Color of the Week: Indigo

This week I want to shine a spotlight on one of my favorite colors: indigo.

I thought it would be fun to share a color I am loving each week along with a mood board and a bit of history about the hue!

Indigo is close in appearance to ultramarine and cobalt, but has a warmer tone and is generally slightly less saturated. The pigment originally came from the Indigofera tinctoria plant and was named after the Indus valley, the location traditionally regarded as the origin of the plant. Our earliest records suggest that the pigments were used as a dye and paint over 6,000 years ago. 

Cobalt was hugely trendy in several markets off and on for the last year or so, and I still love the color, but I am seeing darker colors rising in popularity recently. Jewel tones are big, and cobalt fits in that category, but the darker colors are lending a certain sophistication to color palettes. Blush was one of the 2016 colors of the year, but I think we are still seeing it everywhere. Many trend forecasting sources say that darker, low saturation pinks are coming our way, even in menswear. I must say that I am struggling to get on the dark, muted pink bandwagon; but I am hoping it will grow on me! Blush and greenery, the 2017 color of the year, are slowly being replaced with lower value versions of the same hue, and sometimes lower saturation as well. I have spotted a lot of navy in surface design lately, and I think indigo is rising in popularity as well! I certainly hope so because I want to keep using it!

If you have been following along with my daily painting challenge on Instagram, you have watched as I have fallen in love with this color. One of the reasons I was drawn to is that it is one of the strongest colors in my palette. When I treated myself to a new set of Winsor and Newton watercolors, I was a bit disappointed that they weren’t more pigmented. I expected the paints to pack a serious punch for the price. I have learned to dilute my colors less with my new set, but the indigo drew my interest because it is extremely powerful, even in small amounts. It is incredibly hard to scan, and the color loses some of its brilliance when it dries, but Photoshop does a great job of bringing the “indigo magic” back into my work. 

Here is this week’s color mood board: 

I hope the mood board inspired you to try using the color indigo in your own work! Stay tuned for next week’s “Color of the Week” post!

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