As artists, photographers, designers, and crafters, we can learn how to use the positive or negative attributes of color in our works to subliminally send a message. The color RED can be used to evoke a certain mood, to create a message or sharp response in the viewer.

red toenails

Most professional artists know how to use color to their advantage, but many aspiring and novice artists are not aware of the power of color. Here are some interesting facts about the color RED.

RED is a primary color…

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RED is a warm color…

Warm colors:

  • That are based on yellow undertones and tend to convey emotions ranging from happiness to violence.
  • Red, orange and yellow colors trigger hunger.
  • This is why you see restaurants like McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King using these colors in their logos and advertising.
  • Safeway, Walgreens and Costco all use red in their logos.
  • Red instantly attracts, makes people excited and increases the heart rate.
  • Just think of Coke and Red Bull!

RED: The color of assertion, strength, romance, excitement, vitality, physical power, outgoing, ambitious and impulsive. It is a color that flatters the skin and can make an excellent background. Pale pink are warm and peaceful and combine well with greens. The deeper reds create an atmosphere of retrained opulence and power. Red elicits an uncomplicated nature with a zest for life.  But, red can also connote danger or threats.  Fire engines, stop signs and traffic lights are a perfect example.

Did you know the American ‘Red Barn’ actually came into being through function and utility, rather than decor or superstition. It was soon discovered that the red barn color was warmer in winter since it absorbed the sun’s rays!

red barn and horses grazing in wyoming

“Lazy Days of Summer”by Lori McNee © 2008

An interesting fact: The pigment called “Indian Red” was originally made from clay mixed with whites of wild turkey eggs. Turkey blood was added to provide a deep mahogany shade. Stains using blood were not, however, suitable for outdoor use. Records indicate that this was in accordance with an old American Indian custom, farm stock blood was indeed mixed with milk and used for staining interior surfaces.

Now with a better understanding of ‘red’, I hope you can use it in your art or design to send the right message to your viewer. Please be sure and check out the complete article& my sources , “Use the Hidden Meaning of Color in Your Art”. You may also enjoy reading: “The Importance of Using Value & Tone in Painting” and “Painting with Complimentary Colors Using Yin Yang.”

Click here to read more about, Why Are Barns Red?

woman holding paint brushes wearing painting apron and hat PS. I wore red in this picture because I wanted to stand out! ~Lori 🙂

I really enjoyed reading the book: Color Style: How to Identify the Colors that are Right for Your Home