Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Describing Colors
just found this really neat list of mostly obscure colour words, it was helpful for me in finally coming up with the right shade of brown i was trying to describe. thought it might be helpful to others!
This is a pretty cool list, and it would be especially helpful for anyone who’s writing an artist or a fashion/interior designer — characters who definitely know their colors and might use some of the more known from the list (like terracotta, mauve, ochre, etc.).

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that colors referred to by their name can be tantamount to medical terminology. Without unpacking, readers might not know what an electrocardiogram is or what it does, and the same goes for words like croceate, griseous, or mazarine.

Even the more known colors like terracotta (which Crayola taught me when I got the big boxes), only have as much significance as the writer gives it.
“Her skin was terracotta.”
“Her skin was the color of the clay earth in New Mexico when the sun set and the ground caught fire.”
Sometimes simply terracotta is perfectly necessary, sometimes it’s all that’s needed, but sometimes describing the color instead of giving it away is a chance to breathe life into a simple word.

Thanks for the link!

(cross-posted from KSW on Tumblr)

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