The Versatility of Lemon Yellow

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The versatility of lemon yellow shown in three images: Corn Dolly, Sunrise, Citrus

The Versatility of Lemon Yellow

Three of our original vintage greeting card designs show the versatility of Lemon Yellow being used in strikingly varied ways. Delicate Lemon Yellow is very different from all the Cadmium Yellows, Mimosa or Yellow Ochre. It is much cleaner, containing no brown, orange or green. This gives Lemon Yellow an intrinsic purity, which is extremely useful for the artist or designer. Next to white, it is the most accurate colour for depicting bright light such as sunshine, lamps or candle flames.


Citrus‘, a 1970s fabric pattern, has been hand-painted in Designers’ Gouache. The smooth chocolate background has rust-coloured foliage and milky brown details. Against this richness, flower motifs in tangerine and lemon yellow glow like small lanterns. The clear luminosity of lemon yellow has been applied to great effect. Highlighting the design, lemon yellow complements the other citrus colours of orange and lime green, and contrasts vividly with the darker browns.

Corn Dolly

The simple two-coloured pattern of the 1950s wallpaper design, ‘Corn Dolly‘, combines the sunshine-bright quality of lemon yellow with a cool mocha shade of brown. The lemon yellow corn stalks in the design are brightly contrasted with the shadowy brown. Even though this shade of mocha is used for the larger flower motif in the pattern, the smaller areas of lemon yellow can more than hold their own. ‘Corn Dolly’ makes a lovely design for a kitchen, and translates beautifully into our 5.5″ square greeting card. It will soon be available as an A3 fine art print/poster.


But the versatility of lemon yellow is really put through its paces in our unusual design, ‘Sunrise‘. Painting in gouache, the artist has used a range of graded peach and yellow shades. Lemon yellow provides the palest colour note in the design, and blends with the cadmium yellow stripe next to it. This creates the look of bright light. By reversing the arrangement of the coloured stripes, the designer has been able to contrast the pale, light lemon yellow with the warmth of a deeper peach shade. The result is incandescent and atmospheric. ‘Sunrise’ is one of our most distinctive A3 fine art prints, and is also available as an A3 poster, and 5.5″ square greeting card.