Please help me establish a colour palette in Photoshop
Darren Lambert, England
Answer Alix replies
In the digital world where we don’t have an array of physical pigments to mix, where do you begin when it comes to colour? It can be a daunting task to start out building a colour library, but with a few tricks and tools you can set yourself up for a much easier time.
Being able to match colours by eye from life or reference is an incredibly important skill to hone, and one of the easiest ways to do this is the use of a good colour picking utility. I like to use the Coolorus plugin ( www.coolorus.com) to replace the standard colour picking tools in Photoshop, because the interface makes for a quick and intuitive way to colour match in your workflow.
For colour schemes where you aren’t matching from a reference, however, I’ve found it to be incredibly useful to build out a swatch catalog that you can scroll through to grab pre-made colours as you work. I use a handy colours palette generator utility from CSS Drive ( www.cssdrive.com) as a quick and free way to create colours to save in a large master swatch file, using photos and artwork with excellent colour as a base.
Occasionally the palette generator will miss some of the nice subtle colour in a piece. You can supplement the swatches it creates with some good old-fashioned colour picking.