Understanding Warm and Muted Colours

The most important thing to learn, when you are learning about colours, is that all colours have three properties.

Think of each of these properties as a continuum and each colour sits somewhere between one end and the other.

3 Properties of Colour

The three properties – Value – Undertone – Intensity

One of the aspects is Albert Munsell’s colour properties and how that is used in personal colour analysis when you’re having your colours done.

Munsell Colour Properties Explained

  1. Value – Light to Dark (tints to shades)
  2. Chroma – Intensity or Saturation (brightness to mutedness)
  3. Undertone – Warmth to Coolness (blue based or yellow based colours)

So personal colour analysis looks for those properties in you, and then the most harmonious colours are those that match your personal colour properties.

The Enigmatic Palette

When you think about the warm, deep and smoky colours of the Enigmatic Palette – Where they sit on each of the continuums would look like this

properties of enigmatic

How to Mute a Colour

Both black and white are cool undertones, so when you add grey to a colour to make it smoky, you take out both the intensity of the colour and reduce its warmth. When you start with very warm colours and add grey, you don’t necessarily make the colours cool, you just cool them down some so they are still warm, but just warm instead of being right up the end of the warm/cool continuum. If you look at the image above, take the very warm green and add some grey, will still be a yellow-green which is warm, just a muted version instead of a brighter one!

There is another way to make a colour more muted and smoky. It’s to add a complementary colour. Complementary colours

When you think about this – the complementary colour is the colour opposite on the colour wheel. So if you are adding the opposite – this colour normally has the opposite overtone and will either warm up slightly, or cool down the colour as it removes the brightness, remember that blue-based colours are cooler and yellow-based colours are warmer in undertone. Because you’re only adding the teeniest bit (you can try doing this with some paints to see how little you need to add to grey a colour down while still keeping its hue intact), it just subtly changes the undertone of the colour at the same time as it changes its intensity.

This is why the Undertone of Enigmatic (Smoky, Warm, Deep colours) is closer to the warm/cool divide, rather than being more obviously warm.

Enigmatic - smoky warm deep colours

Finding Your Colours in Fashion

Just like any other aspect of fashion (which is a retail business, there to make money, not to make you look great or to provide you with exactly what you’re after), along with the shapes and styles of clothing changes, there are also trends in colours.

You’ll know that I will share each year the Pantone fashion colours to give you an idea of which colours you’re more likely to see in clothes each year, and there will always be some variation in these colours by the time they reach the stores. You’ll never get the full rainbow of colours in every palette at any one time, but in my experience of shopping with clients, there are always some colours from every palette available. You just might not find the exact ones you’re after right now and may need to wait, or choose to overdye the clothes to bring them to the colour you’re after.

Enigmatic warm and muted colours

It’s important not to set your heart on finding a particular colour when you shop. Instead, be open to the full palette of colours available and choose the best for you from what is around, knowing that in a season there will be a new palette of colours to choose from. Over time you will build out the colours in your wardrobe as what flatters you becomes available. This season it may be the pinks and greens, next season a couple more colours will become available.

Remember, the best wardrobes are built over time and not in one season or even year!

I created these two images above to show a range of the Enigmatic colours – which you can source locally as what is available in one store is usually available in more!

If you want to know where to get these specific items, you can find them here and here.

Start Your Training and Follow Your Passion

Get your first two lessons free – click here! Choose your own learning style as we offer personal stylist and personal colour anlaysis courses both in the  classroom or online training. All image consultant training courses also include a 12 month mentoring program once your training has finished so that you succeed in setting up your own image business. We also offer ongoing educational webinars for all personal stylists on image and marketing related topics which you can access at any time from the comfort of your own computer.

Want more information about course content and pricing? Download our AoPI Course Outline Now!

Please do let me know if you have questions about the training. I’m excited about this rare opportunity and I don’t want you to miss out!

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