Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Can YOU wear Pantone Colour: Lemon Zest Yellow

What is the first thing you think of when YELLOW is mentioned? 

Is it the colour of dying grass and leaves or white pages, ‘yellowing with age? Or worse still, the medical condition known as ‘jaundice’ (the French word for yellow is ‘jaune’)? The flag flown on a quarantine ship is yellow. And even more negative - ever since mediaeval artists portrayed Judas Iscariot wearing yellow, the colour has been associated with cowardice and treachery!

But I feel pretty sure that most of us won’t think of these things. 

We’re far more likely to think of the ‘yellow’ of the sun or, in springtime, of Easter Chicks and the many yellow spring flowers! Primroses, crocuses, forsythia, winter jasmine and of course the many varieties of the daffodil family.

Because pure yellow is a very cheerful colour. 

Of interest to artists may be the fact that
yellow has the highest reflectivity of all the
colours, appearing to advance, 
in contrast to blue, which recedes

Some delicious foods are yellow, for example, butter and cheese. And many of the foods that are good for us are yellow too, containing Vitamins A and C and sometimes iron as well: plums, grapefruit, melons, lemons . . .
Interesting pattern too!

As a fashion item, Lemon Zest yellow first came to my attention when it was worn as a jacket by one of our BBC Wales newsreaders. And it seemed so bright that it certainly grabbed my attention!

According to my big book about Colours, yellow is ‘not as universally flattering to most complexions as, say, blue.’ I think I would agree with that on the whole, though our newsreader does have the right complexion to wear it. I just think it made perhaps too much of a statement for a newsreader, detracting from the content of the news!

But that is what yellow can do – like its cousin, orange, it can grab our attention and that quality is put to good use in warning signs and visibility jackets.

Yellow cars have been shown 
to be involved in fewer accidents,
 probably due to their
high visibility. 

So yes, yellow serves to warn us of danger but at the same time it can seem to radiate sunshine, happiness, even joy!

But although I have painted some of the walls in my house a kind of yellow ochre, and I love the golden yellow of sunflowers, buttercups and cornfields, I tend to avoid lemon yellow.

To me, lemon yellow seems tart and brittle. In fact, once, in a life drawing class, I really didn’t like the model and afterwards I found I had instinctively used a lot of lemon yellow pastel in my painting – a colour I rarely use at all! It was only later that I read Kandinsky's words, quoted in a book about the Bauhaus: 'Yellow advance, exceeds limits, is aggressive, active, volatile . . . ' - a pretty close description of the model I'd taken a dislike to!

How do you feel about yellow? 
Do you use it much in your artwork?
Do you wear yellow or use it to decorate your home?


WearToStandOut said...

I LOVE THIS! Pantone colors are all so fabulous and Lemon Zest is a prime example! We love it so much that we made it our color of the week and put together a fabulous outfit on our blog to show how to dress wearing Pantone's Lemon Zest using a triadic color palette. You can take a look at it here and tell us what you think! xoxo, WearToStandOut

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you very much for your comments - glad you enjoyed the post! I'm off to have a look at your blog now . . .