Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes, part of Photoshop for Designers: Color.
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Here we are going to see how we can use Kuler to generate some color themes all derived from one base color and those color themes will be Complementary, Monochromatic, Triad and Analogous. And we'll then apply those color themes to our artwork and see what different results we get. And in fact I've already done that, let's preview those results. But before I do that, let me mention that this artwork that we are working with is an homage to Herbert Matter and Alexey Brodovitch's cover for the June 40 Harper's Bazaar.
So I've already gone and applied the different color themes to the different versions, this is a Complementary color scheme, Monochromatic, Triad and Analogous. I'd like to re-create the Color Triad, so here's how I achieve that. I am going to go back to my starting point, which is this. Let me just point out that the different artwork is on separate layers and we are applying the color through the usage of Color Fill layers and layer masks.
I am going to go to Kuler and a quick overview of how Kuler works, when you are clicked on to create you select your color harmony rule, you will get five circles on your color wheel, all in relation to your base color, the base color represented by the larger of those five circles. You can drag your base color around to anywhere you like on the color wheel.
You can change your color-harmony rule. When you come out with a color theme that you like, you can add that theme to your Swatches panel. What I am going to do now is turn on this layer. It's called base color. And I am just doing this so that I can reliably sample this color again. This was originally sampled from the model skin color. So I am going to click on that color to make that color my foreground color. Then on the Kuler panel, I will click on this button, Add current foreground color as base color, and there is my Color Triad which I'm not going to add to my Swatches by clicking on Add this theme to swatches.
I can now close Kuler. I can now turn off that base color layer. If I want to concentrate just on these five colors without the distraction of all the other colors on my Swatches panel, I can come to my Preset Manager to my Swatches and select all of the unwanted colors and delete them. So now I'm going to apply the colors to my artwork, starting with the background layer. I am going to sample the green from the Swatches panel and then press Option+Backspace or Alt+Delete key, to fill my background layer with that color.
Next, I am going to go to the lips layer, I'll turn on its visibility. I'll double-click on that solid color adjustment layer, I'll try and move that out of the way as best I can and then come and click on this color on my swatches panel to use that color. Then to the butterfly, turn on its visibility. Double-click on the solid color adjustment layer, sample the color, click OK. Now I have two type layers, I am going to use the same color for both.
Sample the blue, Option+Backspace or Alt +Delete key to fill with that color and then select the other type layer and do the same thing. So there we see an approach to using Kuler, sampling a color from your artwork, deriving a color theme from that base color and then applying those colors to the different elements of your artwork.
- 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