I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.
One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow. Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.
So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names in the world, so, this is just to get you started.
Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!
Ingrid, this is so funny. Last week on my blog I wrote about how I keep a copy of the Farrow & Ball colour chart near my desk because I love the names it gives the colours! Off to share.
This comes at the perfect moment. Thank you.
Thanks! So fun to have this 🙂
Wow, Ingrid! This is great!!
Thank you, Ingrid!!! I needed this for the poetry I’ve been writing lately.
Ingrid, you are an endless fount of inspiration. Thank you for this wonderful tool.
I’m glad you all are finding this helpful! 🙂 It was fun to make. And I know I’ll be using it over and over and over!
This is fantastic. Saving, sharing, adoring.
Thanks for sharing, Jim! 🙂
Oh, this is fun. My only complaint is that you don’t have Lincoln green. 😉
Ellar, I don’t know Lincoln green. Must look up…
What about Lothlórien Green?
I love how it’s so visual as well as literary…
Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
I wonder when referring to banana yellow, is it the peel or the flesh?
Wow this is very helpful and I think I will refer back to this. It reminds me of something I wrote called Kingdoms. Maybe you’d like to check it out. http://interopia.com/writings/kingdoms/ I think you’ll see the connection soon enough! :))
Reblogged this on a3lalala and commented:
The colours names!!!
Arctic might be better if changed to Cyan.
Yes, cyan would also work for that color. But arctic could be a more evocative word, depending on the context of the sentence and story. The point of this color thesaurus wasn’t to 100% match the word with the color, so much as explore different evocative and sensual word choices that push past one’s first word choice of blue.
Perfect! hope you don’t mind if I reblog.
Reblogged this on Journey Taker and commented:
Perfect inspiration for writing about color!
Although I like the idea of merigold – merry and gold. 🙂
I just love this! I am a Makeup Artist obsessed with Color Theory, so this just lit my fire!
Thank you so much. I shared it in Social Media with links to your blog. 🙂
Imma leave a comment here so I can come back and look at this whenever I want.
There are two colors named “Sangria”: one in the red group and the second one in the purple group.
Sangria comes in different colors depending on the wine you add to it! 🙂 Yum… I want Sangria now.
Reblogged this on My Passion's Pen.
Reblogged this on Sarvodaya and commented:
The nuances of color are as fascinating as they are practical. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or just someone who enjoys word collecting, this is great to have on hand.
I appreciation for word list also. I have large notebooks filled with them. Thank you for sharing your color list. It will come in very handy.
You have my favorite color in your hair, purple. I think people look outstandingly with unusual hair colors. Don’t change it because it makes you look unique.
Hi John, My hair changes color every month or so. The dye I use washes out, so it’s always transforming!
So useful, thank you 🙂
I can’t thank you enough for sharing these. These would be excellent printed and hung on the wall besides my story board. I thank you, and my readers thank you. 😉
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Just saw this – thanks! It will certainly help me name colours of my hand dyed yarns, when writing descriptions for Etsy! .
Wow! I love this list! Thank you for putting that together.
Very helpful for us RPG dungeon masters. Ease the descriptions!
THanks a lot!
This is great thanks for sharing. 🙂
This is fantastic! Kids often don’t know what a color word means, so this would be great to help them use color words more precisely in their writing. The only one that threw me was sapphire, which is my birthstone. I always associated it with a deep, cool blue instead of the more tealish color on the chart.
Thanks again for a great resource. Pinning for sure!
I think I drooled a little.
I love love love the names of those colours. What a great resource!
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Keep on the fine work
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Oh, wow, these charts are incredibly helpful. I prefer writing in English, but it is not my native language … So even though my vocabulary has grown leaps and bounds since I started writing in English, every now and then I struggle a little when it comes to descriptions. Thank you so much for creating and sharing these!
This is very helpful. Thanks Xx
Fantastic work, Ingrid. Thank you. Hope you don’t mind me copying it over here http://penhire.blogspot.ie/2014/09/the-colour-thesaurus.html
Thank you very much for this, our daughter has difficulties with imagery – this will definitely be a joy for her to learn that she can always place a name to a color and bank it into her memory.
This is wonderful, Ingrid! I have shared it on Facebook and would like to use it on my blog (with proper attribution, of course). If you want to check it out before you give your permission, it is at http://www/rafevincennes.com. I think I will use this many times.
Ingrid, just discovered this and appreciate this information. I have posted it on my Pinterest Home Staging board (www.pinterest.com/palmbeachliving) and on Google+. Thanks for writing about this and creating this information. Eileen
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Where can I get one? A book or a poster?
Lara, This is just something I made for fun. So there’s no book or poster. But you could print this out and put it on your wall! 🙂
Was just pointed to this and …. Wow! I was compelled to look for one of my favorite colors since I was a kid — and there it was. Magenta, the word, on Magenta the color, not on some other bright pinky red that is *not* the color I love.
Interestingly, HTML often uses different colors for these words. http://www.workwithcolor.com/color-chart-full-01.htm
John! I love this link. Thank you for sharing more great color names. An naming is always subjective. Plus we all see color differently due to our color acuity. So what I see as pink, you might see a peach. But I adore this link!
Hi Ingrid, Brilliant work! Do you actually have the RGB-values of the colours you named?
Hi Erik, I don’t have the RGB values. But a designer has contacted me an is making a hex-value version of this thesaurus for designers. I’ll share the info when it’s up.
Hey, Ingrid has the hex version of this been released? If not would you mind if I use this for my web design site. Thank you!!
This is excellent! 😀
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Reblogged this on Monsterland and commented:
I am sharing a Color Thesaurus. It could be useful.
Great work with very sensitive literacy sens.
Maybe you know one of your illustre predecessor ? =>
Lovely. I disagreed with some of the names. But lovely anyway. I’m guessing no two people who really love colour would totally agree on what each could be called.
Black was interesting because I could only differentiate a few of them. And I thought this must be how men perceive colours…
Reblogged this on thedigitaltext and commented:
a colour chart for our TEI exploration of J. Alfred Prufrock
Reblogged this on ThinkingSkull.com and commented:
Color is important to a physical description, but here’s a few suggestions that go beyond Roy G. Biv to provide for a particular hue with a single word.
This is great! Thanks for sharing this. I can see myself coming back to this resource often 🙂
Hi Ingrid, this is really useful, thank you! I’ve shared this on my blog and credited the images to you.
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Shared the link with some people I thought would like it as much as I did.
I love this! I’m an artist whose work primarily deals with color. Have you thought about turning this concept into a poster? If you make a poster, please let me know. I’d likely buy one to put in a child’s room. Nice concept!
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I have a five year old who wants to become a “book writer” and is in love with her thesaurus. I am going to print these off so she can save them to memory. Cheers!
Reblogged this on Kicking the Pants and commented:
Here’s a handy little thing!
Just discovered this. Thank you so much for this resource! I’ve stared too long at colors from google images trying to figure out names of shades… this is so much simpler, and evocative.
Yay, I was thinking about making something like this to help me in my blogging; you saved me a ton of work! Thanks, and keep it up!
Thank you! It’s useful, and playful and I love the names you’ve chosen.
Love this so much, Ingrid! Thank you.
Reblogged this on Further Annotations and commented:
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WOW – special to me!! I LOVE Colours!! THANKS a lot!!
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This is great – what a helpful tool for writers! I’ve bookmarked it and shared the link on my book blog. Well done!
Thanks!This is great!
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thank you! bookmarking this page.
I would absolutely LOVE to purchase this in book-form!
I love this! It’s so satisfying on a design level & a word level. I just tweeted the link from hipstr news.
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Reblogged this on openmindamerica and commented:
Writers paint with words. Here are all the colors in words. Terrific!
Why thank you Ingrid, this helped me loads when completing my English Essay!
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Reblogged this on Writers: Working with Louise Cusack and commented:
This Color Thesaurus is a fabulous resource for writers. I was inspired with fantasy ideas just looking at it!
no turquoise? showed my daughter and her favorite color missing!
Pure genius, Ingrid! Thank you so much for this handy tool.
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Why is Jade an off-black when it’s more mid-green in tone? (Google ‘jade’ and you’ll see right away what I mean)
Jade is a stone that comes in many colors (yes, green is the most prominent). But it also comes in black, white, blue, purple, and red as well. You’re right, most people will associate jade with green. However, my personal association with jade is a black color (and this is a subjective color thesaurus). I used to love looking at the ancient Chinese sculptures made of black jade at the museum near the art school I went to.
Ah, fair enough. I was thinking of it from the perspective of writing for someone else, so I was thinking colour names rather than what jade actually is.
This is amaaaaazing! Officially part of my reference library!! Seriously, such a creative idea, beautifully executed.
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lately, i have been falling in love with color. so, this is super cool resource 🙂 thanks so much!
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Reblogged this on Evelyn Isaacks and commented:
This is such a lovely thesaurus of color! It makes me think of other ways to express these colors too. So helpful!
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Thank you for sharing! This is great! Just a heads-up, though – “parmesan” is misspelled as “parmesean.”
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Just put a link to this on my blog – brilliant for communicating colour ideas!
Ahhh! This is the exact thing I never realized I always needed! Game changer…thank you!!
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Reblogged this on Pen Paper and IT and commented:
Your thesaurus is a work of art in itself.
Thanks a lot. Here, in Brazil, we use so many expressions for colors that sometimes we forget their official names.
Hello, thank you for sharing. I took the liberty of linking to this post on a French quilters forum (we love colours too!). I hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know and I’l remove it. Beatrice.
I found this post after it was suggested to me by a friend when I confessed to having some difficulty with my color-themed naming scheme for a certain story I’m working on, and I find it write helpful for me. I’ve even bookmarked it for any future color problems I may have!
I noticed, though, that there was a color missing from either the red or purple charts (really, it could fit into either).
Therefore, if it doesn’t trouble you, I believe I’ve got a color that you may or may not know for if you update this list in the future:
Carmine, a shade of dark red with purple undertones typically used to describe the color of blood.
I used carmine as the family name of a protagonist of mine who hails from royal lineage, because I thought it worked really well in that regard.
So, there you go. Provide some useful info for me, and I give (maybe) useful info back in return.
Thanks, and best regards,
Reblogged this on Repository of my past writings.
A post as colourful as it is helpful! Thank you.
This is lovely and so tremendously helpful…but isn’t jade a shade of green (not black)? Ex: Jade dragons, pendants, etc.?
Jade is primarily green, yes. But Jade it is a stone that also comes in many colors including black.
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slate blue slate grey?
Reblogged this on wannchon and commented:
Thank you! This is so helpful!
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Someone just shared this on Twitter – and I LOVE it! Thank you for going through the time and effort to make this gem. 🙂 *bookmarks*
Thank you so much for creating this! I have felt self-conscious about not knowing the differences between some of these my entire life. You are freeing the straight male! 🙂
very beautiful and helpful charts which reminded me The Mysterious Power of Red Color that I hope you will find very interesting 🙂 Colors Indeed are fascinating elements of human behavior.
Reblogged this on The Well-Rounded Writer.
Reblogged this on "Poetry Soul Closet" and commented:
The Color Thesaurus – Ingrid Sundberg
very grateful … God bless you,
Reblogged this on Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog and commented:
Found this recently while I was looking for websites and articles about describing colors – and I knew I had to share it ! I hope other writers out there find this as helpful and creatively stimulating as I did. 🙂
I can’t describe in words how awesome this is. Thanks for sharing!
Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
An awesome resource for all authors!
We “paint pictures” with words don’t we? 🙂 Consider this blog as “followed.”
Reblogged this on chrismcmullen and commented:
Wow. When I clicked the link, it was far more impressive than I was expecting. It’s amazingly comprehensive and useful, and the further you scroll down the more of a visual treat it becomes. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂
Thank you for this. Probably do need to expand my colour descriptions. That said, I wrote a post which referred to Australia’s Dame Edna Everidge where I described her hair as being “pink” or “purple”. After reading your chart, I thought about changing that but then I thought that when it comes to hair that the pink and purple were out there in themselves and these are the words we use out of I guess a sense of shock. I think I might need to have some practice on the colour front.xx Rowena
Great idea! Bookmarking this page to help with my descriptions!
I saw this over on Nicholas C. Rossis’ blog. This is an awesome idea. Now, I need to apply that concept to other words.
Reblogged this on Books and More.
Thank you!! A great reference.
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
AUTHORS – at a loss for words? Ingrid has the answer – for colours! 😀
What a great idea. I love the green selection but I may be a little influenced by Breeze’s skin colour.
Hey that’s great especially useful to me because……….like a large number of men I have some colour blindness, which is a pain if I am in a hardware store looking for a particular shade, say a pale grey, and everything is called by some idiotic name which bears no resemblance or suggestion to its colour palette.
For instance I have no comprehension of what basic colour ‘Windy Shore’ is. Neither does’Willow Wisp’ or ‘Decedent Night’ help. Oh, these are genuine paint shade descriptions! Can you tell what they are…..NO…neither can I when I have the can in my hand.
So until the manufactures add a hint, like (this is a pale blue) in writing on the label your colour thesaurus would be an absolute godsend……Providing each section was noted as ‘blues’ browns’ ‘greys’ etc. to help us inflicted souls with this condition.
Maybe you have the beginnings of a business there?
Reblogged this on Mari Wells and commented:
Great color reference!
This is great. I reblogged it.
Would make a great poster.
Every classroom should have this one up.
That’s pretty cool!
Fun, fun, fun, I love that chart!!!
what a fine presentation – I’ve gone my entire life ( raised two daughters ) and finally I can see what color teal is 🙂
These charts can truly enrich my writing and that of others. Thank you for sharing, Ingrid.
Wow. I’m inspired to make my own lists. May I copy this one and add to it?
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing
Reblogged this on Ann Cassowary and commented:
Here’s a wonderful resource if you’re looking for just the right colour.
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I reblogged it.
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Thank you very much. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! How can I thank you enough? Good job!
My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was entirely
right. This put up actually made my day. You cann’t believe
just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!
Reblogged this on The Scrapbook and commented:
Thank you for your beautiful color words! My students had a great time picking one for their tangram animal we created in class.
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Absolutely love this post! Ingrid, you just inspired me with the beauty of the vast range of colors, thanks a lot 🙂 I’m talking about it on my blog, too. Do check it out – https://sunnydistrict.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/color-stories-candy/
This a beautiful resource. I have laminated it and hang it in the classroom for my pupils. They fight over it constantly, and already their writing has been elevated by using it. Thank you!
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