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By Um Yaqoob








Photo:  Jim DeLillo














Autumn arrives almost overnight and the landscape transforms into a banquet of colors. Leaves turn not only tens of shades of brown but yellow, orange, red, purple.  Pumpkins and squash add their warm notes.  The sun casts a different light, mixing new colors.  Deep greens of moss and forest merge with earth and clay to add to the most dramatic of all seasonal palettes.  The many tones and hues call to mind exotic spices, Crayola crayons, Indian corn.


The colors of fall are deep, muted, complex and warm.  Few of the colors are pure; they are gray-greens, creams, orange-yellows, reddish browns.  They are shades that only the Grand Artist can create.  No artificial pigment can approach the subtleties of richness.


Whether described in words, sampled in a swatch of fabric or paint, or portrayed in a photo, the colors of autumn challenge the mindís eye as well as the physical eye to define them precisely, which they can never do.





Black:  a color singularly devoid of any light whatsoever.





Photo by author


   Oyster:  grayish-white

Photo by author

                    Pewter:  a bluish gray




  Charcoal:  a dark gray




                            Slate:  a dark purplish gray


Photo: Carmen Cordelia /


        Smoke:  a : a pale blue b : any of the       colors of smoke


                   Granite:  a tone of gray




      Stone:  the color of slate or



                           Sand:  a light grayish brown to            

                    yellowish gray



   Shell:  a yellowish gray color


                               Champagne:  a pale orange

                             yellow to light grayish yellowish  






         Pearl:  a nearly neutral slightly

       bluish medium gray


                Eggshell:  a pale yellowish-white color 



                                Photo: Marcus Buckner


Ivory:  a variable color    

        averaging a pale yellow


               Canvas Blazer  Forest beige:  Eddie Bauer beige


 Beige:  a : a variable color averaging light grayish yellowish brown b : a pale to grayish yellow



               Vanilla: a rich yellowish white[4]


   Oatmeal: grayish-yellow[


Eyelet Taupe

Photo: Rubber Dream/


                           Taupe (greige):  a brownish gray


                                  Photo:  Ivan Raszl


 Camel: a light yellowish brown 



                 Almond:  a pale tan to light brown









 Brown:  a mixture of the different primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) [6]




    Chocolate:  a brownish gray


    Coffee:  darker shades of   
       brown to deep brown




Photo: Olga Shelego

     Wheat:  a light yellow


      Straw: the color of straw


       Tan: a light yellowish brown



      Caramel:  A moderate yellow




     Walnut: a moderate reddish brown

Photo:  Lee Adcock

           Tortoise:  tan or brown[7]



      Butterscotch: a moderate    

     yellowish brown


       Russet: 1 : coarse homespun,

      usually reddish brown cloth 2 : a  

      strong brown


    Rust:  a strong reddish brown


     Bronze: a moderate yellowish brown

Photo:  Ricardo Colombo/

           Raw sienna:  brownish yellow


Photo: Advaith Siddharthan

 Burnt sienna:  orange red or reddish brown



      Chestnut:  a grayish to reddish




 Brick:  a moderate reddish brown

 Auburn:  a reddish brown color

     Copper: a common reddish metallic

   element that is ductile and malleable and

   is one of the best conductors of heat and



Photo:  Supreet Vaid


  Henna:  a reddish brown dye obtained from leaves of the henna plant and used especially on hair

  Cedar:  red-brown[8]



     Cinnamon:  a light yellowish brown


Photo: Alan Cole/


        Raw umber:  an olive brown[9]


Photo:  Christopher Rayan/

  burntumber150.JPG (8524 bytes) Burnt umber:  deep reddish chocolate






   Maize:  a light yellow to moderate

  orange yellow


 Gold:  a variable color averaging deep yellow



 Goldenrod:  any of numerous chiefly N. American composite biennial or perennial plants (especially of the genus Solidago) with alternate leaves and heads of small yellow or sometimes white flowers often clustered in panicles


Photo by author


 Brass: an alloy consisting essentially of copper and zinc in variable proportions


 Mustard:  a dark to moderate yellow

 Ochre:  an earthy usually red or yellow and often impure iron ore used as a pigment



         Curry:  a condiment consisting of

        several pungent ground spices (as

        cayenne pepper, fenugreek, and




 Honey:    yellowish, brownish, golden


 Pumpkin: yellowish orange to orange



   Salmon:  a moderate, light, or  
  strong yellowish pink to a moderate

     reddish orange or light orange




     Melon: orange sherbet with a dash of



        Amber:  a variable color averaging

       a dark orange yellow


Photo:  Moonshine Designs


 Bittersweet:  a sprawling poisonous weedy nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) with purple flowers and oval reddish orange berries


       Paprika:  deep orange[12]



        Saffron:  a moderate orange to

       orange yellow



 Burnt orange:  a dark brownish reddish orange









          Cherry: a variable color averaging

          a moderate red


           Tomato:  strong red


         Maple red:  The intense red of

       maple leaves that are backlit by the


              Coral: a deep pink



       Crimson: any of several deep

     purplish reds


Photo:  Boxelder Farm


     Dried, Ground Sumac Sumac:  a tart red-purple spice

     ground from the berries of the Middle

     Eastern sumac shrub[14]



            Wine:  a dark red


30 lb. Bonner Organic Raisin Bulk


        Raisin Raisin: plum with brown



Photo:  Jyn Meyer


         Cranberry:  dark red[16]


Photo:  Tess' Designer Yarns/


 Dusty rose:  a light purple-pink[17]

Photo by author


         Dark rose:  a moderate purplish red


 Antique pink:  a light brownish pink[18]



   Maroon:  a dark red



 Burgundy: a reddish purple color



Aubergine/eggplant:  a dark grayish or blackish purple


 Plum:  a dark reddish purple



 Mauve:  1 a : a moderate purple, violet, or lilac color b : a strong purple


 Mountain purple:  the rich purple of mountains in the distance under an intense blue sky[19] 


         Lavender:  a pale purple


      Dusty grape: a faded dark violet to

    dark grayish purple



      Thistle:  a shade of lavender[20]



 Orchid:  A pale to light purple, from grayish to purplish pink to a strong reddish purple 




Periwinkle:  a light purplish blue
















     Forest green (pine): A fresh dark




     Spinach:  dark green



      Asparagus:  an apple green




        Moss:  a moderate yellow green to

        grayish or moderate olive or dark

        yellowish green

Photo:  Barbara Schneider


      Seaweed:  dark green


             Avocado:  a light yellowish green


   Olive:  any of several colors  

  resembling that of the unripe fruit of   

  the olive tree that are yellowish green



         Lettuce:  a medium to dark green





    Pea green:  moderate to dark green


               Fern:  a soft, muted green[23]




                Celery:  a pale green


       Eucalyptus:  green to gray-green[24]


 Sage:  a mint (Salvia officinalis) with grayish green aromatic leaves used especially in flavoring meats




          Seafoam:  a misty green-blue[25]



 Khaki:  a light yellowish brown

 Verdigris:  a green or greenish blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper and consisting of one or more basic copper acetates



Photo:  Denilson Vasconcelos


  Jade:  a light bluish green


              Turquoise:  a light greenish blue



   Teal:  a dark greenish blue




Color definitions:  Unless otherwise noted, all color definitions are from Merriam-Webster online dictionary (, The Free Dictionary (, ( and  Red White And Blue.ORG (


[1] Art History (

[2] Light and Color in Environmental Design (

[3] Definition by Um Yaqoob

[4] Definition by Um Yaqoob

[5] Definition by Vladimir Nabokov (

[6] Physics Van (

[7] Pelotes Island Nature Preserve http:// (

[8] Roofing Ireland (

[9] RawUmber Art & Design (

[10] R&F Handmade Paints (

[11] Ruby Lane (

[12] Colorcon (

[13] Definition by Carole (

[14] The Epicentre (

[15] Catalog of Vintage Clothing (

[16] Growing Cranberries in New Jersey (

[17] Trocadero (

[18] Definition by Um Yaqoob

[19] Definition by Lorrie (

[20] Desktop Publishing:  Lavender (

[21] Cdkitchen (

[22] Wish Bone (

[23] Definition by Um Yaqoob

[24] (

[25] Definition by Um Yaqoob