How to Write About Color Without Saying the Color

By Ellen Gwin

The key to writing about color without saying the color is to stimulate the five senses of your reader: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste — and the sixth sense: emotions.

While you don’t need to incorporate all five senses into your poem, it’s still a good idea to think about them when brainstorming.

Think about:

Sight: The images that come with the color you’ve chosen:

  • Yellow:
    • Ducks, sun, lemons, honey
  • Blue
    • Ocean, sky, eyes, veins
  • Pink
    • Brain, flowers, sunset, cheeks
  • Green
    • Leaves, emeralds, frogs, pears
  • Red
    • Roses, strawberries, lips, racecars
  • Orange
    • Sunset, pumpkins, salmon, marigolds

Taste & Smell: The objects you imagine tasting & smelling with each color

  • Yellow
    • Lemons, saffron, passion fruit
  • Blue
    • Blueberry pie, blue cheese, bluraspberry lollipop
  • Pink
    • Starburst, watermelon, bubblegum
  • Green
    • Brussel sprouts, peppermint ice cream, honeydew melon
  • Red
    • Cherry, spaghetti, blood orange
  • Orange
    • Tangerine, kumquat, papaya

Touch: What do you imagine feeling or touching with each color?

  • Yellow
    • Warm skin, hot seatbelts, sticky honey
  • Blue
    • Salty water, clear breaths, cold showers
  • Pink
    • Dainty lips, burning cheeks, dense gum
  • Green
    • Slime, luscious grass, wet leaves
  • Red
    • Hot blood, smooth fruits, soft flowers
  • Orange
    • Burning hot, red hair, fuzzy peaches

Sound: What sounds remind you of the color?

  • Yellow
    • Clapping crowds, giggles, charades
  • Blue
    • Splashing waves, crying tears, rain drops
  • Pink
    • Sloppy kisses, long goodbyes, smacking gum
  • Green
    • Wind in the trees, birds chirping, lovers screams
  • Red
    • Loud voices, moaning into the night, yelps of pain
  • Orange
    • Laughter, crunchy foods, running feet

BONUS: Emotions that remind you of the color

  • Yellow:
    • Energetic, sunny, joyous
  • Blue
    • Deep, sad, tranquil
  • Pink
    • Blushing, inspiring, warm
  • Green
    • Vivacious, envious, ambitious
  • Red
    • Passionate, angry, powerful
  • Orange
    • Creative, zealous, fiery

I hope this finds everyone well and happy writing! –Elle Vue

One thought on “How to Write About Color Without Saying the Color

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