Writing with Color

There are so many ways to explore color in writing workshop. Here are some interesting examples.

  1. Three color names I like best are:
  1. Three color names my friend likes best are:
  1. We think these three colors are exciting:
  1. Write ads to sell three items – a bicycle, a piece of clothing, a stuffed animal, a doll, or anything else you can think of. Be sure to mention the colors of the item.
  1. Write a snapshot of setting in 3 to 6 sentences. Include three specific color words.
  1. Write a snapshot of character. Include three specific color words.
  1. Create an unusual adjective to describe a noun. Your adjective may commonly be used as a noun. Here are some examples: tangerine sky, chocolate eyes, winter wheat hair

Use paint strips, home decorating magazines, online inside and outdoor galleries offered by paint manufacturers such as Behr, coloring boxes, and colored pencil sets. Share the color word list you have created with a friend.  Take turns reading the colors to each other.

Shades of……

Blue:  Baby blue, azure, aquamarine, indigo, turquoise, marine, midnight blue, navy, cobalt, peacock, robins-egg, lapis lazuli, periwinkle, Mediterranean, teal, delphinium, sapphire, cadet, Wedgewood, slate

Purple: lavender, magenta, orchid, mauve, violet, hyacinth, mulberry, periwinkle, plum, damson, fuchsia, indigo, maroon, heliotrope, violet-red, blue-violet, amethyst, lilac, burgundy

Red: scarlet, cherry, coral, blood, lobster, ruby, rosy, cardinal, strawberry, raspberry, Chinese, vermillion, fire-engine red, chestnut, blood bay, poppy, salmon, orange-red, terra cotta, brick, barn, crimson

Green: emerald, verdant, olive, ivy, pea, jade, apple green, sea green, celery, parsley, chartreuse, viridian, Nile, shamrock, hunter, Kelly, British racing, jungle, khaki, pistachio, lime, forest, winter, blue-green

Amber: honey, cognac, green-yellow, lemon yellow, green and cream-yellow, goldenrod, sandy-brown, and moccasin

Gray: storm cloud, sleigh bells, elephant’s skin, dusk, antique gray, downpipe,  grill master gray, far-horizon gray, mourning dove, tea kettle gray

Can you think of more names for these colors?

*See Jane Yolen’s Color Me a Rhyme and Mary O’Neill’s Hailstones and Halibut Bones

*For adult reading, there’s Primary Colors by Alexander Theroux – his three essays devoted to the colors red, blue, and yellow include every color allusion imaginable: artistic, literary, linguistic, botanical, cinematic, scientific, culinary, climatologial, and lots more.  Here’s a sample: Theroux points out that these things are yellow: the sun, cowardice, third prize, honey, school buses, urine, New Mexico license plates, Penzzoil, Easter, butter, and arsenic.  The sequel is titled Secondary Colors.

15 thoughts on “Writing with Color

  1. Such great ideas. I used to do a lot with color words and writing poetry….now we are not supposed to do much poetry writing – it’s not in the core they say – but I do – and I think we’ll be seeiing some colors this week. Thanks for the reminders.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have me thinking about color writing now. I’ve placed a hold on Jane Yolen’s book and I already have the colorful item I want to write about. Now I just need to let the ideas flourish. Thanks, Lynne!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just read this – but it made me think about my slice today and the one I wrote about my son on the college campus – they both were triggered by color. White for today’s post and red on the other post. As I sat at my computer, no topic in mind, the color came first. I started each piece with a line about color. After revision the line changed, but it started with color. I will have to think more about it – I don’t think about my process enough. It just seems to pour out of me when I sit down. I love how you push me to think more about process, craft and mentor texts. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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