As the harvest season slows down, fall colors become abundant. Nature amazes and enchants us with endless shades of red, orange and yellow. But it's not only nature that is preparing for a color change: the colors of autumn have inspired artists and writers around the world for centuries, and today they continue to amaze the public as they regularly appear in many of the products that accompany everyday life: fashion, make-up and even design offer new lines and collections that best embody the many facets of the color of the period. For this reason, the yearly Fall color trend should always be kept in mind, repeating as regularly as Christmas or Halloween and influencing publishers, designers and creators all around the world.
In this article, we'll provide an overview of fall colors, including an explanation of why they develop in nature on foliage, the process that generates them, how they affect our mood, how they inspired artists and some selections of images, color palettes, and ideas related to fall and its celebrations.
The season Autumn is called Fall in the United States because leaves fall from the trees at this time of year. Fall is the period between the autumnal equinox (day and night equal in length) on September 22 or 23, and the winter solstice (year’s shortest day) on December 21 or 22. The hours of darkness become greater than those of light and the first cold weather begins to press at the doors. This season, which anticipates the grayness of winter, can give us breathtaking landscapes and colors. The concept of autumn, in North American and Europe, is deeply connected with the harvesting of crops; in many cultures Fall months have been marked by rites and festivals revolving around the season’s importance in food production and the preparation for Winter. Nowadays some of these rites have become part of popular culture and developed into festivities such as Halloween.
Fall Colors or Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the green leaves of many trees and shrubs by which they take on shades of yellow, orange, red, purple, and brown. The phenomenon is commonly called fall colors, fall foliage, or simply foliage.
Around September and October (fall foliage peak times), in some areas of Canada and the United States, "leaf peeping" tourism is a major activity.
A color palette needs pigments, and three types are involved in fall colors:
Chlorophyll: Gives leaves a basic green color. It is necessary for photosynthesis: the chemical reaction that enables plants to use sunlight to produce nutrients in the form of sugars.
Carotenoids: Produces yellow, orange and brown colors. It can be found in large quantities in such things as corn, carrots, and daffodils, as well as rutabagas, buttercups, and bananas.
Anthocyanin: This pigment gives color to wonderful things such as cranberries, red apples, grapes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and plums.
When chlorophyll is abundant in the leaf's cells, as during the growing season, the green color dominates and masks out the other colors present in the leaf.
As fall approaches, daylight hours are shortening and temperatures are cooling, the veins are gradually closed off by a layer of cork cells that develops at the base of each leaf. During this time, the amount of chlorophyll in the leaf decreases. Often, the veins are still green after the tissues between them have almost completely changed color.
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
'In autumn, don't go to jewellers to see gold; go to the parks!'
- Mehmet Murat Ildan
Over the centuries, painters have been sensitive to the allure of September, October, November and December, and tried to recreate their unique hues on canvas. Nature provides rich golds, reds, yellows and browns which are an amazing gift for painters and artists. At the same time, the Fall months give a chance for artists to explore ideas like transition and decay, along with constancy and plenty. Harvest and the accompanying festivals suggest that Fall is the season in which the year’s work comes to glorious fruition that deserves a magnificent celebration.
Discover more about Fall colors in painting in this blog post: Colours of Autumn, Paintings of the Season
Read on the origins of Fall color names in this blog post:
During Fall, nature stimulates our vision by surrounding us with landscapes of warm tones, from the darkest brown and dark green to the most intense orange and yellow, passing through almost all shades of red.
Fall also suggestively influences our sense of smell: think of the scent of undergrowth after a storm, the taste of chestnuts, mushrooms, pumpkins, the wonderful colors of the woods that are preparing for the winter rest.
The main colors of this season are red, yellow, brown and orange, warm colors often used in color therapy for their energizing effect.
Looking at these colors provokes physical reactions related to the sphere of energy, let's see below what are the main effects of the vision of these tonalities.
Ochre is the transitional shade between light brown and golden yellow and has always had a meaning of strength and royalty.
In fact, at the time of the Egyptians, it was used to decorate sacred monuments, in ancient Rome, it was used for the dresses of the most important weddings, while in the Middle Ages it was a true symbol of prestige and power.
Used in the home or office transmits warmth and vitality, brightening the environment with a touch of elegance.
Red, with its many shades, from purple to vermilion, from burgundy to scarlet, is perhaps the main color of autumn it is found in the leaves still on the trees, on those already fallen, or in some typical fruits of the season as the pomegranate.
Always used as a symbol of power and magnificence, is the color that most of all symbolize life, strength, energy.
In its darker shades can give environments a solemn aspect, while its brighter shades, used in a measured manner, help to warm the environment and give it energy.
On the one hand, the vision of red, especially in those who suffer from low blood pressure, accelerating blood pressure, can have benefits on circulation and motivate to action, but in lively people can trigger aggressive attitudes.
Fall offers shades of intense and warm yellow, such as amber, or strong and bold, such as mustard or citrine, but never too bright.
It is the color associated with the sun and life, and from the psychological point of view represents knowledge and reason, but it should be enjoyed in the right measure, because excessive exposure to yellow can transmit too many stimuli that, instead of turning into positive energy and willing to do, risk turning into nervousness and anxiety
Chromatically placed between red and yellow, inherits the main features of these colors. It is the perfect synthesis of energy and serenity. Ideal to address and react to stress, in oriental cultures it is used as a symbol of good wishes for abundance, prosperity, and happiness.
Its duller shades give a sense of calm and welcoming, while the brighter shades make the environment sparkling and energetic.
Orange is the color of all Halloween celebrations and influences few Halloween costumes.
You may want to check out this post on How to use images on Halloween
To get inspiration for your Halloween costumes read our blog post: Halloween Costume Inspiration
Inserting some brown elements in the furniture, combined with the various shades of red, orange and yellow, means virtually recreating a small corner of the woods, comfortable and reassuring.
Bundle up, maybe grab a mug of hot cider, and enjoy this batch of recent fall images where everything pays homage to the Fall season, to its Intimate atmospheres, the sense of protection from the weather, cuddles with hot drinks and tasty sweets.
For even more autumnal goodness, check out this selection of vintage (and not) fall season greetings images for ideas or how the Fall season is depicted in Japanese art and culture
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.