Among other things Red is associated with danger, energy, power, love and passion. Red grabs your attention, think of traffic lights, coca-cola tins, red warning signs, Ferrari cars and traffic lights.
Things that sell well in supermarkets are usually red and at eye level so you can pick them straight off the shelf.
Many red pigments are found in nature from flowers, seeds, resins, roots and rocks. One of the first red pigments was found in a red rock called cinnabar, this was mined and manufactured for a long time making the colour vermillion and was toxic. Now fortunately, we have synthetic dyes, which can be bought straight off the shelf in the form of the cadmium colours which are always light fast and brilliant.
Like all primary colours, there are the warm and the cool versions. The warm red verging towards the orange and the cool red leaning towards the blue. Some red colours are fugitive. That means that they may fade with time. All reds are very powerful and should be used with caution. All reds are very dominant and powerful and should be used sparingly, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!
The complimentary colour of red is green. Try using these two colours and paint a picture with red and green and a mixture thereof. The variations of colour you can achieve are endless.
Did you know that mixing red and green make a very interesting grey?
The uses of red are many. Red used sparingly, can be mixed with any other colour to give it warmth. Diluted It can be used in glazes, on it’s own or layered with other colours. It can be used to great advantage in gentle gradations with other colours. Mixed with white it will turn into a very useful pink. It’s also in the recipe for making a very useful black. See our article about mixing colours here.