Mauve, Verdant, Puce and Burnt Umber?

What’s a good way, book, method or resource for a throroughly heterosexual and normally indifferent male to expand his color vocabulary to not only learn different names of specific colors, but to recognize them as such when he sees them?

C’mon Dopers. Trying to impress a lady here.

One would be the largest box of Crayola crayons. Another would be the J. Crew clothing catalog. They always name their clothes colors that sound expensive.

This is the best I could do with a google search for color.

General Questions is for questions with factual answers. IMHO is for opinions and polls.

I’ll move this to IMHO for you.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

These things are rather standardized; I imagine Pantone or similar outfits publish lists of colour names.

Go to an art supplies store and drool over the names of oil paints: magenta, crimson lake, viridian, sepia, rose madder, azure, cerulean… <dribbling>

I’d vote for the extra-large box of crayolas - they’re relatively inexpensive and allow for study at home. If your lady friend finds them tell them you keep them around to entertain child visitors.

I think getting a Pantone catalogue is a good way, but they are very expensive.

This is a good page

Urban Ranger I doubt that web page colors are going to impress the little lady. :wink:

With few exceptions, Pantone colors are numbered, not named.

If you don’t want to come off a total dork, do learn to pronounce the names of the colors correctly.

Mauve - MOHV, not MAWV… this is a dusty pink with greyish undertones. (It’s also the sound a cat makes when it yacks on your carpeting.)

Taupe - TOHP, not TAWP… this is a cool brown-beige, with no yellowish tones.

Puce - PYOOS - is exactly the color of dried blood.

Verdant would be a green, but I’m just guessing here. It sounds more like a J.Crew color name than a “real” color name.

Burnt Umber is a very dark yellowish brown (burnt sienna would be a very dark reddish brown.) Umber and ochre (OAKER) are fairly close in color, but the ochre has more of a greenish tinge to it.

Ecru, ivory, champagne, eggshell, linen, bisque and off-white are nearly interchangeable. Sage green and celadon are NOT - sage is a dusty green, celadon a clear light blue-green. Hunter green is a dark clear green, pine is as deep as hunter, but with a blue undertone.

Confused yet?

And sage is moving a little toward olive but neither are as deep as loden. But loden is not as deep as hunter. Celery is more like celadon but without the blue.

Maybe it’s my monitor, but those colors didn’t look true to me, Urban Ranger. Look at their “chocolate,” for example. Too red. And their khaki is too yellow.

What is umber? What does it look like before it’s burnt?

What do you call a color that is just between gold and red so that it almost shimmers and shifts back and forth? It’s not as bright as orange. It’s spicier. Like curry, only more luminous.

Bittersweet? Pumpkin?

Sounds like persimmon to me.

Paint samples. There’s a zillion of them and they’re free.

Speak softly and carry a Pantone swatchbook.

You can annotate it with the names of colours, and when the missus refers to “stone” or “puce” you can ask her if she means more of a 406 or a 413, or a 201, 215, 704 or a 506.

Better yet, have her memorize the numbers. :smiley:

To be strictly accurate, it’s the colour of a blood-engorged flea. It comes from the French for flea (and I bet you’re not going to forget that having heard it once ;)).

It’s just an adjective for green coloured, also from the French, it’s been around since the C16[sup]th[/sup].

Umber, sienna and ochre (ocher is the US spelling) are “earth” colours. The first two are the natural colours of certain soils found in Umbria and Siena (note the spelling) in Italy, and ochre is either a red or yellow soil rich in iron oxide. Since the etymology of ochre is from the Greek for yellow, we normally use it for the yellow version.

If you visit an art supply store you’ll find raw and burnt sienna and umber and you’ll be able to see the difference between the fresh and roasted versions.

Art stores are generally a better place to look than decorators’ stores because they stick to traditional names consistently rather than inventing new names for old colours for copyright and marketing reasons.

That’s an interesting post, everton. Is there some reference book that would explain this stuff?