The psychology of colour: Orange

Orange is the colour of the extrovert and of the self confident. It is more gentle than red, but it still attracts the attention. It is energising and it inspires vitality and enthusiasm. In some cultures it’s associated with entertainment and amusement.

In nature the orange colour comes from carotens, photosynthetic pigments that absorb the light from the sun and that give a colourful print. You might think that the autumn leaves become colourful, but in reality they loose the green chlorophyll which acts as a paint and they proudly show off their true, vibrant orange nature!

Which word was invented first: orange as a colour or orange as a fruit? As a fruit. The first use of the word orange as a colour is dated to around 1500. Before that, people used to refer to it with the words red, yellow-red or saffron. And saffron is still the word used in Asia to refer to all the different tones of orange.

Orange is the easiest colour to see in low light or in water and that’s why life jackets are orange.

On my website

I have few paintings featuring orange, for example a trunk of the colourful Eucalyptus Tree, a romantic sunset and a dramatic sunset sky.

My next post will end the series of The Psychology of colour, with an interesting consideration about how COVID affected us.

Thank you so much!


By Lucia Waterson

I write poems (exclusively in Italian). What I love in working with colours is that it's a direct language with no barriers. And I like how it brings me into my dreamworld. I'm fond in particular of nature, because in its beauty there is love and hope. I started a new series of artworks Weird but True, because many times nature can be quite bizarre! And the first one, Nature's palette, is already uploaded, you can see it in my website I also started a new series of artworks, in which I select news from all over the world and I recount them to you through my eyes and my (he)art. We can take this ongoing journey together if you keep visiting. The first artwork is already uploaded, it's called Touching the sky. Thank you very much! Lucia Waterson


  1. I am enjoying your series on “color” in art. Thank you.

    As for orange…yes, I figured the fruit came first and, after three decades of boating, I knew about life jackets. I also have a lot of orange in my work because I shoot a lot of sunrises and sunsets. I love your “Nature’s Palette” color pencil artwork on your gallery site.

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