Paint colour chips in many different colours

Colour confidence

How often do you think about a colour?
I mean REALLY think about it.
As more than just a shade that appeals to you.
Or as the colour you want for a particular project?
Do you think about what’s in a colour in terms of the primary colour ingredients?
Have you ever wondered whether your idea of a colour is the same as someone else’s?
Do you look guiltily around in the hardware store as you take “just one more” paint colour reference card, to add to the drawer full you already have at home?

As you’ve probably realised, I do!

Colour hasn’t always intrigued me.
We learned about primary colours in primary school. And from about that time I knew I hated bottle green. Because it was the colour of my school uniform.
Much later on, when I was working as a corporate consultant, I remember someone talking about the colour of our corporate identity.
It was red.
Red was powerful, decisive, and action oriented.
Therefore customers would confer those colour attributes onto the company.
Or something along those lines.
But beyond that I’m not sure I really thought about colour much.

So when did I start?

My first profound engagement with colour was when I bought my house and started painting the walls. At this time I discovered colour chips at the hardware store. I quickly became a bit of a hoarder.
However, when I started Cowgirlblues I really started engaging with colour.
From there it’s mostly been an experimental and incremental process for me.
And I certainly had no idea how many people find colour choices difficult and lack colour confidence. It’s probably the most common comment from our customers.

Over the past 5-10 years I have grown a lot in colour confidence, both working and playing with colour. And I believe everyone has this potential. So I thought I’d share some colour thoughts with you, link you to a few videos I made last year on the Colour Wheel, and generally see if I could give you a nudge towards developing your colour confidence like I have.

Paint colour chips in many different colours

Levels of engagement

I engage with colours on many levels and in many different ways.

  • Intuitively: do I like this colour, does it bring up an image, is it speaking to me in some way, what is it saying?
  • Emotionally: does this colour reflect how I feel today, or how I want to feel, what feelings does it bring up for me?
  • Visually: is this the shade I had in mind, how does it fit with what I’m trying to do, does it mix with other colours in a palette?
  • Associatively: what objects does it make me think of, do those have positive or negative connotations for me, what about the name?
  • Commercially: does it sell, might it sell, is it a popular colour, what other colours go with it?

Build your confidence

Would you like to grow your colour confidence? If so, there are many, many great resources out there. A very simple tool – the Colour Wheel – is one of the easiest places to start. You can buy them at stationery shops, art supply stores, and online ( in South Africa, or from internationally, I have one like the Amazon version)

I made a series of videos last year to explain how the Colour Wheel works and how to use it to select yarn colours for your projects.

Understanding the colour wheel

Warm and cool colours

Complementary colours

A few people have asked me to put together a colour course, which is still in the ideas phase for now. Give me a few months, and some encouraging comments, and let’s see what happens.

To grow your colour confidence get started with a few small steps.
Firstly, head to your closest paint store and start collecting colour chips.
Secondly, pull out your yarn ends and knit or crochet them into swatches – single colours, stripes, experiment.
And thirdly, find a colour wheel, watch my videos and use it to choose colours for your next project.

You’ll be amazed by how helpful it can be!