thanks for the share. Colour theory is hard enough without feuding families and forbidden love affairs. Very entertaining though XD

  5. I didn’t think anyone was as warped as I ! I have to say though, the colored pencil art has forever been an obsession! Lots of pencil hippy flowers in my archives. Could never help myself, had to play—-well geeez, they suck you in. they force creative mind spurts. it’s like a pencil purge thing.
    Love your blog! think I’ll hang around 😛

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