Friday, May 06, 2011

Color Palettes

I ran across this photo in Smithsonian Magazine and was totally captivated by the color palette.

Then came the latest Keepsake Quilting catalog with this quilt on the cover. The blues and greens are very much like those in the boat photo, but lacking the additional interesting reds, mauves and that splash of yellow.

I ran both through CCS Drive's image to colors palette generator. This on-line program pulls out the main colors from any image, and also gives you a limited number of colors in light, medium and dark palettes. Then on the right, it allows you to pick from the complete palette to create your own palette. As you can see, there are limitations to this program - it did not pick up on the bright red nor the yellow.

It had an easier time with the limited colors in the quilt photo. A pleasing calm palette, as described in the catalog (the quilt is called Zen Garden), and fine for a lap quilt, but comparing the two images, I'm more intrigued by the one with unexpected colors. This is what I need to learn to do with my own palette selection.

I kept searching on-line for other palette generators; most gave me even fewer colors than this. And then I found a freeware Color Palette Generator 1.0 from It can be used either on-line or in a small downloadable program that can run on your computer without internet access. As you can see, it pulls many more colors out. I haven't quite figured out what's going on there to the right, but when you click on a color in the palette, it gives you more information. A bit of fun playing with these, and maybe they will become a regular tool in design kit.


Amo said...

I was going to ask if you've tried the colour generator thingies. Sometimes the colours picked are amazing and you really have to look again hard. I've only used the Colorschemer and CCS but they're great fun. I will give the freeware one a go too.

Sherrie Spangler said...

That shot of warm yellow in the middle of the top photo is what I really love ... just a little really makes it come alive. Have fun with your gadgets!