Colors, Textures and Shapes Entry: Yellow

Real World Comparisons


Cooking oil/olive oil
Ripe honeydew melon
Spaghetti squash
Pasta noodles…


The sun
Buttercups, dandelions, black-eyed Susan, daffodils, sunflowers, forsythia
Canola fields
Passing lane…


Autumn leaves
Old bruises
Document envelopes
Used cooling oil

Shades of Yellow: ochre, blond, buff, cream, ivory, tawny, sandy…

Make every detail count

Colors are powerful descriptors, not fillers. Make sure that if you use a comparison or contrast to highlight a color, you choose the right one. Look at the setting and atmosphere you are working to create, then draw from the viewpoint character or narrator’s history, education and past experiences to find the right fit.

Colors not only paint a picture for readers; when used well, they can also create emotional and symbolic harmonies.

Looking to add vivid imagery to your character’s world? This thesaurus has been expanded and integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, entries have been enhanced to include symbolism opportunities, a wealth of real-world comparisons that can be woven into your writing, and examples of how to describe colors and patterns in ways that engage the reader’s imagination. This collection is also cross-referenced for easy searchability so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Interested in seeing a sampling of the updated Color and Pattern Thesaurus and our other collections? Head on over and register for free at One Stop!


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Mary Witzl, I agree. That bee image resonated more strongly with me than the honey sunrise, and I didn’t think about black in the bee at all. I would argue that most people think of bees as being primarily yellow. I love that the dress is flimsy, which I visualized as thin, like bee wings. Some image preferences depend on the reader’s imagination, experiences and assumptions, which I realize is a very deconstructive belief on my part.

11 years ago

Thanks Everybody! I’m glad this helps. Thanks for the custard addition–that’s perfect!

11 years ago

Some good ideas there. What about custard? You can’t get more yellow than that.

Pen Pen
11 years ago

Lists of alternate words are as important to my writing as my computer is! 🙂 Thanks for the gorgeous words!!

Amber Lough
11 years ago

Ooh, good post!

Christina Farley
11 years ago

I feel a bit of sunshine just reading these words. Thanks for more great ideas!

PJ Hoover
11 years ago

I’ve used your Green entry like ten times today, so I’m thrilled to see another color!

11 years ago

I often struggle with yellow and red. The honey example is excellent. I can’t wait to see your red examples.

Mary Witzl
11 years ago

Say what you will about that being a weak example — I find myself intrigued by the idea of Aunt Edna’s bumblebee sundress!

Nate K.
11 years ago

“Ochre”? Never heard of that. But good post. 🙂

Bish Denham
11 years ago

Ooooo, daffodils. Such a lovely shade of yellow, so springy. As a kid yellow was my favorite color. Yellow room, yellow quilt.

C.R. Evers
11 years ago

For some reason this list is making me hungry. ;0)