Shades of a January Monday

27 Jan Shades of a January Monday

Brussels has me thinking about color today. Like how many different shades of grays there are, and how it’s possible to identify so many of them reflected in windows and puddles and cobblestones when walking in the rain on a rather gloomy January Monday. 

Normally I would describe a day like today as drab, dreary, and colorless – a typical Belgian winter day. But a closer look at color names and the gray spectrum, it seems as I am misled by today’s gray. For example I believe that I noticed five particular shades of gray, probably almost all achromatic – a word i just learned that means a color lacking in hue. 

As much as I love color in my life, I’m distinctly lacking in color knowledge. I always thought chartreuse was a light purple, and taupe was more like beige (ew.) I wear some color, but love black and gray. But I do love playing with colors and color schemes in my work. So needless to say it might be more interesting to know some color names so that instead of my Etsy descriptions reading like “brown leather exterior with yellow cotton interior”, they could read like “umber seal brown leather exterior with goldenrod ecru cotton interior”. Yes, much more mysterious.

Anyways, back to gray.  Wikipedia shows us twenty different shades of gray and they range from achromatic grays, those with no hue, to chromatic grays, those with a spectrum of cool to warm hues added*. So, today’s five shades of gray are: Gray, Ash Gray, Battleship Gray, Silver, and Timberwolf… yes that is the best color name ever! And now I know that the gray custom bag I just finished is more a combination of Payne’s gray, Slate Gray and Charcoal. Again, much more mysterious. 

I am fortunate to see a wide spectrum of color in my daily life. I only think it’s appropriate to properly identify them. Plus they’re all quite fun to say. And I think by properly identifying the colors we see that it can add a bit more color into our lives…even if it’s 19 new shades of gray.

Oh yeah, I was so inspired by the gray spectrum today that I made a treasury on Etsy about it. You can see it here.

* According to my photographer/graphic designer boyfriend, there are at least thousands of different shades of gray, but I like Wikipedia for its nominal display of twenty.

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