Tag Archives: Golden Gate Bridge

A Question of Color


painting of bridge

“Golden Gate Bridge”,mixed media by Kerry McFall

As I stood beneath the bridge, I wondered why it looked so red.  It isn’t a bit golden!  So when I returned home and Google was at my fingertips, I typed, “Why is the Golden Gate Bridge red?”  Brilliant, incisive question.  As it turns out, not particularly original, since if popped up as an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) on several entries.  Turns out it isn’t red either, it’s International Orange to be precise.  But I only had a red pen, so my color scheme can be chalked up to artistic license.

“Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the span’s natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.”  Ooh, that would have been fun – then it could have been called the BumbleBee Bridge.

Here is a snapshot of the beginnings of the “fast/slow” process taught by Danny Gregory – a quick splash of color to get things going, then slowly add details as you really look closely at what you’re drawing.

watercolor beginning

“Golden Gate in Progress”, by Kerry McFall