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Lets talk about the colour Teal

Lets talk about the colour Teal

Teal is a medium blue green colour, although it is usually more blue than green. Often called Teal, ultramarine, blue-green, aqua or aquamarine it is one of those in-between colours that  can get lost in translation; ask any artist what they consider is Teal and you will get different answers, just like when you ask them about what they think constitutes beige.

Teal is actually a favorite colour of mine, which for someone who spent most of her life loving red and rich warm colours it’s quite a transition to start enjoying a colour from the other side of the spectrum.

I use Teal a lot these days; considering I do many artworks depicting the lagoon in Rarotonga (I sell some of my work in a gallery there.) then it’s understandable it would creep into my regular colour spectrum. Let’s face it though who doesn’t find the lagoon in Rarotonga, or any Island nation delightful to view and partake of, it certainly holds happy memories for me and I like to depict that in my work. I have also used Teal in the decorating of my own home. It evokes calm and tranquil feelings and ties in well with my love of anything silver.

Teal or Turquoise (You choose!) represents water, thus the names aqua and aquamarine. Although Turquoise is also the name for a valuable and popular mineral often used in jewellery. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest.

The 1950s and 1960s as in the retro years, saw Teal as an extremely popular colour,; a resurgence in retro’s popularity these days sees it being used again in fashion and decorating. The darker shades lend a more sophisticated feel while the lighter ones are seen as inherently more feminine. Like the mineral, turquoise shades range from almost sky blue to deep greenish blues.

 The complimentary colour to Teal is actually pink,

How Teal is made is from a mixture of the primary colour, blue, and the secondary colour green. My favorite Teal is made up from Phaltho turquoise and French ultramarine blue along with the tiniest hint of cadmium red. It makes a great combination for seascapes and when painting the lagoon I add hints of white and bright green for that really turquoise sea green.

So what about using Teal with other colours?

For soft, feminine qualities mix teal with lavender and pale pinks. A bright teal with different shades of pink and silver create a sparkly clean, retro look. Make it art deco by pairing turquoise with white and black, (I have zebra print rugs and throws in my teal lounge but you could try the checker-board floor tiles for a really old style retro feel.) Teal teamed up with gray or silver along with terra cotta, beige and browns will give you a South-western flavour. Or try Teal with orange or yellow for a fresh, sporty look.

Posted: Wednesday 20 January 2010

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