September 01, 2021

100 Quotes About Colour

100 Quotes About Colour

Whether you’re upcycling your furniture or adding a lick of paint to your walls, colour is at the heart of any painting project. More broadly, it’s central to the way we experience and enjoy life – from art and fashion to the emotions we feel when we see different colours.

And nobody loves colour more than the team at Frenchic!

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that there are so many great quotes about colour. From artists and designers to singers and philosophers, colour has been the subject matter for so many influential people.

Read on as we look at 100 quotes about colour, including specific shades and the entire spectrum…

Quotes about colour

You create your own decoration – Philippe Starck

“You create your own decoration. You choose your colour, you choose your mood…. If you are depressed, you put some bright yellow and suddenly you are happy.” – Philippe Starck


Travel to exotic places – Richard Mishaan

 “Travel to exotic places informs me as a designer as to pattern, colour, and texture usually expressed in local crafts.” – Richard Mishaan


Tonal and subtle colour combinations – Rafael de Cárdenas

“Tonal and subtle colour combinations allow us to mix furniture and pieces from different eras together to create a cohesive narrative.” – Rafael de Cárdenas


Broader colour palette to design – Vicente Wolf

“From the primitive crafts I discover to the changing colours of the sand dunes of Namibia as the day progresses, the constant awareness while traveling brings more depth and a broader colour palette to design.” – Vicente Wolf


Colour - the language of dreams  – Paul Gauguin

“Colour! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.” – Paul Gauguin


Colour is a power – Wassily Kandinksy

"Colour is a power which directly influences the soul." – Wassily Kandinksy


Colour affects people's moods – Lilly Pulitzer

"I am a believer that colour affects people's moods." – Lilly Pulitzer


Catch that true colour of nature – Andrew Wyeth

"If one could only catch that true colour of nature – the very thought of it drives me mad." – Andrew Wyeth


Say things with colour and shapes – Georgia O’Keeffe

"I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way." – Georgia O’Keeffe


The best colour in the whole world – Coco Chanel

"The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you." – Coco Chanel


The world in black and white – Celerie Kemble

"There's a reason we don't see the world in black and white." – Celerie Kemble


Colour helps to express light – Henri Matisse

"Colour helps to express light—not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist's brain." – Henri Matisse


With colour one obtains an energy – Henri Matisse

"With colour one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft." – Henri Matisse


Small bright seam full of smoke – Eileen Myles

"You think it's one colour but it's not. Closer and closer the folds appear not a deeper blue grey but a heavier one and finally just inches above the trees it's a small bright seam full of smoke, not really bright but allowing the day as much as it needs." – Eileen Myles


Never judge a paint hue – Dorothy Draper

"You can never judge a paint hue by the liquid colour in the paint pot. You must apply it to the wall, wait for the paint to dry, then decide." – Dorothy Draper



A scream passing through nature – Edvard Munch

"I sense a scream passing through nature. I painted... the clouds as actual blood. The colour shrieked." – Edvard Munch


Orange on the blue side – Ludwig Wittgenstein

"If we were to imagine an orange on the blue side or violet on the yellow side, it would give us the same impression as a north wind coming from southwest." – Ludwig Wittgenstein


Life is a train of moods – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads and as we pass through them they prove to be many-coloured lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus." – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Radiance of the setting sun – Vincent van Gogh

"Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I see before me, I make more arbitrary use of colour to express myself more forcefully... To express the love of two lovers by the marriage of two complementary colours... To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of a light tone against a dark background. To express hope by some star. Someone's passion by the radiance of the setting sun." – Vincent van Gogh


Nature rarer uses yellow – Emily Dickinson

"Nature rarer uses yellow than any other hue. Saves she all of that for sunsets prodigal of blue spending scarlet, like a woman yellow she affords only scantly and selectly like a lover's words." – Emily Dickinson


Lovers of their opposites – Marc Chagall

“All colours are the friends of their neighbours and the lovers of their opposites.” – Marc Chagall


A thing that cannot be reproduced – Paul Cezanne

“Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else – by colour.” – Paul Cezanne


Colour creates, enhances, changes, reveals – Kiff Holland

“Colour creates, enhances, changes, reveals and establishes the mood of the painting.” – Kiff Holland


Colour is a power ― Wassily Kandinsky

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.” ― Wassily Kandinsky


The chief function of colour – Henri Matisse

“The chief function of colour should be to serve expression.” – Henri Matisse


Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning – Oscar Wilde

“Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar Wilde


Changes of the emotions – Pablo Picasso

“Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” – Pablo Picasso


All colours arouse specific associative ideas – Yves Klein

“All colours arouse specific associative ideas…” – Yves Klein


I prefer living in colour - David Hockney

 “I prefer living in colour.”David Hockney


Colours speak all languages – Joseph Addison

“Colours speak all languages.” – Joseph Addison


Colour is surely its heart and passion – Robert Reynolds

“If light is the spiritual quality of painting, colour is surely its heart and passion.” – Robert Reynolds


There is a logic of colours – Paul Cezanne

“There is a logic of colours, and it is with this alone, and not with the logic of the brain, that the painter should conform.” – Paul Cezanne


 Become a master of colour – Johannes Itten

“He who wishes to become a master of colour must see, feel, and experience each individual colour in its endless combinations with all other colours.” – Johannes Itten


Change the colour of its background – Michel Eugene Chevreul

“In order to change a colour it is enough to change the colour of its background.” – Michel Eugene Chevreul


Why do two colours – Pablo Picasso

“Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this?” – Pablo Picasso


The little may contrast with the great – Voltaire

“The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colours contrast; but there are also colours contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.” – Voltaire


Combining those colours that already exist – Herbie Hancock

“You make different colours by combining those colours that already exist.” – Herbie Hancock


Calls out for the colour it wants – Neil Patterson

“Each colour is applied to the canvas in relation to the colours next to it. The painting becomes a living thing and calls out for the colour it wants.” – Neil Patterson


Reflecting the colour of its surroundings – Eugene Delacroix

“The more an object is polished or brilliant, the less you see its own colour and the more it becomes a mirror reflecting the colour of its surroundings.” – Eugene Delacroix


Colour could give rise to sensations – Georges Braque

“Colour could give rise to sensations which would interfere with our conception of space.” – Georges Braque


Beauty without colour – Murasaki Shikibu

“Beauty without colour seems somehow to belong to another world.” – Murasaki Shikibu


Beautiful when it means something – Robert Henri

“Colour is only beautiful when it means something.” – Robert Henri


A pleasant quality to design – Pierre Bonnard

“Colour does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” – Pierre Bonnard


Colour can overwhelm – Joe Singer

“Colour can overwhelm… One must understand that when it comes to colour, ‘less’ is often ‘more’ – lesson taught us by the masters but ignored by many artists.” – Joe Singer


Look at it like a melody – Romare Bearden

“You put down one colour and it calls for an answer. You have to look at it like a melody.” – Romare Bearden


The colours live a remarkable life – Edvard Munch

“The colours live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.” – Edvard Munch


Colour… thinks by itself – Charles Baudelaire

“Colour… thinks by itself, independently of the object it clothes.” – Charles Baudelaire


Colour is like cooking – Josef Albers

“Colour is like cooking. The cook puts in more or less salt, that’s the difference!” – Josef Albers


Using the whole box of crayons – RuPaul

“Life is about using the whole box of crayons.” – RuPaul


A colour I didn’t like – Dale Chihuly

“I never met a colour I didn’t like.” – Dale Chihuly


Colour in certain places – Antoni Gaudi

“Colour in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.” – Antoni Gaudi


A dominant colour possesses tremendous power – Mary Bassi

“A dominant colour possesses tremendous power in making a painting unique.” – Mary Bassi


The impression it creates – Ivan Albright

“A colour is as strong as the impression it creates.” – Ivan Albright


Each colour has its own beauty – Joen Wolfrom

“Each colour has its own beauty and individuality, which you may accept or reject.” – Joen Wolfrom


A matter of habit – Claude Monet

“The point is to know how to use the colours, the choice of which is, when all's said and done, a matter of habit.” – Claude Monet


No small dabs of colour – John Singer Sargent

“No small dabs of colour - you want plenty of paint to paint with.” – John Singer Sargent


Blacker than black – J.M.W. Turner

“If I could find anything blacker than black, I’d use it.” – J.M.W. Turner


There is no blue without yellow – Vincent van Gogh

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange, and if you put in blue, then you must put in yellow, and orange too, mustn’t you?” – Vincent van Gogh


Colour of your dreams – The Beatles

“Listen to the colour of your dreams.” – The Beatles


 Colour creates the light – Hans Hofmann

“In nature, light creates the colour. In the picture, colour creates the light.” – Hans Hofmann


There are no lines in nature – Eduard Manet

“There are no lines in nature. Only areas of colour, one against another.r” – Eduard Manet


Black and white are also colours – Vincent van Gogh

“Suffice it to say that black and white are also colours… for their simultaneous contrast is as striking as that of green and red, for instance.” – Vincent van Gogh


White is not a mere absence of colour – G. K. Chesterton

“White is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colours; but he never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when he paints in white.” – G. K. Chesterton


Ultimate cure for sadness – Bill Blass

“Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.” – Bill Blass


 Shade of red for every woman – Audrey Hepburn

“There is a shade of red for every woman.” – Audrey Hepburn


A little red edge – Reno Dakota

“Everything utilitarian needs a little red edge.” – Reno Dakota


 Gives you perpetual sunshine – Steve Hovland

“A yellow room gives you perpetual sunshine.” – Steve Hovland


If you take an intense colour – Simmie Knox

“If you take an intense colour and put an intense complement next to it without greying it, it’s very hot. The grey allows the eye to do the visual mixing” – Simmie Knox


Grey is great – Bryan Batt

“Grey is great. People think grey is a neutral, but I think it's such a moody, intense, dramatic and sexy colour. It's very sleek.” – Bryan Batt


Pink isn't just a colour – Miley Cyrus

“Pink isn't just a colour, it's an attitude!” – Miley Cyrus


There’s something about black – Georgia O’Keeffe

“There’s something about black. You feel hidden away in it.” – Georgia O’Keeffe


Blue is the only colour – Raoul Dufy

“Blue is the only colour which maintains its own character in all its tones… it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another colour – pink.” – Raoul Dufy


Never use pure white – Aldro T. Hibbard

“Never use pure white. It doesn’t exist in nature.” – Aldro T. Hibbard


"They'll sell you thousands of greens. Veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green and any sort of green you like. But that particular green, never.” – Pablo Picasso


The relations of black and white – Winslow Homer

“It is wonderful how much depends upon the relations of black and white... A black and white, if properly balanced, suggests colour.” – Winslow Homer


I use red – Pablo Picasso

“When I haven’t any blue, I use red.” – Pablo Picasso


 Golden is a surface colour – Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Golden is a surface colour.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein


Yellow is capable of charming God – Vincent van Gogh

“Yellow is capable of charming God.” – Vincent van Gogh


Yellow is the reason – Lance Armstrong

“Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.” – Lance Armstrong


Beige is atmosphere – Albert Hadley

“Beige is atmosphere. It’s bisque, it’s ivory, it’s cream, it’s stone, it’s toast, it’s cappuccino. It’s well, it’s magic.” – Albert Hadley


Remember, green's your colour – Gwendolyn Brooks

"Remember, green's your colour. You are spring." – Gwendolyn Brooks


A thimble of red – Henri Matisse

“A thimble of red is redder than a bucketful.” – Henri Matisse


Red protects itself – Derek Jarman

“Red protects itself. No colour is as territorial. It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum.” – Derek Jarman


If one says ‘red’ – Josef Albers

“If one says ‘red’ – the name of colour – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” – Josef Albers


Painters use red like spice – Derek Jarman

“Painters use red like spice.” – Derek Jarman


The navy blue of India – Diana Vreeland

“Pink is the navy blue of India.” – Diana Vreeland


Orange is the happiest colour – Frank Sinatra

“Orange is the happiest colour.” – Frank Sinatra


If love were a colour – Jarod Kintz

“If love were a colour, it’d be orange. Not because that’s a romantic colour, but because it’s the sweetest.” – Jarod Kintz


How wonderful yellow is – Vincent van Gogh

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” – Vincent van Gogh


Prime colour of the world – Pedro Calderon de la Barca

“Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca


 A source of delight – John Ruskin

“Blue colour is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight.” – John Ruskin


Better named than ultramarine blue – Karen Fitzgerald

“Never has a pigment been better named than ultramarine blue. Fashionable, even today, in its nomenclature! It is ultra in every way.” – Karen Fitzgerald


Purple seems to have a soul – Uniek Swain

“All the other colours are just colours, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective, but also a verb. When you look at it, it’s looking back at you.” – Uniek Swain


I fell in love with black – Louise Nevelson

“I fell in love with black. It contained all colour. It wasn’t a negation of colour. Black is the most aristocratic colour of all. You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing.” – Louise Nevelson

  Black is like a broken vessel – Leonardo da Vinci

“Black is like a broken vessel, which is deprived of the capacity to contain anything.” – Leonardo da Vinci


Black is a real sensation – Hermann von Helmhoz

“Black is a real sensation, even if it is produced by entire absence of light. The sensation of black is distinctly different from the lack of all sensation.” – Hermann von Helmhoz


There’s a whole palette of white – Jonathan Milne

“Working in white makes people look into it. White is ethereal. There’s a purity to it. It makes things look elevated in a way. There’s a whole palette of white.” – Jonathan Milne


A tasteful off-white – Greg Parrish

“If time were a colour, I bet it would be a tasteful off-white.” – Greg Parrish


To paint, as white on white – Ambroise Vollard

“Renoir said once that nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting to paint, as white on white.” – Ambroise Vollard


Better grey than garishness – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

“Better grey than garishness.” – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres


Find your perfect colour

Feeling inspired by all of our quotes about colour? At Frenchic, we offer easy-to-apply, durable, low-VOC chalk paint in a full spectrum of shades to add a splash of colour to your furniture or your walls. From vibrant reds and blues to a beautiful array of neutral tones, you can always find the perfect colour for your next upcycling or decorating project.

Browse our full range of colours today to get started.


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