Here's my tutorial on how to make colour palette photographs.
Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. ~ Picasso
What am I going to wear today?
It's a colour decision we make every single day isn't it when we open the wardrobe. Indeed sometimes it's easier than other times to make that choice. Colours can be cool or warm, muted or bright and all the shades in between. They subconsciously affect our moods. Even the catwalk trends normally cross over and influence our interior decor. As well as our exteriors ranging from patio furniture and soft furnishings to colourful pots and candles.
If you're a gardener like myself you'll probably be planning your container and hanging basket colour scheme already for the new season as you drool over the 2017 seed catalogues. While if you're a designer/photo artist it will be Pantone's color trends for 2017.
Extracting Colour Combinations
What if I don't have Photoshop?
Now let's get those creative juices flowing!
Those of you that are adventurous don't have to use square or rectangle palettes. Sometimes I just use the colours. While other times I place text in the colour blocks as well as textures. Furthermore all summer I've added hex numbers and lately it's been watercolour splashes and brushstrokes.
I've seen others use these colour palette photographs across the Internet and there are templates for sale that use clipping masks. But if you can use photoshop cs, elements or other photo editing software you'll be able to make colour palette photographs for free.
How to Make Colour Palette Photographs
Firstly I've never used Photoshop Elements. So my instructions are for anyone who uses Photoshop CS5 but hopefully the principles behind each step are the same.
My creativity is endless with these and I'm sure yours will be too.
I'm a bit of a Rebel Designer
#1. Edit the photograph you are going to use as normal. If you want your colour board printed make sure you save your photo as a 240 or 300 resolution. I used this photograph from the summertime as l love the clash of orange and pink. The late Christopher Lloyd from Great Dixter has had an influence on how I see colour!
Choose Your Brushes
#2. Have you got some watercolour brushes in your brush collection? I downloaded one set from here. But deviantART would be a great place to start looking as well. Though just make sure that if you sell your work that the brushes are allowed to be used commercially.
Web Size or Print?
#3. Start with a new document and decide on your proportions, resolution and background colour. Though keep in mind if it's just for your blog or for printing. In addition you can also add a texture to the background at this stage.
Using the Transform Tool
#4. Just like a texture bring your photograph over to your new document and place. If it needs adjusting to size click on the control and t key. Then hold down the shift key to re size in proportion and then place.
Choosing Your Colours
#5. Now for the fun bit! Firstly on your first layer which is the photo you've just brought over you can add a drop shadow. In this screen shot I did have one but later in my workflow I deleted it.
Then I made a new layer for my first brush. I picked the colour I wanted the splash to be from the photo. You can use the eyedropper tool for that. Then I picked the watercolour brush and took a mental note of the size as I want all the brushes the same size.
Using the Brushes
#6. When a brush/watercolour splash has it's own layer it's easy to adjust the size so I had 3 different layers of brushes. Sometimes I use a ruler (that turquoise line on screen - go to view then click on rulers) to make sure that mine are all placed correctly. It's up to you how many watercolour splashes you want on the document. Again I would always say go for an uneven number (that's the garden designer bit of me creeping in again). When you use the transform tool (control and t keys) to make the box around the splashbrush use the arrow keys to move it up, down, left and right.
#7. Now that you have all the brushes where you want them you can add a drop shadow to each brush. Then adjust the shadow to your liking. Less is more in my opinion when it comes to drop shadows.
#8. It's at this stage that you can add a border or flatten and crop the background.
#9. Then finally you can add text, add a watermark, sharpen if necessary and then save.
Here's the finished article. It's the first watercolour splash board that's for sale in the leavesnbloom fine art shop. In fact I think that it would make a lovely unique greetings card or postcard.
Gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial.
Great tutorial, thank you!
Thanks for sharing.
You are so darned creative Rosie!
This is just a gorgeous shot! Thanks for the tutorial; I hope to give it a try.
Ok, so you already saw this, but maybe your readers would be interested in seeing it as well. Here's my try: http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_chell/6179945000/ I'm loving this and gonna make some more I believe! 🙂
Love all the details and screen shots (awesome job at a tutorial, Rosie!!) to go along with the personal attention I got! hehe!!
I do have a question on how you made that cool orange border line… I was trying to figure it out on mine, and as you can see, didn't succeed! 😀
Thanks for all the inspiration!!
<3 <3 <3
Here's how I made the orange border:
I used the square marquee tool and placed it just inside the colourboard. Then I went in cs5 to edit and then scrolled down to stroke.
At this stage a little box pops up and you fill in how many pixels you want the stroke to be and your colour and whether you want the border inside, outside or in the middle.
I picked orange, border in the middle middle and I think 3 pixels wide. Clicked ok and voila! it appeared. Hope that helps 🙂
tried this just now but does not look right will practice when I have more time. thanks for this cool tutorial.
Gorgeous Rosie, the photo and the idea. Thanks for sharing this, I just downloaded some splatters and bookmarked this page. I'm looking forward to trying this later! 🙂
Thank you for this tutorial. I have just spent hours trying to get the hang of grouping and masking and then I came across this easier alternative.
Loving the results.
Thank you = your newest fan.
Thanks for the tut and inspiration. I have Elements and not liking the water media brushes. Yours looks more realistic. Any suggestions?
Laurie – I would just do a google search for water colour or paint splash brushes for elements………. sometimes I even get mine from Deviant Art. I like the ones that seem to have a bit of texture added or those that have a gradient of colour rather than just one hue in the whole splash.
Hope that helps alittle.
You are a star Rosie! Thanks you soooooo much!!