Article on Colours

Article on Colours

“Colour is a chromatic aspect of an object that makes it look different depending on the spectral position of light reaching the eye’s retina”
Like the air that we breathe, colour is all around us, filling our lives with its powerful energy and affecting our moods and emotions in ways that we often don’t even realize. Also like the air that we breathe, we don’t actually take time to think about the role that it plays in our everyday lives, and how much we take it for granted. However, evidence of the importance of colour is everywhere if we simply take the time to look around us.

Colour has played an important part in the history of mankind, for as far back as we can see. Cavemen mixed colours from the soil and plants nearby to paint murals on the walls of their caves. Of course, throughout the ages, methods of decorating progressed, as did fashion, and colours became more varied and more accessible as time went on.

In Ancient Egypt, the main colours used to decorate walls, floors and columns were red, yellow, blue, green, black and white. They adorned their clothing with precious stones and used embroidery and beading to add coloured details to collars. As we will see throughout history, the amount of adornment usually reflected the status of the individual and so became symbolic as well as decorative.


Have you ever just stopped and seen how much colour surrounds us in the natural world and in the environment we have created for ourselves? Today, more than ever, modern methods of producing colours mean that we have more choices than ever before. This is also the first time in history that people around the world have equal opportunities to colour. Whereas in historical times, many people were denied access to some colours because of financial or legal restraints, nowadays colours can be produced extremely cheaply, and in our democratic society, the only limitations are the ones we choose for ourselves.

We have already seen how colour is used to reflect status and has specific symbolic meanings within different cultures, but it also has many other uses in our environment. Since the first cavemen painted on the walls of caves, bringing colour into our home and working environments has been extremely important to people throughout history. Spending time in harmonious surroundings creates a sense of well-being within us, but it is not just aesthetics, colour has very practical uses as well.

Colour is a universal language and is used to alert people to danger among other things. Red is the most advancing colour, and this is used around the world for traffic signals to stop cars from proceeding and for warning signs on the road. Yellow and black are used in many industries to caution us when the danger is not as strong, but care is still needed. Yellow and black hazard signs are evident throughout factories and warehouses, and indeed on many road signs in several countries. In large factories, pipes containing hazardous chemicals or gases are generally colour-coded to warn people of the contents. We use colour in this way to draw attention to hazards, but colour can also be used to attract us to advertising and signs.
In the natural world, colour is not only rampant, but it is essential to the survival of many animals and plant life. Many animals use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings so that they won’t be preyed on by other creatures. This is something that has occurred during the animal’s evolution, whereby it matches its body colours to its surroundings, as an obvious way of protecting itself. By contrast, many hunters and fierce predators have strongly coloured markings on their bodies, which act as a warning to alert other animals of danger. In effect, this is nature’s particular way of marking ‘hazardous materials’

Colour also plays an important part in reproduction. Flowers use their strong colours to attract bees and other insects to them, to aid their pollination and so their survival. Most animals use colour to attract a mate and this is something that we humans do also. It is obvious that many women wear make-up to look more attractive, but even without this help, when we become sexually attracted to another person, our cheeks and lips redden and become fuller. So you see, there is far more to colour than initially meets the eye.

Colour has long been known to produce physiological reactions within the body, and this has been put to use in many cultures in colour healing. At the core of this practice, the Eastern mystics have long associated the seven spectral hues to the seven chakras, which are energy centers’ located on the body. Each colour of the spectrum is associated with a specific part of the body, and this is used to make a link between the mind, body and spirit.

In Western science, colour psychology is still a relatively new area, studying individual colours and the effects that they have on our physical and emotional states. Incredibly, there are striking similarities between the Eastern and Western colour associations, indicating that colour intuition can be quite accurate, and that colour truly is a universal language.

  • Color therapy, Chromo therapy or Colourology is healing through colours using energies within living organisms such as plants, gemstones, crystals, water, sunlight, and sound.
  • Color is simply a form of visible light, of electromagnetic energy.
  • All the primary colors reflected in the rainbow carry their own unique healing properties.
  • The sun alone is a wonderful healer.
  • It has been proven that lack of sunlight contributes to depression for some people (SAD).
  • A therapist trained in color therapy applies light and color in the form of tools, visualization, or verbal suggestion to balance energy in the areas of our bodies that are lacking may it be physical, emotional, spiritual or mental.


  • Science of attuned colours of the spectrum of light, was discovered and invented by Col. Dr. Dinshah Ghadiali.
  • Science of spectro-chrome-metry is based on precision on the wavelengths in law of physics.
  • It uses different colours for health of a person. It has its effect on healing of the person and also has the side effects for excess or deficiency of colours.
  • He precisely researched and found the twelve colour wavelengths in physics, which can restore health in human life.
  • He discovered what colours predominately vibrating in each element .
  • He also discovered what colours are required in order to reinstate the required elements that are deficient in the body of the patient, in order to restore the health.
  • He verified the other colour therapies and studied the reasons for not giving desired results.

He took pains to arrive at precise results in the vibrationary frequencies of different colours in the laws of Physics.


  • Motor Stimulant- can be used in cases of paralysis or other conditions where motor activity is reduced
  • An Agent that increases the Functional Activity of the Motor Nervous System which energizes the Muscles into Motion.
  • Alimentary Tract Energizer- helps in proper deigestion of food
  • An Agent that activates the Food Passages.
  • Lymphatic Activator- thus helping in drainage of waste products from the blood vessels
  • An Agent that increases the Functional Activity of the Lymphatic Glands for Nutrition.
  • Splenic Depressant- therefore helps in regulating immune system which is controlled by spleen
  • An Agent that decreases the Functional Activity of the Spleen; Area 6.
  • Digestant- helps in digestion of food
  • An Agent that aids the process of converting Food into materials fit to be absorbed and assimilated in the Physical Body.
  • Cathartic- helps in defecation (confirm from dictionary)
  • An Agent that produces increase in Backelim (Back Elimination) or quickens Purgation; Areas 9-10-18-19.
  • Cholagogue- bile production helps in digestion of fats
  • An Agent that accelerates the Flow of Bile;
  • Anthelmintic-
  • An Agent that is destructive to Worms.
  • Nerve Builder- helps in various disorders where activity of nerves is diminished
  • An Agent that builds the Nerves.


  • Pituitary Stimulant- thus increasing the release of hormones like growth hormone from pituitary gland
  • An Agent that increases the Functional Activity of the Pituitary Gland in the Head; Area 1.
  • Disinfectant- helps in removing bacterias from any surface or material thus used in hospitals
  • An Agent that destroys rotting materials.
  • Purificatory-
  • An Agent that purifies.
  • Antiseptic- prevents growth of bacteria like in case of cuts and wounds
  • An Agent that prevents Decay.
  • Gemicide-
  • An Agent that kills Germs.
  • Bactericide-
  • An Agent that destroys Micro-Organisms or Bacteria.
  • Detergent-
  • An Agent that cleans.
  • Muscle and Tissue Builder- can be used in athletes
  • An Agent that builds Muscles and Tissues.


  • Antipruritic- An Agent that inceases that prevents or relieves itching.
  • Diaphoretic-increases sweating
  • An Agent that increases the Perspiration.
  • Febrifuge- reduces high temperature
  • An Agent that dispels or reduces Fever.
  • Counter-Irritant-(pain balm)
  • An Agent that allays Irritation.
  • Anodyne-
  • An Agent that soothes Suffering.
  • Demulcent-
  • An Agent that allays the Irritation of Abraded or Scratched Surfaces.
  • Vitality Builder- An Agent that builds the Life Principle.

Let’s try to understand how different objects around us appear as different colours. We already know that white light contains all the colours of the rainbow and every object will either reflect or absorb the individual rays of white light in different degrees, resulting in colour. White objects reflect back all the rays so they absorb no colour, while black objects absorb all the rays. Objects that appear green absorb all the rays except the green, which they reflect back, and so on with all the other colours. This seems confusing at first, but there is a very simple experiment that will demonstrate this more clearly.

As, light (and therefore colour) is electromagnetic radiation, which is a form of energy. All energies produce heat. As we know, each colour has its own wavelength, and when these are reflected from a surface they emit heat. If you put two tin plates out in the sun, one black and one white, and leave them both there for one hour, which one do you think will be hotter? Most of us know it will be the black plate, but you may not have known why until now. The reason is that the white plate has reflected all the rays back, and therefore not only has it absorbed no colour, but it has also absorbed none of the energy or heat contained within the colour.

The black plate has absorbed all the rays, and thus all the energy and heat. Different objects appear as different colours because they will either reflect or absorb the individual rays of white light in different degrees, resulting in colour.

This explains how different objects appear as different colours, but we also need to look at how exactly we see colour. The lens of the eye views an object in much the same way as a camera does. The light reflected from the object enters the eye through the lens and an image is formed on the back wall of the eye, which is called the retina. The retina is covered with millions of nerve endings called rods which are stimulated by the light falling on them. The rods cannot register colour, they register only degrees of black and white, or what we call the ‘tonal quality’ of an object. In the centre of the back wall of the retina is a small depression, which is called the fovea. The fovea contains millions of nerve endings called cones, and these cones record colour. Both the rods and cones send these light stimuli to the brain, where they are transformed into an image of the object. So then, seeing is actually a function of the brain and not of the eye itself, which explains why some people who suffer brain damage, but whose eyes are functioning normally, suffer from blindness.

When we take a closer look at the plate experiment, it clearly illustrates how different objects reflect or absorb not only colour, but also the energy or heat which is connected with that colour. Anybody working with colour is aware that there are warm and cool colours, but you can clearly see that this. is not just a label certain colours really are warm arid others are cool. If we take a look around, evidence of this is everywhere. In warm countries, the exteriors of houses are often painted white to reflect the sun, and the interiors will usually be decorated using cool, light colour. In colder climates, warmer colours are more popular in interiors, with more elaborate window treatments and soft furnishings to increase the feeling of warmth. Very few people are actually aware of the science of colour, yet they commonly choose colours that are right for their environment when they follow their own intuition. Up until fairly recently, theories about the different aspects of colour have been dismissed as ‘new-age’ thinking or ‘off the wall’, but now discoveries are being made which prove what many people have known all along – that colour is an energy, energy produces heat, and therefore colour affects temperature.

Scientific studies have shown that there are people so sensitive to colour that, even when blindfolded, they can distinguish colours with their fingertips. What’s even more interesting is that this ability was not as exceptional as it seemed at first. Indeed, after only 20-30 minutes training, one out of six experimental subjects could recognise colour with their fingertips. At first, it seemed logical to assume that these individuals were extremely sensitive to heat and this was how they were able to differentiate between the individual colours, but now science is revealing that there is much more to it than this. In further studies, the same individuals were still able to distinguish colours accurately, even when the colours were put under glass, aluminium foil, or even brass or copper plates. The heat generated by the colour was obviously not a factor in this case, so there is obviously more to colour than just heat. Although this is still puzzling scientists as they haven’t fully discovered how this works yet, they have recently understood how colour affects our moods and our emotions.

As each particular colour wavelength hits the cones in the eye (which are the colour receptors), they are converted into electrical impulses which pass to the brain, where they are converted into images. Eventually they reach the hypothalamus, an area of the brain, which governs the endocrine glands. The endocrine system in our bodies is responsible for producing and secreting our hormones. Each colour or wavelength focuses on a particular part of the body, evoking a specific physiological response, which in turn produces a psychological reaction. So then, colour is actually a sensation that our brain registers, and not a physical property of the object we are viewing. We have already established that ‘seeing colour’ is actually a function of the brain and not of the eyes, and this is why blind people are affected by colour in the same way that sighted people are.

This science is quite new, but it validates that not only does colour produce physical and emotional responses within us, but that individual colours are responsible for specific areas of our bodies. Now Western science is arriving at the same conclusions, even though we have approached the subject from an entirely different angle. Colour psychology studies the effects that individual colours have on people and the feelings and emotions that they create. This topic is obviously of paramount importance to the interior designer, who works so intimately with colour.

Split complementary contrast
This is a variation on a complementary contrast, where a hue from one side of the colour wheel is used with the two hues that lie on either side of its complementary colour. Schemes based on split complementary colours allow a little more flexibility than complementary contrasts, but the same rules generally apply.

Double complementary contrast
Still another variation, this makes use of two adjacent hues on the colour wheel, and their complementary colours. Basically this results in a colour scheme that makes use of two sets of analogous colours. A scheme based on this type of contrast would be quite active, and would generally need careful handling if it was not to look too disjointed or random. However, if the tones are carefully balanced, an attractive scheme can be created as shown in the illustration.

This type of colour scheme uses four hues that are spaced equally around the colour wheel, resulting in a scheme that is composed of two sets of complementaries. A tetrad colour scheme uses hues from each part of the colour wheel and is quite active in its effect. There is a danger of it becoming over-varied or ‘chaotic, so care must be taken to avoid confusion of colour. It is quite a difficult colour relationship to use successfully, and one hue is usually dominant. Although it can be useful, it is generally a difficult choice of contrast-to work with.

Shibui: Nature- The Best Designer
The Japanese decorating theme of Shibui has become popular all over the world. Places that are done in Shibui scheme use nature as guide to combine colours and textures. The Almighty has created perfect designs and colour combinations from the nature. Such combinations can be adopted as design guidelines. Shibui is perfect in itself.

Nature does not duplicate any two things. For example, tree leaves are not alike; the colours, the shape and the vein are varied. It is the style use of colour that makes the nature constantly a challenge to view and study.
This technique can be applied in interiors. For example, dining room chairs look alike from a distance, but a decorator using Shibui has a decorating theme may choose to cover the seats with same colour, but in different textures and waves.

It was considered very important to create a system of colour notation that would accurately describe colours, and be so precise that this would allow the same colours to be reproduced anywhere in the world. Although a number of colour systems have been developed throughout the years, the most widely used is the Munsell system, and this is favoured by companies throughout the world that require precise methods of reproducing colous The system is quite technical, and you will rarely (if ever) need to examine colours to this degree of accuracy. However, by understanding the way the Munsell system works, you will have a much greater understanding of colour and you will be able to describe colour more accurately to others.

Albert Munsell first created and published his colour notation system in 1915. When he died in 1918, the Munsell Colour Company was formed to carry on his work, and they are still in operation today. As well as producing various student chart sets and colour slides, the Munsell Colour Company also produce colour standards which are widely used by geologists, archeologists, and biologists, etc. to determine such things as nutrient deficiency in plants and soil. They even produce a colour chart that is used by anthropologists to classify skin, hair and eye colours. The list of products could continue further, but these examples are sufficient to illustrate the extent and efficiency to which the Munsell Colour Company has developed their system. So how does the Munsell system of colour notation apply to interior design?

Albert Munsell identified that every colour consists of three dimensions or variables. In order for a colour to be described accurately, each of these dimensions must be represented in a formula. The dimensions of colour are:

1. HueThis is the quality that distinguishes one colour family from another. For instance red or green, etc.

  1. ValueThis determines the lightness or darkness of a colour, otherwise known as the tone.
  2. ChromaThis describes the strength or purity of a colour. For instance a bright, pure blue or a dull, grey blue.

Vaastu is a science, which deals with the laws of nature. It is a subject, which studies human being in relation with the dwelling, in context to external and internal environment. The principles of Vaastu keep in view the cosmic influence of Sun, direction of the wind, magnetic influence of the earth and influence of cosmos and various other heavenly bodies on our planet. Vaastu is an ancient wisdom, which aims at providing health to the body, peace to the mind and harmony with the nature. It is also an art of living in harmony with the nature. Colour plays an important role in Vaastu. It is also used a remedial tool. It is considered that colour has a strong quality of bringing about a drastic change in a person’s life.

Five Elements and Colours in Vaastu:

Modern science recognizes 105 elements, each with its own physical and chemical characteristics; we can gain much by setting aside our modern notions for the moment, and reconsidering the proto scientific explanation given by the Greeks of the elements of the physical world. In the 6th century BC, Pythagoras taught that the world of matter was composed of a cube form elemental particle (the most stable, regular solid); fire was tetrahedral (the simplest, regular solid, hence the lightest); water particles were icosahedral (because they are complex and heavy); while air, intermediate to fire and water, was octahedral.

The fifth element, ether, was an inter penetrating substance which was both common solvent and common denominator of the mall. The 12-sided, solid dodecahedron, symbolized it. The five elements have a strong impact on us. Each element represents a particular colour. It is the most attenuated form of energy. Colours are used in Vastu as an enhancing tool to improve the situations of a building. Colour works like a magic. It is a wonder tool.

Each element represents a particular colour as specified below:


Akash (Space)      Sky Blue
Vayu (Air)      White
Agni (Fire)      Red
Jal (Water)      Blue
Prithvi (Earth)      Yellow

East      Yellow
Southeast      Orange/ Pink
South      Red/ Rust
Southwest      Brown/ Yellow
West      Beige/ Blue/ Ivory
Northwest      White & Green
North      Blue & Green
Northeast      Purple/ Yellow

Chromo Vastu is technical specialization field where colour turns out to be technical remedy in Scientific Vastu ™  .

  1. Experience of individual related to like or dislike for particular colours.
  1. Availability of colour in the market place determines what can be acquired.
  1. Feeling of satisfaction gives personal response to a colour because it creates a feeling of well being. Personal satisfaction is very important before choosing it.
  1. Geographical location has a direct bearing on colour preference.
  1. Education and training have a direct effect on colour usage. People who have studied art or design tend to use more colour in their lives and have a wider range of preference.
  1. Environmental forces and pressures help in judging the appropriate textures and colours.
  1. Sociological taboos or customs of group, nationalities, religious or races that affect the individuals in their use of colours.
  1. Functionality ascertains the purpose of the room. An informal room may call for colours that are bright, strong and stimulating. Room that is meant for relaxation should have colours that are quite and restful.
  1. Requirements of the space that is considering area, light and ventilation.
  1. Attitude and behavior of an Individual must be considered to check the effect of a particular colour on the behaviour and attitude of an individual.
  1. Duration of usage means the number of hours the space will be used for and the purpose it will serve.
  1. Directional placement of the room and other placements inside the room. Orientation of window and amount of daylight coming into the space.
  1. Character of atmosphere desired – calm, restful, stimulating, exciting, dignified, playful, sober etc.
  1. Level of Artificial Lighting – Basic level of illumination in the room through artificial lighting would affect the tonal needs of a colour.
  1. Culture – Colour is also selected on the grounds of cultural preferences.

Establish general character of the scheme in relation to the above factors – choosing among warm, cool, neutral colours, selecting type of colour scheme (harmonious, complimentary etc.) and deciding dominant hue or hues.

Colour selection is not just a matter of choice but it is a subject, which requires in depth knowledge of dwellers, dwelling and environment around. While selecting a colour for a place one must consider all the factors.

Whatever color we pick up to wear, in some way or other is indicative of our personality. Clothes color and personality type are two terms that tell a lot about each other. Color and clothes styling says a lot about your individuality. It is interesting to know about the philosophy of colors. You must have noticed reserved people often choose to attire in sober shades, which do not flash their personality. On the contrary bold men can be often seen wearing dark bright shades that highlight their presence in the crowd.

Here are some generalizations about colors that will show how color of clothes affects personality:

  • Red is symbolic of dominance, passion and sensuality. It is a color meant for bold and firm men who love to lead the world. If you want to make a distinctive statement, red is the trick.
  • Peach and pink shades are indicative of coolness and calm. With pink, you’ll look as fresh as a flower.
  • Black, an all time favorite represents power. Acting as a symbol of elegance, versatility and grace, this color can smoothly sail in all functions.
  • If your focus is on looking neat and clean, white is just apt for you. It indicates purity and simplicity. It is the perfect summer color.
  • Blue is a color of warmth and trust. It’s a fabulous shade that can be found in almost every man’s cupboard.
  • Yellow is the color of beautiful sunflower. It conveys anxiety and of mind. But do not forget it is also the color of deadly fire.
  • Burgundy is indicative of spirituality. It is a rich color that decides how passionate you are. Burgundy shirt looks stylish.
  • Green comes from greenery. It is a color of nature with beautiful green leaves, fresh green vegetables. It represents freshness, relaxation and calm.
  • Brown is meant for classy informal styling. It conveys reliability and trust.
  • Gray is indicative of the fact tat you are a balanced person in life. It looks elegant and is considered to be brainy.

So, decide for yourself as in which type are you judging your personality traits.

Additive color mixing: adding red to green yields yellow; adding all three primary colors together yields white.

A rendered model, showing red, green and blue lights combining.
An additive color model involves emitted directly from a source or illuminant of some sort. The additive reproduction process usually use and light to produce the other colors. Combining one of these additive with another in equal amounts produces the additive and Combining all three primary lights (colors) in equal intensities produces Varying the of each light (color) eventually reveals the full of those three lights (colors).

Computer monitors and televisions use a system called and cannot be considered additive light because the colors do not overlap. The red green and blue pixels are side-by-side. When a green color appears, only the green pixels light up. When a cyan color appears, both green and blue pixels light up. When white appears all the pixels light up. Because the pixels are so small and close together our eyes blend them together, having a similar effect as additive light. Another common use of additive light is the projected light used in theatrical lighting (plays, concerts, circus shows, night clubs, etc.).

Results obtained when mixing additive colors are often counterintuitive for people accustomed to the more everyday system of pigments, dyes, inks and other substances which present color to the eye by reflection rather than. For example, in subtractive color systems green is a combination of yellow and blue, in additive color, red + green = yellow and no simple combination will yield green. Additive color is a result of the way the detects color, and is not a property of light. There is a vast difference between yellow light, with a wavelength of approximately 580 nm, and a mixture of red and green light. However, both stimulate our eyes in a similar manner, so we do not detect that difference. (see)

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