Signature Color

American Watercolor Advisor Keiko Tanabe shares her signature color and what it means to her — and her work.

“Star of India” (watercolor)

I use the color cobalt turquoise in every piece I create and I always sign my name with it. In fact, many of my collectors and followers have come to associate this color with me. It’s such a unique color, and I use it in every possible way in my designs: weak and strong, large and small, mixed and alone. I also think that this color reflects who I am, speaking to my quiet determination to work through and overcome all the obstacles that lie on the journey ahead.

My signature in cobalt turquoise
So what does the color turquoise represent?

I am not an expert on the meanings of colors so I had to look it up on the internet, and here’s what I found (source: color psychology): Turquoise represents open communication from and between the heart and the spoken word. Being the mid color between the extremes of red and violet, turquoise is the color of balance, for the emotions, thoughts and speech. Turquoise is calming yet invigorating, restoring depleted energies. Turquoise has the ability to tune into its own needs and find the way to success.

“Venetian Light III” (watercolor)


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  1. I love Cobalt Turquoise too Kiko. It is breathtaking if placed well. Have you ever tried to use it in contrast with Benzamida Orange Deep? Try it. I think you will love the contrast.

  2. I am deeply attracted to this color. I’ve been thinking of purchasing it. I am interested in knowing if this color is “universal” among manufacturers that offer artist grade watercolors. What is your experience?

  3. I alway know immediately, if it is one of pieces by the use of Colbalt Turquoise in the painting and your signature. Keep doing it!

  4. I alway know immediately, if it is one of your pieces by the use of Colbalt Turquoise in the painting and your signature. Keep doing it!

  5. Hello Keiko. I also strongly believe in the meaning of colours. There is an incredible woman who studies the biblical meaning of colours the way God sees it through the Bible. Take a look at Carol Nemitz . Regards Jean.

  6. Thank you so much, everyone! I apologize for my slow reply here but I do appreciate each of your kind comments and helpful suggestions which I will keep in mind. Ann, for detailed product information, you should consult with each manufacturer’s website or customer service as their formula may be different. I use Winsor & Newton.


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