Colour Theory in Waldorf Schools

Painting our lobby

I thank the Waldorf Academy for allowing me to Lazure the entry, lobby and Kindergarten hallway, bringing fresh and enlivening color to these spaces. It was a sincere pleasure working with Matt, Dean, Jennifer, and other members of your community I met throughout your school.

Lazure painting is unique to Waldorf circles. The Lazure method, as indicted by Rudolf Steiner, is ancillary support to the curriculum. Steiner designed the color scheme of the classrooms to work with the developmental stages the children, moving from kindergarten to high school. From the warm reddish tones in 1st grade to the light and luminous tones of violet/lavender in the upper grades, he stated that “breathing” color creates nurturing intervals between the etheric and astral bodies of man. To that end, he indicated that the colors on the walls be of a fluid, atmospheric quality where tonal hues weave through each other in a subtle manner. As the children perceive this movement, it strengthens their young souls and initiates a regenerative/healing response.

The luminous, transparent quality of Lazure painting is created with glazes brushed on in layers. Lazuring is almost as if one is painting with light as a pigment which is captivating to see.  The perception of this light and color moves down the central nervous system and back to the brain.


Each Waldorf School building has its own interplay of how light filters into the interior, and this is the first quality I study as I construct the color-play I will work with. Of equal importance is an understanding of what the space will be used for. With interior design, it is known that color effects behavior and that a color scheme for a room can either enhance or detract from how one experiences themselves in that space.


For the Waldorf Academy, the color schemes I chose were determined by the ambient light pouring in from both the front windows and the skylight stairway leading up to the classrooms. For the short entryway, I wanted to bring the warmth of the exterior façade into this space, and used the brick color for the step panels. The golden yellow walls are a bright welcome to the more substantial coloring to follow in the lobby area. As you enter the lobby you immediately notice the yellow-green window walls, a color not often seen in interior spaces. Here the goal was to bring the outside in and let the inside breathe out as green is found in nature more than any other color. The yellow-green hue then gives way to warmer, more golden tones as you travel up the stairwell, increasing in warmth until you look above and see the more expansive blue as you reach the skylight. The mural image evolved out of color play and a searching desire to create an image that worked well in the space – eventually a flowering image, above the garden bed.


Thank you again for letting me contribute something of beauty to your wonderful school.

Color is the nature and nourishment of the human soul.

Charles Andrade

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Waldorf Academy

250 Madison Ave,
Toronto, ON, M4V 2W6