Learn how colors affect mood, reflect your energy and help heal. Dr. Amanda Pike from the Florida Art Therapy Association explained how colors affect mood and cognition. She also provides samples of a mandala with a take home exercise.
Color Theory Presented by Dr. Amanda Pike from The Florida Art Therapy Association
Color Theory &
Amanda Alders Pike, PhD ATR-BC
President of the Florida Art Therapy Association
Founder of Art Therapy Consulting & Services
About this Presentation
10 minutes: How colors affect mood and cognition
15 minutes: Discussing/ viewing a mandala
5 minutes: Discussion on the creation and mandala
TOTAL 30 minutes
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a mental health profession
that uses the creative process of art making
to improve and enhance the physical, mental
and emotional well-being of
individuals of all ages.
Who are Art Therapists?
Master’s-level professionals; credentialed:
Degree in art therapy or art therapy related field
Skilled in the application of a art modalities for
assessment and treatment.
U.S. Department of Labor Update to its Code Classification
System for “Art Therapist.” It Now Provides an Accurate
Reflection of the Status of the Profession
Art therapists will now be included under 21-1000
Counselors, Social Workers, and Other Community and
Social Service Specialists with professions closely
aligned with the levels of education, training, scope of
practice, and stature of the profession of art therapy.
Colors and Emotions
combining colors based
preferences, mood, and
People cross-culturally tend to
choose color-emotion pairings
"Cool" colors, such as blue, may be
associated with alpha brain wave
"Warm" colors, such as red, may
relate feelings associated with beta
Yellow is said to be a "mind-color“
and may relate to gamma brain
Brain Wave Experience Effect
Gamma Enhanced memory, speed
of thought, improved
Beta Energy, excitement, focus,
attention, activities and
blood flow; creates
Alpha State of balance,
Calms the mind and
Ueda Y, Hayashi K, Kuroiwa K, et al. (2004) Consciousness and Recognition of Five Colors—Using
Functional-MRI and Brain Wave Measurements. J Intl Soc Life Info Sci 22: 366–371
Color and the Brain
Color has a profound
impact on the brain. Color
is a fundamental aspect of
human perception, and it
influences cognition and
mood. Color affects
performance on cognitive
tasks such as memory, and
different colors elicit
different cognitive skills
Research on Color
Red has proved helpful in gaining attention and/or problem
Blue aids exploration, risk-taking, and imagination.
In older words, individuals exposed to red are better able to recall
details, while individuals exposed to blue are better able to come
up with new ideas (Mehta and Zhu, 2009).
Mehta, R. and Zhu, R. J. (2009). Blue or red? exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances.
The materials themselves and how they are
used vary along a continuum.
Lusebrink, V. B. (1990). Imagery and visual expression in therapy. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
cardboard rounds, markers, oil pastels, pencils
Mandala is a circular form that represents wholeness.
Mandala art is used throughout the world for self
expression and for symbols for meditation, protection,