Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coloring in the Lines

To launch this week's topic, I went to my two WIP's and looked for stellar examples of describing color. I didn't find anything noteworthy.
I think it's because I am not a visual artist. I know people who are, and I marvel at their sensitivity to shades, tones, brightness, contrast, etc. When I search alternate color names for red, blue and green in a thesaurus, I'm quite clueless.
I know what I like when I see it. I fine-tune colors on product labels and color brochures by the back and forth no-yes method.
I like having the names of crayon colors printed on the wrapper. Cornflower is still one of my favorites.

Here's a passage from a WIP. My heroine has been magically transported to 1497 France. She has a new (old) body and is seeing her image in a mirror for the first time.

Angel gaped at her reflection. Her body curved like an hourglass, with a waist she encircled easily with her hands. The lace around the neckline of her smoke-blue gown accentuated full, round breasts. A silverwork girdle ringed seductive hips, and a small coin purse dangled from a matching chain. On her feet were low-heeled boots of soft, brown leather. Her hair was held back by carved jade combs that accentuated her eyes. The dimple in her right midcheek did not soften the imperious arch of her dark brows.


  1. Oooo. Lovely description.

    We have a member in my local RWA chapter who is an artist/former graphic designer. I am always grateful for her advice at critiquing sessions, as she's always the one who reminds us to add that visual description (including color) so our readers can see our scenes.

  2. Hi Ana,

    Oh, nicely executed in the art of coloured words! ;)


  3. You said you went to your WIPs but didn't find any stellar examples of describing colour? You're under-rating yourself, my friend! Your excerpt WAS a stellar example! A superb colour-evocative description.