Please help me es­tab­lish a colour pal­ette in Pho­to­shop

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

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 ( 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.css­ 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.

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