Understanding Your Color: A Guide to Personal Color Analysis
May 26, 2011 by Christine Scaman
On the cover of her book, author Kathryn Kalisz writes:
A vital part of your physical composition from birth,
your personal coloring emanates who you are.
In part color analyst’s workbook, spanning color information and application from theoretical to abstract, this beautiful book is essential reading for those interested in the coloring of human beings.
Kathryn spent her life in the study colour. She worked with Munsell Color until 1991, when she chose to devote more time to her artwork in oils, watercolor, and acrylics. She was a gifted teacher of color theory, art, and color analysis. Through the eyes of an artist, she developed a very individual perspective on color, nature, design, and their relationship to every person. These are strongly communicated in her book.
Kathryn’s life was tragically lost in 2010. We are deeply grateful to have her writings to keep us consistent with her vision of colour in the human body and receptive to its meaning in the world that surrounds us. With her knowledge of pigments and insistence on absolute precision in the use of colour technology, Kathryn developed a system of human colour analysis that elevated the field to a new level of scientific accuracy.
What makes Sci\ART different:
- loyalty to how light and colour behave in Nature, the system that coloured humans in the first place; no new colour naming, ordering, or categorizing were conceived or necessary
- a series of drapes whose colours and order of use are uniquely able to reveal the subtleties in human colouring with an astonishing degree of accuracy
- the principle that Season is determined only by which colours perfect the skin; hair and eye colour play no role in the decision; as an artist herself, Kathryn was expert in the difference between what we think we see and what really is (for example, we think we see snow as always being white because our left brain tells us so, but an artist paints its true colour under the influence of lighting and surrounding colours ; we think blue-eyed blondes will be Springs and Summers, and only a draping session where surrounding colour is fully neutralized can force us to see what is instead of what we think should be, and that blue-eyed blondes may exist in any Season)
- the Neutral Seasons; rather than using colours already existing in the True Seasons, Kathryn devised entirely new palettes that are exclusive to each of the 8 Neutral Seasons, and not those of the parent Seasons
- the absence of Seasons which blend the 2 cool True Seasons of True Summer and True Winter, because the product of such blends did not offer any new colours to those palettes that were not already available
- the absence of Seasons which blend the 2 warm True Seasons of True Spring and True Summer, for the same reason as with the cool Seasons, and also to maintain the difference in the pigments that warm the colours for each Season
You will find in this book:
- a discussion of personal color tone and how we see and feel it
- color classification, order, and terminology
- the personalities of each of the rainbow’s colors
- the how and why of simultaneous contrast, the basis of personal colour analysis, with illustrations of the optical effects that create the illusions we see in right and wrong colours
- the 12 Tones of Personal Color, their predominant characteristic, their colors and feelings, and cosmetic colors (please note that these are descriptions, not colour palettes or swatches)
- unique, innovative, and detailed coverage of the personality traits of the 4 True Seasons
- the use of color in your wardrobe and in your home to feel, convey, develop, balance, or counteract many emotions
Books can be purchased directly from Spectrafiles owner, Suzanna Greif. (The name Sci\ART continues to refer to Kathryn’s work. The present day supply of swatch books and drapes continues under the new name, Spectrafiles.)
Process : Send Suzanna an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Suzanna will arrange payment from there.
Cost: US$65.50 + shipping
On a personal note, I would add that Kathryn’s descriptions of the emotional ‘personality’ of the colours were my first exposure to the idea that we feel colour, and that we feel in colour. In the colours we absorb and those we reflect, we emanate colour like a personal force field, in a version of the rainbow that is ours alone. Kathryn’s ability to transcend the appearance of colour and join its energy with the depth of a human being was my first step into confirming that our colours are part of us, right to our deepest core.
What set Sci\ART apart to me in the world of colour analysis was its reverence for (and reference to) the interconnectedness of all living things. Everything Nature created is literally a part of everything else, like an immense nervous system, sharing the ability to express white light from the sun in various pigmentations, beautiful diversity, and splendid uniqueness. Kathryn saw the world this way too. The Rainbow Warriors video (here on YouTube) was very meaningful for her, beautifully and perfectly depicting what she sought to achieve in her art, work, and life.