Behind the Lines Blog

The Psychology of Colour and Using it For Your Adult Colouring Books

Throughout history, the power of words is undeniable. Speech and written work can create an image in your mind, fill your heart with love, and incite people to action. One of the lesser-known but equally compelling ways to invoke emotion is through colour.

The psychological impact of colour has been intriguing scientists since the middle ages. Colour is a part of everything we visually encounter in the world, and people are drawn to colours for various reasons. Colour psychology, put simply, is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have. Your surroundings can influence your emotions and your state of mind, with the biggest contributing factor being the colours used in that space.

All colours can be broken down into two categories: warm and cool. Warm colours (shades of red, yellow and orange) can create a mixture of emotions ranging from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Cool colours (shades of green, blue and purple) can inspire feelings of calmness and sadness.

Read through the psychological breakdown of 6 most frequently used colours in adult colouring books.
Warm Colours

  • Yellow

Yellow is frequently associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. It can stimulate mental activity as well as generate muscle energy. It also symbolizes truth and intuition. Yellow is a colour best used sparingly because it also activates the anxiety centre of the brain.

  • Orange

Orange is a mix of the energy of red and the happiness of yellow, representing enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, and creativity, while also inspiring determination, attraction, success, and encouragement. Not as aggressive as red, it does produce an invigorating effect and stimulates mental activity.

  • Red

The colour of fire and blood, red is linked with energy, war, danger, strength and power. Red is an emotionally intense colour, enhancing metabolism, increasing respiration rate and has been known to raise blood pressure. Emotionally based, red also incites passion, desire and love. The unifying factor in all meanings is a sense of importance.


Cool Colours

  • Blue

The colour of the sky and the sea, blue has been connected to stability, symbolizing trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence and truth. A beneficial colour to use, it slows metabolism and has a calming effect.

  • Purple

Purple is a mix of both red and blue, combining the energy and stability. Purple can convey wealth and extravagance, symbolizing power, nobility, luxury, ambition, dignity and independence.

  • Green

Shades of green dominate nature. It is the most restful colour for the human eye, suggesting stability, endurance, growth, harmony and freshness.


Colour & Personality

The colour choices you make can also reflect a deeper meaning about your personality. Introverts seem to lean more towards blue tones, whereas, extroverts are attracted to reds. More importantly, colour selection can give you an insight into your mood at that time. As a colourist, understanding the impact shades can have, can guide you when pulling out your Canadian adult colouring book and immersing yourself in adult colouring.

Take note of how you feel when you pick up your adult colouring book, and utilize your colour knowledge.

  • Are you feeling anxious about an upcoming event? Spend a few minutes colouring with shades of blue.
  • Do you have a job interview coming up and you want the confidence to knock their socks off? Immerse yourself in shades of purple, red and yellow.

Try giving yourself over to your artwork completely. Throw out the colour co-ordinated plan and reach for the colours that are speaking to you. When finished, take note of the colours you used. This can provide insight into how you’re feeling without consciously recognizing the emotions.

Colour is a powerful way to express how we feel without saying a word. Your artwork reflects who you are and how you feel. When you understand the psychology of colour, you can begin to understand the effects it has on you. Our world is a colourful place, and we can find inspiration everywhere – we just have to open our eyes to see it.