Join Jim Krause for an in-depth discussion in this video Helping colors get along, part of Color for Design and Art.
- Colors don't need to have anything in common to get along with each other. Complimentary colors, for example, they come from opposite sides of the color wheel and neither has a trace of the other in it's DNA. And yet these, they can look great together as long as the two colors have clear differences in value. And that said, there's definitely a time and a place for palettes made from colors that do share in common qualities. Like when a hint of gold and yellow is added to all the colors of an illustration to give it notes of warmth while also lending the palette a look of inner connectivity because of the in common hints of gold and yellow.
I first learned about using tints to harmonize palattes when an art teacher he saw me struggling to get the hues in one of my paintings to look like they were getting along and he told me a trick about mixing a light transparent color of some kind and floating it over the top of an entire painting as a way of bringing unity to all it's colors. And that's basically what you're doing when, for example, you open an image in photoshop and you add a solid color fill there and you click on a color in the swatches panel, hit okay and then change the fill layers blend mode to overlay.
Then reduce it's appacity to around 50% so the before image doesn't look bad but the hues in the after image, with it's colored fill layer, they do have this especially nice and harmonious look to them. So, here's before and after. So that's one way to help colors to get along. You can tint them with an in common hue. This is a treatment you can apply digitially not only to photos but also to illustrations and layouts. Another way of infusing a palatte with an in common color using software is to manually tweak the CMYK formulas of all the colors that you're using.
So, here's another example. Okay, so the colors in this illustration, they're looking alright. But let's say, for whatever reason I want to bring a unifying touch of yellow into each of it's colors. I'll do this manually and not at all scientifically as you're going to see. Here's what I'm going to do, I'll go over to the swatches panel, double click on the bottom color, this green and up comes the swatch options panel, Now, since this is a CMYK document, you'll see sliders for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
I'm simply going to nudge the yellow slider to the right around 20 or 30% adding more yellow to the mix in other words. Moving upward from there I'll do the same thing to the next green and then with the dark green. And with this dark green I see that the yellow slider's already at 90% so I'm going to raise it to 100 and also lower the cyan and the magenta percentages and this is going to give yellow some more priority here. And on up through the colors, skipping over the two yellows since they're already yellow enough and on to the two neutrals, a little more yellow in each.
You can see how the image is changing here. And finally a touch more yellow to the violet red crest of our pilliated woodpecker. Alright, done. Now all the colors lean toward the yellow end of the spectrum. Here's the original for comparison. So, here's a before and after and either could work. The newer version is a touch warmer because of the yellow that's been added and it shows off a bit more unity in the palette because of the in common yellow. Keep thoughts and ideas like these in mind when you're working with palettes and take a good look at what you got and ask yourself do things look fine just like they are or could they look even better if I unifed my color scheme with an in common color.
Primarily aimed at designers and illustrators, the course leans heavily toward digital tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but concludes with some challenges using real-world media (inks and paints!), so members can get a solid understanding of mixing colors and what tools and combinations work best.
- Navigating the color wheel and color vocabulary
- Why a color's value is so important
- RGB vs. CMYK vs. spot
- Finding the perfect color
- Working with grays and browns
- Building a color palette
- Borrowing hues for palettes
- Establishing color hierarchies
- Fixing color problems
- Altering color in photos and illustrations
- Using texture with color
- Painting for learning and fun