Sunday, April 4, 2010
What Color is Teal?
Puce (often misspelled as "puse","peuse" or "peuce") is a color that is defined as ranging from reddish-brown to purplish-brown, with the latter being the more widely-accepted definition found in reputable sources. Puce is a shade of red. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) dates the use of "puce" (in couleur puce) from 1787. The first recorded use of puce as a color name in French was in the 1300s. The word comes from French; puce literally means "flea", as the usual flea coloration is either dark reddish-brown or dark purplish-brown; specifically, it is the color of the belly of a flea.
Mr. Ben Featherston wanted to give all colors a number ascending (tints) or descending (shades) from its primary or secondary color on the color wheel. To be totally fair to a man that frequently was not let me say the names of colors become decidedly confusing after you leave your box of crayons behind. I always had the box of 84. Never less. Largely because it included the crayons mahogany and teal. Today I am dealing with Viridian green hue and cerulean blue deep in an effort to approximate teal - a medium greenish-blue color - so named because of Teal ducks which there are more than one species ergo more than one color of teal.
That is all the bad news. Generally I oblivious to the names of colors until they become favorites like Prussian Blue or Crimson Lake or Payne's gray. Then a customer wants a painting with teal blue to go with her walls. Then the question becomes - her teal blue, my teal blue, Crayola's teal blue, house paint teal blue, the teal blue of the Baikal Teal Duck or the Green Winged Teal Duck - well, you get the point.
What color is teal?