is all around us. Colour is light – for without light there can be no colour. It
impinges on our every waking moment. It has fascinated man since the earliest
times and yet it is often taken for granted. It affects us psychologically and
emotionally. It can make us excited, or peaceful, uplifted or gloomy. Studies
have shown that blood pressure can be affected by the response to colour and
it’s no surprise that red is used in in so many food logos – as it can
colour had long been understood and used by artists for hundreds of years, it
wasn’t until the early 70’s that people started to understand the relationship
between the colours that people choose to wear and their impact on those around
them. And so the concept of using colour in personal image and presentation
started to grow as a concept and Colour Analysis emerged as a service for
individuals and as a tool for use by business professionals.
in itself is a huge topic upon which many very interesting books have been
written. If you would like more general information about Colour, then a quick
google search will provide you with books and topics on the subject. A search
using Colour as the keyword on Amazon (books) will bring up a large selection
of currently published book. The links below are a small selection on books
that have been written on the subject and that may provide you with a good
It will help your understanding of Colour Analysis if you understand some of the terms that are used when describing colours. If you have one, it will help to look at a Grumbacher Colour Wheel while you are reading this section.
Picture coming soon…
You can find a good picture of one here. Alternatively you may wish to purchase one here. Although if you are considering training in Colour Analysis with Imagination using the Colourflair method, you will receive one as part of your colour kit
is a term often used simply to mean colour. It is that which distinguishes one
colour from another.
The PRIMARY colours (or hues), Red,
Yellow and Blue exist in their own right and are not a mixture of other
colours, they are pure colours. All other colours (tones, shades and tints) are
created by mixing primary colours together and by adding black or white. This is
why some colours are particularly flexible, when it comes to colour analysis.
SECONDARY colours (or hues) are mixed from two primaries to make
Orange, Green and Violet.
The INTERMEDIATE colours are mixed
from unequal amounts of two primaries and they have double names like
yellow-orange or blue-green.
is the lightness or darkness of a colour. White is given the Value 10 and Black
has the Value 1 – there is a scale of grey in between these values.
are pure colours that have had
white added to them. They are higher in value than the original colours from
which they are made. Colours or hues with black added to them are lower in
value than the original colours and are called SHADES. A pure colour
that has had grey added to it is called a TONE
and may be described as muted.
INTENSITY refers to how bright or dull a colour is.
MONOCHROMATIC harmonies use various values and intensities
of one colour, or one colour with black and white. They are tasteful and
reliable but can be rather monotonous.
ANALOGOUS harmonies use hues which are closely related to each other on
the colour wheel e.g. blue, blue-green and green. They can be pleasing and
restful combinations which help to set a mood.
COMPLEMENTARY harmonies use the colour which is directly
opposite on the colourwheel, red and green, blue and orange etc. The
term complementary comes from the fact that when combined as light, they
contain between them, all the colours of which light is composed and therefore
revert to white. These are bold combinations that work best if the value and
intensity of the chosen hues are varied (e.g. navy blue and peach).
is Colour Analysis?
Colour Analysis helps an individual to
understand the colours that suit them best. These colours will not only
compliment their complexion but also align with their personality and will help
them present the best image of themselves and how they are perceived by other
The process compares the colours or
pigments primarily in the skin, with colours which share similar
characteristics. This is done by a technique known as “draping” whereby a
selection of coloured materials or drapes are introduced in a sequence near to
the face. The colours which bring balance and harmony to the individual are
identified and a “FAN” or “SWATCH” of colours are usually provided to the
individual as an aide memoire.
information on the Drapes offered by Training with Imagination click here
Knowing the colours that suit best, enables the individual
to use colour to their advantage, to look healthier, often younger and more
vibrant and at a functional level to plan their wardrobe with clothes that
easily mix and match together, because they are in a similar colour palette.
What is Seasonal Colour Analysis?
Seasonal Colour Analysis is generally perceived to be the
original method of colour analysis and is still used very effectively today. It
is easily understood by both the consultant and client alike.
The colours are closely related to the
seasons of the year, and so by dividing them by whether they were warm or cool
and then into seasonal groups, they were easy to understand.
The two warm seasons are the colours of SPRING,
which are joyous, warm colours that welcome in the start to the year with a
range of colours very close to the rainbow and reflecting what we see in
gardens at that time of the year. They are if you like pure colours. Then AUTUMN
with the warm gold and muddy browns that we see on the trees as they lose their
The cool colours are those of SUMMER, you
might like to associate these colours with cool faded colours of flowers in the
garden after a long hot summer. And finally, WINTER. This is a cold season (in
the northern hemisphere) which lacks colour, and may be characterised by white
snow on black trees.
Are there other methods of Colour Analysis?
Since the 80’s numerous authors have tried to refine the
process of Colour Analysis and there are now many different methods. Probably
the most well-known of these is the TONAL method.
What is the tonal method?
The tonal method analyses each colour characteristic according to its depth, undertone and clarity and selects the dominant one for each client. These are termed Deep, Light, Cool, Warm, Bright or Muted.
Why were other colour analysis methods invented?
Some say that the seasonal method system may not go far
enough. In other words, because everyone is an individual, there is the
potential for an infinite number of variation, that an individual could have,
which may not fit neatly into just 4 seasonal categories. Because of this,
since the 80’s authors have tried to extend the seasonal method to be more
flexible and others have come up with new methods that do not base their
nomenclature on the seasons.
Another argument is that the seasons
differ in the north and south hemisphere and so the colours used in most
seasonal systems are aligned with northern hemisphere countries.
A brief search on the internet will
show that many people get completely confused by the Tonal concept and do not
find it easy to understand. In our article “Seasonal or Tonal” we examine this issue further.
You will see that in reality it is the Consultant with a special interest in
colour that get hung up on the nomenclature. The reality is that is doesn’t
matter what terms you use the outcome of a colour analysis are the same – to
identify the better colours and to empower and give confidence to those who are
less certain of colour and how to wear it or even use it in their homes. For
most people it is enough to have basic information that they can easily act on,
without getting into the detail which may overwhelm them. From that viewpoint
the seasonal system is easiest to understand.
A Brief Timeline of Colour Analysis
There have been many people associated with the development and our current understanding of colour and colour analysis follow this link f if you would like to read more about the research that went into modern colour anaysis…
Wolfgang Von Goethe: Theory of Colours
Eugene Chevreul: The Principles and Harmony and Contrast in Colours
Rudolph Steiner: Colour
Munsell: Colour Systems
Wilhelm Ostwald: The Color Primer
Johannes Itten: Painter and Professor at the Bauhaus Design Academy Cool and Warm
Robert Dorr Color Key System
Bernice Kentner: Colour Me a Season
Jackson Colour Me Beautiful
The Pros and Cons of Colour Analysis
There are generally few downsides to Colour Analysis.
Although some sources
suggest that it is limiting to have a prescribed selection of colours from
which to choose your clothing or make up options.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding and
incorrect information that is circulated both in printed matter and on the
Internet. While it is true that generally the quality of Colour Analysis has
improved in the last 40 years, there are still many inaccurate sessions.
I have met many ladies who had their “colours done”, as it
is commonly called, some years previously and clearly their advice was
incorrect. Imagine wearing “the wrong” colours for more than half of your life?
There are several books on the subject of Colour Analysis that
have misunderstood the concept and give poor information. As I mention below –
you cannot easily conduct your own Colour Analysis session and without a
trained eye it is easy to miss the nuances that different colours bring to the
complexion. You really are better off with a Personal Colour Analysis.
Personal Colour Analysis
If you have reached this page because you are interested in
having a Personal Colour Analysis our advice would be to find a consultant through our website here;
If we do not have a Colour Analysis Consultant in your area
then google Colour Analysis with your locality and you will receive the local
information which will help you to make a decision.
You should look for someone who is regularly doing colour
analysis. Without regular practice your consultant will lose their expertise
quite quickly and you will be unlikely to have an accurate result. This may be
identified if you find someone who is charging very little. It may be a hobby
for them. A full colour analysis from a practising consultant will cost at
least £100 and in many areas in the UK you could expect to pay £125-£150
Do not be tempted to have a group session either. Although
it may be cheaper – we have already identified that this is a very individual
process and result and therefore you should expect your consultants’ full
attention and not share her time and expertise with others.
This is not something that you can easily do for yourself so
using a self-help book, may not give you the correct results. So, although it
is interesting to read about the subject, for an accurate analysis you need to
pay for a professional Colour Analysis session.
Neither can a colour analysis session be done on line. The
Consultant needs to have a very clear view of the facial skin if you are to
have an accurate result. While Computer colour reproduction has advanced
tremendously this medium still provides too many variables to give a
How to Train in Colour Analysis
If you would like to take this information to the next stage
there are several things that you can do immediately.
The first is to find a training course that meets your
needs. Here are some questions that you might like to ask yourself…
Do I want to learn more for self-improvement or am I
going to use the information in a business setting?
If you are going to use the information in a business
environment – Are you planning to use the information to enhance the skills
and knowledge set that you already have or are you planning to start a business
centred around colour analysis?
What type of learner am I? Our article what’s your learning style is linked below….
These questions will help you decide how much you would like
to pay for your training and whether you can easily re-coup your training costs,
should you need to. Also consider how much time you may have to study each
Here are some links to blog article that you may find
Depending on your Learning style you may prefer a classroom
environment. This is usually the most expensive option as you may have travel
and accommodation costs to factor in, as well as the course fees.
Home study provides a more cost-effective option. Your training
company provider should offer assignments for submission and assessment and you
should look for one with a personal tutor too. Your tutor will give invaluable
feedback and be able to guide you as you become a successful Colour Analyst.
Day classes and short courses: these are also cost-effective
options, but generally only serve those who want to know more about the
subject. While you can understand the concept and the practice in a training
day, you will not develop the skill needed to offer a Colour Analysis service.
Colour Analysis needs to be practiced. Draping one or two people in a class in
On-line courses are attractive because they too are
generally a cost-effective option – but without assignments and assessments that
involve more than just multiple choice, will only provide more information
about the concepts of Colour Analysis.
The Advanced Colour Analysis Diploma offered by Training with
Imagination and Colourflair is a home study course in seasonal colour analysis with
a personal tutor, available by phone, email or skype/zoom. As well as the four
basic seasons there is a 16 fan system which tailors the swatches to the individuals
skin tone. There is an Association for Consultants to join which gives ongoing
training, updates and business support. This is not a Franchise.
The Colourflair system does not rely solely on the Consultants
expertise as this is a holistic approach in which several factors are taken
into consideration – to establish an accurate result. Our students are
confident in their learning to see some testimonials please click here.
prospectus is here
What kit will I need?
At the very least your training course should provide you
with the opportunity to buy drapes and a starter selection of fans or swatches.
At Training with Imagination we give you all the items that
you will need to conduct a Colour Analysis session – include drapes, fans and a
selection of miscellaneous items that you will use not only during your
training, but also when you are a qualified consultant.
Training with Imagination offers a variety of fans and
swatches in the Trade Price List. Some are suitable for Personal Seasonal
Colour Analysis, others have a tonal variation too and some can be used in
small classes and workshops. Please contact us inf you would like a copy of the
Can I make a successful business out of Seasonal Colour
The short answer is Yes you can. The longer answer is that as
with any business, it is not enough to have the practical skills. As well as
being well trained in the technique of Colour Analysis – you will find that there are other skills
that you will need. Several of these are directly related to business skills.
Some of these you can learn or outsource if you have budget. Perseverance and commitment
are also required if you are starting a new venture into the business world as
a sole trader
Is colour analysis for me?
If you love colour then you will really enjoy finding out more about Colour Analysis and working with clients. If you prefer working in a team environment – then this may not be for you – and you may wish to find another opportunity that enables you to work in a company or with a team. Most Colour Analysis professionals run their own business and work as Sole Traders.
Our course notes include everything that you will need to
train as a successful Colour Analyst. However, our course does include a
reading list if you wish to take your knowledge on certain aspects of the
Colourflair colour analysis system further. Here are just a few to get you
If you would like to download a copy of this article to read
later a pdf version can be found here.
In conclusion, Seasonal Colour Analysis can be a life
changing experience. It offers greater understanding of the colours that suit
an individual best – giving them confidence and an ability to use colour to
their best advantage. It can be used successfully as a business – in
conjunction with quality training, access to trade items and a Colour Kit with
ongoing training and business support.
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