Do you find yourself using the same colors over and over again in your artwork? I sure do. I tend to automatically gravitate towards certain color combinations, stuck in the same pattern. I decided to challenge myself while painting an illuminated letter C. And in that process, I discovered that it’s really quite simple to step outside the proverbial box. I’m going to show you how.
Where to find photos for color schemes
Several of my boards on Pinterest are dedicated to “Color in nature: …”. Nature’s own brush strokes are so amazing, so beautiful, so bountiful that literally, endless color schemes are on offer.
Explore my Pinterest boards with beautiful colors in nature:
Free tool for creating color swatches
We need a simple way to pick up nature’s color schemes. Luckily for us, there are free online tools that will let us pick up colors easy as a breeze. This free online color tool is by Adobe. All you have to do is click the “Import Image” button and upload an image file. The tool automatically selects five colors, but you probably want to select your own by moving the color circles around. You can save your selection directly on the website.
The color scheme in this tutorial
In the video tutorial below, I have picked up a color scheme from a beautiful photo of a budgie. The colors I selected give association to retro magazine images from the 50ies or 60ies. Needless to say, I don’t usually paint with this color combination. The illustration is an illuminated letter C and I absolutely love drawing illuminated letters. This is the third letter in the alphabet I illuminate and I will keep going to the last letter Z. I had so much fun during the Christmas holiday drawing this illuminated alphabet…not completed yet, but well underway.
How to mix colors yourself
Watch how I mix the colors I selected because when you work with custom colors, in most cases you can’t use what you’ve got in your watercolor palettes. You have to mix the colors yourself. I show you how by taking you through the process step by step. I also use the distribution of colors in the budgie photograph to guide me as to how I distribute the colors in the illustration. You can apply this method to any artwork!
Look out for my next video, where I paint the same letter in a completely different color scheme, and see how much colors affect the nature of an artwork.
Best of luck with your own creative efforts!
To make it easy for you, I give you free access to One Tree Art Club where you will find free line art for printout or tracing. These you can paint with watercolor. Or you can color in with any medium such as colored pencils or markers.