Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding a color scheme in a photograph

Deciding which colors to use in artwork can be daunting at times. One great idea is to use a photograph with color combinations that speak to you. The image below is a detail cropped from a larger image. The complete photo along with dozens more donated by fiber artists for the “Inspired by Photos” Photo Hunt are available here. By simplifying the image in Photoshop or a similar program, it can be easier to see the hues. The image below was created using Filter>Pixelate>Mosaic. In the dialog box, make sure the Preview box is checked so you can see a live preview. Try various cell sizes... below is 25.
Below is a cell size of 50.
Below is a setting of 75. Some colors are lost as the cell size gets larger. In particular, I would most likely put the black and near white back in.Of course, you don’t have to use the scheme as is. Below I chose Image>Adjustments>Variations, then clicked on More Yellow. What’s nice about Variations is you can see several options at once to gauge which is most appealing.
An advantage of this process is the chance to break away from one’s usual color choices. So, start rummaging through your photos to find interesting combinations to try in your artwork. Happy creating!


Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

What a great idea. I use photoshop
a lot to posterize a photo to see shapes a bit clearer. Never thought of this use as a color palette. Would also be great when deciding the fabrics to make the butterfly on your quilt. Thank you.

Mai-Britt Axelsen said...

Alhough colours are the one thing I never struggle with, I thank you for once again posting a most informative and useful lecture on photoshop.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next.......

Nellie's Needles said...

Thank you for all your posts about Photoshop. I had that program, but was frustrated by not being able to figure out how to utilize it. I now have Elements and am now trying to figure out how to utilize that one. Your mini tutorials help.

This post brings to mind what I used to advocate about identifying colors in a picture to find combinations to use in a project. It's a wonderful exercise to really see color. I like to think that I'm observant, but it's amazing how much can be missed without concentrated and thoughtful "looking".

Wen Redmond said...

Thanks for a clever and original idea.

lyric said...

Hi Loreen,
Just discovered your blog and find it to be a lovely, and useful place. Thanks for the tutorial.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Wow... cool! I can't wait to try this... yet another step to lose myself in for a few more hours!