OBJECTIVE: To develop a standardised method of assessing venous ulceration, based on the colour of an ulcer bed and the surrounding skin. METHOD: This pilot study involved taking three sequential digital photographs during an episode of care and measuring the colour using image analysis software. Ten episodes of care were used for data collection. RESULTS: Based on previous research, a threshold of < or =3 degrees of colour and 3% of saturation was selected to indicate the reliability of the system. The mean of the colour measurements was inside the reliability threshold when measuring an ulcer bed, but outside the threshold for measuring the surrounding skin. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that the system provides consistent visual representation of a venous leg ulcer.