513 Paint Blog

A Deep Dive Into Colours

1) Yellow and Red

Have you ever wondered how colours can affect our appetite? What colours do you think make you excited and crave for food? We may experience such colour theory in our daily lives regularly, but we don’t pay too much attention to them.

Let’s do a small experiment first. In the following pictures, which one looks more appetising to you? 

I bet you'll choose the yellow and red one! This is what most people think. Scientists who study psychology believe that colours influence our feelings and emotions, and that yellow and red have the potential to induce feelings of hunger..

Think about the logo and interior of popular fast food restaurants, what colours do they use in common? 

That's right! Yellow and red. As a lot of fast food use ketchup and mustard as their main condiments, these colours naturally make our mouths water. Moreover, red stimulates our brain and evokes excitement, while yellow reminds us of happiness and youthfulness. Overall giving an uplifting atmosphere. Hence, this so-called “Ketchup and Mustard” theory is used throughout most fast food chains.


2) Pink

What does pink remind you of? Perhaps cotton candy? Peaches? Maybe flowers, like sakura? These things are often associated with femininity. But have you wondered how and when did pink become a colour assigned to girls?

Back in the 18th century, pink was a gender neutral colour used for both boys and girls clothing. It is also a colour of luxury and elegance, considered fashionable and popular among the European aristocrats. The colour was also seen as having masculine undertones since pink is a lighter shade of the red military uniform, opposite to today’s assumption.

When the second world war ended, there was a need to re-feminise women after they replaced men in the workforce during the war. Advertisers then promoted gender stereotypes by assigning different colours to different gender. Many historians stated that in 1953, when Mamie Eisenhower, the then First Lady, arrived at the presidential inaugural ball in a pink gown, and a high-profile woman wearing pink was all the advertisers needed to market pink as a feminine colour.

Around the 1980s, there was an increased popularity for gender-coded baby clothes, blue for boys and pink for girls. As the technology for identifying fetuses' sex becomes widespread, it has become a trend for parents to prepare for their children’s birth according to their gender. This phenomenon had lasting effects that until now pink is still considered a girl’s colour.

Due to the stereotypical association between pink and femininity, there are now places that utilize the trait "pink equals femininity," such as the Grovetown Jail in Columbia County. They dress their inmates in Baker Miller pink or cooling pink, by doing so they hope to emasculate and humiliate the males and thus better control the male inmates.


3) Blue

Have you ever wondered...

Why is the sea blue?
Or let's say, why does the ocean appear to be blue?
Why not green, or yellowish?

It's because of the absorption and scattering of light!

When sunlight enters the atmosphere, it contains all the colours of the spectrum, but as it passes through the air, shorter wavelengths of blue light are scattered more than longer wavelengths of light (such as red, orange, and yellow). This gives the water a blue colour, similar to the sky's blue colour.

This effect is due to light refraction, whereby the ocean absorbs light from the sky and scatters blue wavelengths of light.

But in reality, clean water is just transparent and colourless.
It is the refraction of light that gives water its (blue) colour.

And now you know! It's not because the fishes go blu blu blu~


4) Purple

Has it ever crossed your mind…
Why is the colour purple considered ‘royal’?

Or even, why did the queen always wear purple back then?

Purple was once the most expensive colour in the world as it is not commonly found in nature. In ancient times, the dye to create purple came from a small trading city called Tyre, which is now modern-day Lebanon. The process of creating the dye was so difficult and time-consuming that only wealthy rulers and the upper class could afford to wear it.

Over time, people have come to associate purple with royalty. And rulers wore purple robes and used purple ink to sign their edicts, symbolizing their wealth, power, and nobility.

The photo below shows Queen Elizabeth wearing a purple outfit for the commissioning ceremony.

Despite its exclusivity, purple also came to represent spirituality and holiness. The ancient rulers who wore purple were often thought of as descendants of the gods or being gods themselves, which imbued the colour with a sense of sacredness.

Today, purple is still associated with wisdom, power, and luxury. It is often used in religious art to symbolize holiness and divine presence. In fact, artists commissioned by the Catholic Church have long depicted Jesus and the Virgin Mary in purple robes.

And now you know why purple became the colour of royalty.

And now we have finally reached to our destination after deep diving into multiple colours at once! Colour theory could be slightly confusing at first, but it is undoubtedly one of the most wonderful collections invented in the world of visual arts. If you wish to learn more about colours, or even paint finishes to brighten up the mood of your interiors, be sure to follow us and stay tuned for more!

Aug 29, 2023

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