There’s special colors associated with every holiday.
Halloween’s colors come from ancient traditions, the season of the year, and most recently, marketing strategies.
Halloween has a combination of traditional colors, as well as hues that are more contemporary. The two traditional colors that spring to mind are orange and black. These colors have their roots in ancient Celtic traditions.
Contemporary traditions have added White, Purple, Red and Green to the mix. Vampires, magic and monsters conjure images of ghosts, witches, goblins and zombies, and current marketing strategies play up the season with loads of colorful merchandise.
There’s lots of colors available to an artist for creating Halloween-themed artwork, and here’s a sampling of some of the hues an he might integrate into his horrific Halloween hanging.
You can’t do Halloween without some wonderful colors of Orange…
Vermilion Orange is a Vivid Deep Orange-Red hue that was first recorded in 1289 as a paint color. Vermilion is also referred to as Chinese Red, China Red, or Cinnabar. Variations of Vermilion range from Orange-Red to Blue-Red.
Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red are combined to produce Cadmium Orange. It is the first true orange created, and it is a very opaque color. Cadmium, which is toxic, has been partially replaced by azo pigments that are non-toxic and similarly lightfast.
Cadmium Yellow Deep
As it is a combination of Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Yellow, this orange shade is slightly lighter than Cadmium Orange. It may also be known as Cadmium Primrose Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Orient Yellow.
Shades of Black are perfect for the darkness of the holiday, black Cats and Vampire Bats! :)
This color is a cool, semi-transparent blue-black that has a brown undertone. It is made from charred animal bones and has average tinting strength. Used with yellow, it makes a full range of green hues.
Lamp Black is the most opaque of the blacks and tints very well. This paint tends to get muddy when mixed with other colors. It is very lightfast, permanent and a true black.
Although not as black as Ivory Black, this color has a warm brown undertone and is opaque. Mars Black has a strong tinting strength and is a widely used alternative to Lamp and Ivory Black. It is very lightfast and has a good permanence rating.
White adds great contrast to Halloween, let alone Ghostly figures, Mummies and Foggy scares! :)
Flake White is also known as Zinc White. It has a slight bluish tint and is more transparent than other white paints. This paint is called Chinese White in watercolor formulations.
This white is very brilliant and is generally considered the best general purpose white. It is an opaque color that can yellow, and it has good tinting strength.
The Color of Yellow always relates well to fall colors and the full moon! :)
This yellow hue is very opaque, so it has good covering power. It is brilliant and tints well. Cadmium Yellow is available in dark, light and medium shades. Use it with Cadmium Red to create a bright, true orange. It is lightfast and permanent, although the paler shades of this color can fade with UV exposure.
Naples yellow is a very old color that has been used for thousands of years. It is a warm, opaque yellow with a brown undertone. It is very opaque and has good covering power.
With a bright, slightly cool undertone in the light variety and a warm undertone in the dark version, this yellow is intense and transparent. Since the Cadmium Yellows are opaque, Hansa Yellows are a good choice for glazing.
Tones of Green are perfect for Goblins, Frankenstein, Cat’s Eyes and Witches Brew! :)
Cadmium Green Pale
This green is really a bright green color that is made of Viridian and Cadmium Yellow. It has a yellow undertone and has good tinting strength.
This bright, grassy green is very bold. It is semi-transparent and is very lightfast. Permanent Green is a warm green and is very opaque.
Viridian is standard in most artists’ palettes. It is almost black at full strength and has a cold, emerald green undertone. It has good tinting strength and is very transparent.
Red is the enchanting color of fake Blood, the Devil, and Dracula’s Cape!
Cadmium Red is available in light medium and dark hues. It is a bright, warm shade that is opaque and tints well. The colors range from an orange-red shade for the light hue to a maroon shade for the dark hue. It is lightfast and permanent.
This cool red color has a low tinting strength, but it is lightfast and has an excellent permanence rating. Quinacridone Red is transparent and often is used in place of Alizarin Crimson.
Scarlet Lake is a red that has a decided yellow undertone. It has good tinting strength and its translucency makes it popular for glazing. It is very lightfast and permanent.
Purple works great for Spooky Skies, Tombstones, and Furry things that go bump in the night.
Cobalt Violet is a pure hue with a pinkish undertone. It has little tinting strength and is semi-opaque. As Cobalt Violet is a costly paint, Manganese Violet is often substituted in place of this expensive hue.
This strong tinting color is very transparent. It is a cold purple that it is almost black. Its color is very intense, so a little goes a long way.
Manganese Violet is semi-transparent with low tinting strength. It has blue undertones and is permanent and lightfast.