Sunday, April 4, 2010

What Color is Teal?

I seriously cannot believe I am having this discussion with myself. I had a high school art teacher that became the reason I majored in math that constantly ranted about the names of colors. What color is puce he would shout at us. Per Wiki--

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. [1]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? 


  1. Teal is approximately the color of my outdated carpeting.

    This dilemma reminds me of denim. I have six or so pairs of denim jeans and two denim jackets and the jackets don't really match any of the pants. How many different colors of denim can you have anyway?

  2. For me even names and numbers have colors. As being a synesthesian artist I live a life in colors. Synesthesia means that I see colors when I see words and numbers.I transform this in paintings of names and birthdays.

  3. Hi Jacqui.
    Teal has not been a favourite colour of mine simply because it means so many different things to so many people. I have heard a drab olive green being described as teal, as has a turquoise blue.
    According to the appended link this is teal (green):

    But also there is teal (blue):


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.