Ready To Paint? Wait, Try This First

February 5, 2013 § 6 Comments

February 5, 2013

When it comes to decorating your home one of the quickest ways to make a change is with paint. Whether you are painting the walls, furniture or the ceiling, paint can give you that lift without having to do a full scale renovation.


But how can you be certain that the color chip will look the same when it is applied to the wall?

For novice painters (as well as veterans) it is always amazing to see a pastel such as a light Candy Pink, turn into Bubblegum on the walls. A small sample will rarely be seen as the same color when viewed on a much larger scale, as the color becomes more intense when you are literally surrounded by it. In addition, there are other considerations, such as the color of the surrounding space, particularly ceiling and floor. Most importantly, it is the quality and quantity of light in the space that will make the difference.


It is always best to start with a simple chip that is more subdued than the color you envision in the space. If you are working with a professional painter, colorist, or decorator, or are brave enough to experiment on your own, you can also try modifying the base color with a dollop of its complementary color. You can also try “dirtying” the color a bit (not a bad thing in painter’s parlance) by adding a pinch of brownish umber shade sold in tubes and bought in a paint or hardware store. Follow the directions on the label. If you prefer a grayer shade, you can always add a bit of black, but experiment first.

Here are some additional guidelines before spackling and tackling the walls:

Test the color in the actual setting.

Test your color over a white background. This can be done directly on the wall or on a large poster board or masonite measuring at least five feet by five feet.

Paint two coats of color over the white.

Move the board around to different areas of the room so that you can see it at every angle.

Look at the test at different times of the day to see how the color might change in natural light and artificial light.

If the effects are pleasing, you are ready to roll.

Do you have a painting story or painting horror story? What successes or failures have you encountered when taking on a painting project? Did you “Do It Yourself” or hire a professional?

Sunrise, Sunset, Sunlight. What’s Your Colortime Signature?

January 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

January 22, 2013

In business, you want to wear colors that make you feel confident, and confidence-building colors are those that make you look and feel your best. For that reason, I recommend wearing your Signature Colors-those that repeat, contrast, and/or enhance your personal coloring. In order to do that you must understand your personal Colortime.

Take a look at this Estee Lauder ad with its three wonderful examples of Colortime colorings, Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise.

Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise Colortimes Via Estee Lauder ad.

Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise Colortimes Via Estee Lauder ad.

Based on these examples the Sunset’s Signature Colors (woman on the left) would be golden tawny tones like Camel or Cognac. A coral pink necklace will brighten your skin and add a great accent.

Image Via More Alive With Color

Image Via More Alive With Color

A sand-colored suit and a blue-green shirt to show off your eyes are Signature Colors for the Sunlight’s (woman in the middle). Add a touch of dusty rose to complement the skin and capitalize on your own coloring.

Image Via More Alive With Color

Image Via More Alive With Color

If you are a Sunrise Colortime your best Signature Colors are a Frost Gray suit with a Bonnie Blue shirt.

Image Via More Alive With Color

Image Via More Alive With Color

Experts tell us about the four-minute time barrier, a period during which initial human contact is established. If the initial reaction is negative, the eye and the mind start to wander elsewhere.

You never have another chance to make a first impression.

This information can be found in my book More Alive With Color.

Click the link below to see how the Wall Street Journal suggests you dress for success.

Video – How To Dress For Success in Business –

What Color Should I Paint My…?

January 11, 2013 § 2 Comments

January 11, 2013

More than ever, our homes are critically important to our sense of comfort and well-being where we build our own personal nests. The act of decorating our home is the catalyst that sparks our creativity, providing that special environment that helps us and those who live with us thrive.

Which is why it is not so simple to answer the question “What color should I paint my…?”

Image Via Colors For Your Every Mood

Image Via Colors For Your Every Mood

There are absolutely no quick or easy answers to that question. There isn’t a “magic bullet” answer as there are many factors to take into consideration, including:





Room scale/size


My book Colors For Your Every Mood can help to guide you to some moods and color palettes as well as give you some of the color psychology behind those colors. Once you have familiarized yourself with color moods and you still feel you need some help to attain the “feel” you are comfortable with, you may want to hire a professional. At the very least, the book might help you to validate what you feel instinctively.


Before taking that final step and applying paint on the walls, it is important to think about the emotional aspect of color. The colors you choose will create moods and feelings that will have a great impact on you (and your family’s) well-being and comfort level.

You see, for someone to blindly suggest you paint any part of your home without them having a sense of who you are and what you hope to get out of the space, you are potentially asking for trouble. You wouldn’t want to end up with furniture that no longer matches or works in the space. These are costly mistakes that can be avoided.

December 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Leatrice Eiseman:

Sale Extended Through January 15, 2013!

Originally posted on Eiseman Color Blog:

November 29, 2012

The Color/Design class is the gift that keeps on giving…to yourself and to your future.

Have you been dreaming about taking your career to the next level? Don’t wait for another year to invest in you. This is the time of year when you are often thinking about doing for others and overlook yourself and your own potential.

Join us in January in sunny Burbank, CA to attend my Color/Design training program where we immerse ourselves in color forecasting, color and emotion and learning more about consumer color preferences. Most of all, you will learn how to turn your love of color into a lucrative career or enhance and validate what you  already know. 

Email us at:

View original

From Us

December 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

December 21, 2012

HappyHollydays copy

What’s Your Sign? Is Your Birthstone Emerald? Color Me Curious.

December 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

December 13, 2012

Lorraine DePasque is a Style/Trends editor for She has interviewed me many times before and we are often on the same “wavelength” when it comes to spotting trends. This was especially evident when it came to Emerald. I often tell people at my presentations to look to high end jewelry for future influence.

17-5641 Emerald Swatch-R

You can say that Lorraine had her (Emerald clad?) finger on the pulse of this one considering that she posted this blog back in April. Click the link below to read Lorraine’s rationale of Emerald in terms of jewelry.

Jewelry’s on the Road to Emerald City.

Holiday Special Discount: Code Word COLOR

November 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

November 29, 2012

The Color/Design class is the gift that keeps on giving…to yourself and to your future.

Have you been dreaming about taking your career to the next level? Don’t wait for another year to invest in you. This is the time of year when you are often thinking about doing for others and overlook yourself and your own potential.

Image thanks to John Q Shearer a student from the July 2012 Color/Design class.

Join us in January in sunny Burbank, CA to attend my Color/Design training program where we immerse ourselves in color forecasting, color and emotion and learning more about consumer color preferences. Most of all, you will learn how to turn your love of color into a lucrative career or enhance and validate what you  already know. 

Email us at:

Comic Book Color And The Creatives Behind It

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

November 26, 2012

Comic Books for Social Change

This is no news: comic books are a well-known powerful media to send social messages. There are many examples of successful experiences that connect them with positive social change all over the world.

Animal Defenders

Comic book characters have a lot of power because they can do anything and everything and also have the potential to engage a super broad audience in age, background, and reading skills. That, and our love of color, design, the environment, storytelling and teaching is what pushed Veronica and me into this adventure.

She is a graphic designer and illustrator, I am a teacher and a writer and together we founded and manage Musgo Comunicación Visual, a design studio based in Caracas. But we wanted to give something back, so we also teamed up to build Patrulla Verde, an environmental NGO devoted to producing free educational contents via the Web, some in print, as well as public speaking in schools, colleges, community centers, companies and even malls and public spaces.

We pooled together our talent and experience in an effort to send an environmental message conductive to action to children and adolescents in the Spanish-speaking community, which at least in our neck of the woods, lacks resources and local information and direction. Three years later we are trying to reach English speaking kids as well.

Vero created four endearing characters and together we made meaning out of them. Tomas represents all themes related to water, Zoe embodies renewable energy, Lucas defends biodiversity and Beto, the bunny, is the only “non-human”, and he gives voice to the other more than 10,000,000 species with whom we share the planet. His theme is global warming.

Animal Defenders

Animal Defenders pg 1 (English version)


Choosing a color palette was a challenge because the characters had to each have their own identity but also, when pooled together into a vignette or drawing, they had to look in harmony, as part of a team.

Animal Defenders

Beto and Lucas are a twosome, they play together and joke together and that’s why they both wear the same red hat. Nobody else wears red, but for each one of the other two characters there are blues and greens that obviously talk about nature. Tomas’s orange hair and darker skin are in line with him being a laid back, beach-loving kid. And Zoe’s hot pink speaks of fun, bubbly, the color of an empowered girl that, although super feminine, is opinionated and fierce when she knows she is right.

Regarding the backgrounds, the predominant color of a page is always related to the mood and atmosphere of the storyline… which means that the writer, ejem! …that’ll be me, is the true trendsetter here, because it is she who decides if the situation is a comedy or a drama, if it’s day or night, indoors or outdoors, happy or sad. It is actually a lot of fun to set new challenges in each story for Vero!

Animal Defenders

In this particular issue, Animal Defenders, she chose happy bright colors for happy bright moments and darker ones that vary if it is just night or a scary situation, or a suspenseful, stressful one. When the characters are able to reflect upon their experience light comes again, but in a different way than in the happy beginning. This is a less saturated shade of yellow, paired with light grays because it is later in the day, and deeper into the kids’ thought process.

Learning about psychology of color in Lee’s seminars and workshops has proven to be an extremely powerful tool to better the work we do, and to engage the population we want to reach. Patrulla Verde-in this case Veronica-was even showcased in Green Graphics, a publication by Catalonian publisher Index Books (2011), for our characters, logo and image.

Toti and I at the Color/Design class graduation ceremony.

We are extremely thankful to Lee to allow us to share our work with her followers and friends through this amazing window.

Veronica and I at the graduation. This is one of my favorite parts of the class.

Thanks a million, Lee!!

-Veronica Ettedgui & Toti Vollmer

Art: An Artists Color Psychology

November 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

November 9, 2012

Debora House is a multi-talented artist and colorist now living in Stockholm, Sweden. Debora and I met several years ago when I first moved to Bainbridge Island, WA and we formed a fast friendship as we are kindred spirits in color (and a lot of other things as well).

We have worked together on projects since then. Her sense of color is impeccable – so moody and evocative. Of course I have several of her paintings – several in my office, as a matter of fact!

Debora decided to take my online Image Color Training a few years back and I am hoping that she can join us for a future Color/Design program, whether in Burbank in January or here on the island in July (where she still has a lot friends). She is truly a gifted colorist and I invite you to view some of her latest paintings.

I am an artist. To me everything is open to arrangement and interpretation, from clothes to food to garden bulbs. I like the moment standing before the emptiness of the white canvas and knowing the first strokes are like the first lines in a novel – they will lead me to an unknowable place. I recall another artist saying, “If you know the outcome why bother painting the painting?” That’s how it is for abstract expressionism, you don’t know but you explore with hope and energy.

I have had the good fortune of being raised by a designing woman who taught me very young to memorize color. I have practiced recalling color my whole life. It has been what inspires me and has led me to pursue work in fields where it was required: Interior Design, Textile Design, Colorist and now as a painter.

When I took a course in Color Image Training under Leatrice Eiseman, I was forced out of my own comfort zone and personal preferences into colors as they suit or affect others. When a colorist like myself goes through what basically amounts to retraining the eye to see whole color stories as they relate to others, I was made to explore my emotional reaction to colors in a new way because I had to include colors I didn’t like! In learning to assess how certain colors that challenge me might suit someone else perfectly, I opened my heart to a much bigger palette. Using that knowledge as a painter let’s me explore and accept colors that, in the past, I would have omitted without a thought.

Northern Lights

Before I begin a painting I think of the narrative of the story I want to tell. In the painting Northern Lights I wanted to communicate the mysteriousness of the Northern Lights. I live in Stockholm which is as near to the Arctic as one needs to be yet the lights always elude us. The time to see them is precisely when there is too much cloud cover to observe them. We can have months without a single ray of sunlight. Naturally this drives some people mad and if you’ve ever seen a Swede on a beach and wondered how they can lay there like a lizard for hours, days, on end, it’s because they are storing up the light. You know, you just know, those magical colors are out there swirling over your head but you can’t see them. So the painting is my way to illustrate the color behind the clouds and a roiling icy sea.

Pi in the Sky

Pi in the Sky is a landscape about infinity. In a blue band that separates heaven and earth are the beginning numbers of Pi. The numbers start off the surface of the canvas on the side and wrap until there is no more room for the infinite formula. The intention is that math (something commonly perceived to be anchored in reality) at some point, in higher mathematics, becomes an abstraction. In the skyline is a fixed and accurate constellation in gold metallic – The Big Dipper.


Spring is a part of a series of seasons. Living in a place where winter lasts almost half the year, spring is a longed for time. I used colors that were, to me, hot or acidic: The new green of the grasses, the riotous reds of tulips and peonies, quince in the horizon line and a sky filled with golds and pinks inside the blues.

Spring comes quickly and once it starts it bursts forth all at once with energy and beauty.

I painted this painting quickly as well. It came together with a minimum of washes and almost no struggles. The green is an example of forcing myself to use a color that fit the piece but is not a color I am drawn to naturally. In that way it is more a practice of color theory than intuitive thought.

I feel I am always learning to see things in a fresh way and to enjoy where these color stories lead me. I want to have an experience that is self-satisfying in the process of creation and to look back later and see the sense of commitment that went into every layer. But mostly I want to stand before the next blank canvas and make the first stroke.

Color Psychology With Edward Hopper

November 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

November 2. 2012

If you find yourself in Paris over the holidays (lucky you) you may want to head over to the Paris’ Grand Palais and view the Edward Hopper retrospective. Hopper’s “dark sensibilities helped him give expression to the bewilderment and discouraged feelings of Depression-era Americans.”

Image Via

Edward Hopper’s work was so profoundly moving in color and subject matter that we felt compelled to include him our recent book: Pantone : The 20th Century in Color. Below are a few excerpts 

“Edward Hopper was thirty-one before he sold his first painting-and forty-one before his career took flight.”

“…An accomplished technical artist, Hopper handled landscape, portraiture, and architecture with equal aplomb. What intrigues viewers, however, is not his technique, but the undeniable sense of loneliness Hopper creates with it. ” 

“Hopper’s disquieting emptiness is rendered in paradoxically full-bodied tones of teal and emerald, ruby and amber, and in an earthy brown.”

Follow the link below to more on the retrospective.

An American In Paris: Hopper Retrospective Opens.

%d bloggers like this: