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Selecting Colors

Last week we talked about color harmonies and I promised to show you a couple of tools that I use regularly for coloring. Even knowing about the color harmonies doesn't mean it's easy to pick out colors for a page. Given the many colors in our pencils and pens, it's not hard to get stuck before you even begin. 

For all those times when you are starting a page and don't quite know which colors to pick, you need inspiration. You can get inspiration by just looking around your home or out the window.  Open your closet and  look at your clothes, see a pattern that you like? Use the same colors on your page.  You can also check out photos on the internet to get some ideas about color palettes and combinations. 


Still having trouble? Check out my 2 favorite tools below and see if you like those instead.


Palette Inspiration

There's one particular website that I absolutely love for color inspiration and that's Design Seeds.  This website has a veritable feast of palettes grouped by categories such as seasons, nature, food or by color. Each entry has the inspiration photo as well as the colors that form the palette right below it. The best part is that the colors are not specific to a particular manufacturer or range. You can match pens or pencils from any of your sets  as closely as you can and get started on your page.

Just because the pallete has 6 colors doesn't mean you have to use all 6 either. If you don't like a color or don't have that exact shade, simply omit it. Or replace it with something else you like. The point is that the website gives you inspiration and a starting point so you don't get bogged down with color choices. After all this hobby is supposed to relax and reduce stress, so why worry about colors when you could actually be coloring instead?



The Color Wheel
Quite some time ago I saw a video where the colorist used a color wheel to help her select shades for the page she was working on. You can get these color wheels on Amazon or any craft store nearby. I found mine at JoAnn and what I specifically like about it is the holes near the colors. This particular color wheel is made for quilters so you can easily hold yarn or fabric up to the hole to match colors. It also works well with my swatch book so I can match the exact shade I need.

As you can see the color wheel has the different color harmonies mapped out for you. You can select a complementary color, a triad combination or a split complementary palette very easily. All you have to do is pick a color to start with and then rotate the wheel to see which other colors are part of the same color harmony. You can also see that each color has seven different shades marked by the appropriate numbers. So if you select the no. 2 blue, then you also need to select the no.2 green or whatever other color is part of your color scheme.


These are my two favorite tools for selecting colors or finding inspiration before starting a page. There are many other ways to pick colors too, these are just what work for me. Try a bunch of different things to figure out what you like. I hope this post helps you with the age old problem of which color to use. Happy coloring everyone!

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