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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Favorite Colors

The biggest variant as to one's favorite color is gender,
followed by nationality and education level.
If you want to start a safe conversation with someone you've just met, or someone you hardly know, first read and study this item today, then ask, "What's your favorite color?" You can, of course, expect a broad range of responses, but listen carefully and you'll also get a deep insight into that person's background and personality much quicker than you would using any other tact. It's not a hundred percent accurate, but you might gain clues as to that person's country of origin, their education level, their occupation, age, hobbies, even their religion (or lack of one) or, in lieu of that, just how superstitious they may be. All that doesn't come from a single response by no means. The question, like so many, is one which simply opens the door to a whole string of revealing elements. Follow the first question with, "What's your least favorite color. And if the individual, intrigued by the topic, starts pointing the question back at you, then you know you have at least a half-hour of interesting, informative, insightful conversation ahead.
Color refinement by gender. Ever hear a man refer to the color "Cayenne"?
The favorite of all the blues.
I'm sure it'll come as no surprise to anyone that most people's favorite color is (drum roll) Blue, being a relatively deep, intense color in its purest form, contrasts greatly with white. Thus there are going to be a lot of different tints of blue (don't say "shades," that involves the use of black). However, when you combine the number of blue tints with the number of blue shades, it's not hard to see why the generic "blue" tops everyone's list. The person's least favorite color is likely to be yellow or orange. Perhaps that's because yellow tints become virtually meaningless and shades of yellow (the adding of black) veer off into the earthy greens. Similarly, adding black to orange moves it into the brown range. If the conversation starts to lag, bring up the fact that men and women make somewhat different choices as to their favorite colors. Women tend to prefer colors in the violet section of the color wheel while men gravitate toward blues and greens. Beyond that, women are far more sensitive to color subtleties than men. Men have six or seven favorites, straight from the color wheel, while women become extremely refined in their choice of colors, even the names of their choices. Men, can you tell the difference between Sea-Foam Green, Flora, Spring Green, and Lime. Actually, there is none worth mentioning, except to a woman. (The chart above may help.)

This chart applies specifically to bridesmaid's dresses,
but I see no reason why it shouldn't apply to all forms of ladies' apparel.
An astute colorist of either gender, when asked about their favorite color will usually ask in return, "of what?" That is, our favorite colors of automobiles is white, followed by black, silver, red, gray, blue, beige/brown, green, and yellow/gold. Virtually any other colors other than these are considered "exotic" and can actually lower the resale price of your car. Notice that blue, the most common favorite color, is down to number six on the list. For the young ladies, often planning their wedding is the first real taste of the difficulties involved in color management. The chart above suggests that old reliable blue, probably in some pastel shade, remains the most popular for bridesmaid's dresses. By the same token when choosing wall paint, whether for a single room or the whole house (unless you're an interior designer by profession), men, it's best to let the ladies choose...or simply paint everything "off-white." Otherwise you may be called upon to choose between "Lavender" and "bubblegum."
Color Preferences by Nation

Sorry if this is hard to read. I labored about three hours putting it together.
Perhaps the most interesting color preference studies are those specific to individual nations as indicated above. The gray area in the summary chart marked "World" is meant to encompass "all other" possible favorites. It's interesting that the Chinese and Italians seem to have the longest list of favorite colors while the Portuguese, French, and Turks have the shortest lists. Notice there's very little similarity as to color favorites between the Ukrainian and the Russian lists. Although I've never given much thought as to color preferences in my own paintings, I just happened to notice that my newest painting (below), based upon images from our days in Venice two years ago, certainly accommodates the favored variations of blue. I call it Intruder of the Seas.
Copyright, Jim Lane
The Intruder of the Seas, 2014, Jim Lane. Strange as it seems, this scene happens two
 or three times a day in the main channel between San Marco's Square and San Georgio
Maggiore, the island church in the background. Would you call this Venetian blue?


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