Colour is important in art therapy as it allows the client to express emotions and feelings. The colours may be chosen consciously or unconsciously.
Each colour can convey specific feelings or meanings in the creation of an image.
By also understanding that there is a positive and negative polarity for the qualities of each colour, it is possible to better interpret one’s emotional state. There may be an instinctual or unconscious response to the use of a particular colour.
Colour can influence our emotions in a number of ways.
The warm colours (red, orange, yellow) often evoke strong emotions – both positive in energy and negative in that these colours can overwhelm a sensitive person.
Green, blue and purple are classed as cool colours and can evoke calmness although blue in particular, is often associated with sadness or depression. Reaction to a colour can be based on personal experiences with a subconscious association to an event (either happy or sad).
It is also important to take into account cultural and personal interpretations to each colour.
Some colours have a deep cultural significance, such as the meanings attached to black and white. Black is used for mourning in European countries and white for mourning in some Asian countries