I was talking to someone about being a color analyst the other day and she asked how do I know I’m picking the right colors. “I’m looking for color harmony between the client and the colors,” I explained, “For the colors to look balanced, pleasing, and “right” with my client.”
“How do you know it’s right?” she asked.
“Well,” I said, “it’s my own artistic interpretation BUT if you had other custom color analysts do the same person’s colors our results would most likely be very similar.”
Here is an example. These are all custom made palettes for the same person.
The palette on the top right was done by Suzanne Caygill in 1982. Suzanne Caygill was not the first person to do study the effect of wearing different colors, but she is regarded as the pioneer of color analysis – and she started the seasonal approach that is so well known. The palette shown is an Iridescent Summer palette.
The palette on the bottom right was done by Lois Marlow Scott, who trained with Suzanne Caygill and was known as Suzanne Junior. Her palette for this client is an Early Spring palette.
I, not having seen any of these other palettes before, made the palette between these two. You can see how it actually looks like a blend of the two other palettes encompassing both the muted pinks of Suzanne’s palette and the warmer peaches of Lois’. I was not trained in and do not work seasonally so this palette is not of a particular type. I simply choose the colors that make my client look most magnificent.
You can also see two other palettes and part of third to the left. They look more similar to each other, but still similar to the three on the right.
None of the analysts had seen each other’s work prior to making their own palette for her.So how do I know I am right? I see it: I see color harmony. But also, by way of visible evidence (separate from photos of my clients with their palettes), here you can see that my work falls between two women very highly respected in this art form.
Edited to add two points, and a photo of the client with these palettes:
1) This client had light blonde hair through adulthood and then started highlighting, so her hair is more constant than other people’s might be from decades ago.
2) I’ve been asked if this woman would be a Soft Summer in 12 Seasons approach. I can see why this is being asked though there is a yellow-green-peach influence that is being missed..and well, these are customized palettes considering her hair, skin, blush and eye colors not just looking at her skin. Sadly or interestingly, depending on how you look at it, she did also have three 12 Seasons analysis by different analysts both in person and online. She was told Bright Winter, Bright Spring and Light Summer.
All would overwhelm her spectacular quiet beauty which you can see here:
Lovely work. Donna Cognac
Thank you, Donna!
Awesome. Do you have any tips on “how to see” for people trying to find their own colour harmony? I’ve had a few analyses, 2 IRL and one online, I think I have a rough idea but none of them really make me happy, to be honest. I might just be the kind of person who has to have quite a lot of input into their own selections! Do you have any special ways of focussing or looking when you’re doing an analysis that you wouldn’t mind sharing, without giving away your training for nothing?
I look for when the colors themselves look beautiful with a person! Maybe that will help? So for one person, for example, silvery lavenders might look really drab and poppy reds gorgeous. But on another person those same silvery lavenders look luxurious, elegant and expensive and those poppy reds look horrible gaudy. Compare reds to other reds though, purples to other purples, etc. You want the person to look beautiful in the end, of course, but when I work I am working, it feels like I am picking the most beautiful colors. Let me know if that helps you see things in a new way or if you just love certain colors!
Thank you! That is great advice! I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Much appreciated and thank you for sharing.
Of course. Also, while I love seeing people dressed in color harmony, I also think people have to do what makes them feel most alive and fabulous. For you, that might be dressing in a different way!