Join Daniel Lieske for an in-depth discussion in this video Color picker, part of Drawing and Painting in Photoshop - The Great Training.
- So how do we now get color on our digital canvas? Well what we have to do first is to choose a color and we do that by clicking on the little color swatch here in the toolbar which is black right at the moment. And when we click it we open up the Color Picker. Now on the Color Picker looks a little bit complicated but we will go through the different elements of it right now.
So we have this big field of color here on the left side. And we have a color slider here. And the first thing that you can see here is that by manipulating the sliders and the cursor position here in the field we can change the color that is displayed here in this field. And this is actually the color that we choose if we hit OK. So but how does it work? Normally color in Photoshop is defined by three values.
These are the values, hue, which is depicted here with the letter H. saturation, letter S, and brightness, letter B. So what I actually do is when I change the position of the slider here is I'm choosing a hue. You can see that as I'm sliding through the color spectrum here the value changes. So the slider here adjusts the hue and you can also see that by the little dot that is set here, the checkbox next to the hue value, this says that our slider drives the hue which leaves us with the other two values, saturation and brightness, which are adjusted in the field here on the left.
So while I'm adjusting the hue and slider. Let's say I choose blue. Then I can adjust the brightness basically by moving up. I increase the brightness and by moving down just have a look at the value here, the brightness value. By moving down I decrease the brightness. And when I am moving left I decrease the saturation and by moving right I increase the saturation.
So in the initial setup of this Color Picker what I'm doing is choosing a hue with a slider and manipulating saturation and brightness in the color field. We can now set the checkbox to saturation and this changes the display here. Now our slider here controls the saturation so if we turn it all the way down we only have gray tones here because the saturation is 0 and we can only choose the brightness and the hue actually has no effect because there's no saturation, we have no hue.
If we turn the slider all the way up, we now see the spectrum here in our color field. We can now choose from the whole spectrum and can adjust the brightness all the way down to black. And then if we put the checkbox at brightness, we can now do nothing here because our brightness is set to 0 which is effectively black. Now we can choose our variation of black so to say but if we turn it up all the way up we now are able to choose from all the hues and the saturation.
The lowering of the saturation will effectively turn all our colors into white, if we turn the saturation all the way down to 0. So just play around with these three checkboxes here and I would recommend to use the initial setup of the Color Picker, the hue on the slider, and saturation and brightness in the color field here because it's a very natural way to choose color.
First thing is you think of a hue. You know you want to paint a red for example and now in the field you can choose if it is a saturated red or a desaturated red, bright or dark, and this is a very natural way to choose a color. But there is more here in the window and we want to have a look at that too. So as I said, color in Photoshop is most oftenly described by the three values hue, saturation, and brightness.
But you can describe a color also with the three values red, green, and blue. Because in the end every digital image is composed of only these three colors, red, green, and blue and a mixture of those. And every color that we can choose here in the Color Picker is a mixture of only these three color values. So if we choose a very clear and saturated red, you will see that the values here say 255, and 0, and 0.
So what's this 255 now? This seems to be a very odd number. And it's a little bit complicated but I will try to explain it to you. We have seen in the setup of our digital canvas that we can choose a bit there for our illustration. And normally a digital file has an 8-bit def for each color channel. And that means that we have 8-bits or 256 values to describe each color channel.
So here 255 is displayed because 0 also is a value. So from 0 to 255 it's 256 values and that's the number of values you can store in 8-bit. So in each channel here can have a value between 0 and 255 and if we now set manually all channels to 255 you will see that we end up with white, so red, green, and blue all in full values add up to white and correspondingly if we all set them to 0, they add up to black.
So this is just to give you a general idea of what the settings here mean, for example, 128 in each channel, will result in a medium gray. And you can see the hue, saturation, brightness value correspond. The medium gray displays as hue 0, saturation 0, brightness 50%. What I also want to mention is that you can also set the checkbox here at the R, G, or B value.
So the red, green, or blue value. And this creates very interesting color fields here on the left side which comes in very handy if you're looking for colors that mix between different hues. Say you have a blue color on your canvas and you want to find a mixture of blue and green, you can go to this setting and you'll find all the mixing colors between blue and green on this line here in the color field.
Just go through the different options and you will always find a color field that presents you all the mixed colors between two different hues. This comes in very handy often. I really like this possibility. But the most common way to choose your color remains to be the hue, saturation, brightness model. And with the hue value selected over here we concentrate on the hue, saturation, brightness values and with those we will go a long way.
We can now hit OK and by that we have effectively chosen our color.
- Setting up your digital canvas
- Controlling the screen
- Choosing color
- Working with brushes, textures, and the Paint Bucket and Gradient tools
- Making selections
- Working in Quick Mask mode
- Stroking and filling paths
- Manipulating color
- Organizing the canvas with layers
- Digital drawing and painting projects