Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Color inspirations, part of Photoshop for Designers: Color.
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Color inspiration is everywhere and if you're looking to create some color palettes then why not start with the great masters as your inspiration, artists that are famed for their use of color. So I am going to come over to my Layers panel. Now you'll have to find your own versions of these images or other images. I can't distribute these to you. But I'm going to now tear off my Layers panel, so we can see what's going on here and then expand it. So starting out with, for me its girl with the pearl earring, if I want to create a color palette inspired by this I can do it on case-by-case basis, of course, using the Eyedropper tool and then just clicking on the color and then going over to Swatches and adding that color to my Swatches panel.
That's a bit laborious, it works. But, here is another approach. I have applied smart filters to each of these and if we turn on the smart filter, we can see that I have applied a Mosaic filter and this Mosaic essentially boils it down to the essential colors. So here I can really get an idea of what the color scheme is in this image. I am now going to make my Swatches panel a bit bigger and then I can come over and I can just decide, well, I want that blue and I want that blue, and just on and on, building up a color palette of the essential colors.
Now if I don't want to have to click OK to acknowledge the name of the new color, I can hold down the Option or Alt key when I click on my Swatches panel. Okay, and then I've got Van Gogh or Van Gogh depending on which side of the Atlantic you are, or Van Gogh if you are Dutch. Klimt, Rodchenko, so I am just picking my favorites here. This is a great starting point for any color based project.
And of course color inspiration can come from more pedestrian sources as well. Make sure you carry a camera or a camera phone. Whenever you see something that looks interesting, take a picture of it. Here I was out for a Lebanese meal and I thought that's a good color combination; let's take a picture of it. If you have an iPhone, you might consider this for a useful app, myPANTONE, which will analyze the colors in a picture that you've taken with your camera phone and it will give you the color palette in Pantone colors.
A useful tool to carry around in your pocket. The message of the movie is that color inspiration is everywhere. So make sure that you are always open to receiving the inspiration.
- Defining color terms
- Using Kuler to create color palettes
- Understanding additive and subtractive color
- Understanding color management
- Using the Levels, Curves, Auto Tone, and Auto Contrast adjustments
- Color correction
- Selecting color—from the Magic Wand to Color Range
- Neutralizing blacks and whites with blend modes
- Matching colors
- Saturating and de-saturating colors
- Increasing saturation with Vibrance
- Designing with spot color
- Colorizing images