Frustrated about colors



  • I'm about ready to yell "uncle!" with my BIG image. I just cannot seem to pick good colors to use. They seem to be too garish like bad clown makeup, or too dull, or the values are too close, or the colors look ugly next to each other....ug! It shouldn't be this hard.

    I started reviewing some SVS videos on color, so maybe that will help with my mental block. But any further advice, tips, youtube videos, websites, anything at all would be appreciated. I really want to get past this problem and have an entry for January's prompt. Thank you!



  • @kat My advice is never invent the wheel, just use whats already been done and successful. With that I use these sites to look at screen shots of movie captures.

    https://movie-screencaps.com/
    https://animationscreencaps.com/

    If there is an image I like, I save it and then run it in https://www.canva.com/color-palette/

    May not be an exact match but it will get you started on a color scheme that works well.



  • @chip-valecek said in Frustrated about colors:

    My advice is never invent the wheel, just use whats already been done and successful. With that I use these sites to look at screen shots of movie captures.
    https://movie-screencaps.com/
    https://animationscreencaps.com/
    If there is an image I like, I save it and then run it in https://www.canva.com/color-palette/
    May not be an exact match but it will get you started on a color scheme that works well.

    Very helpful @Chip-Valecek... thanks for sharing.



  • @chip-valecek good idea and resources, thank you! Maybe there's hope for me after all LOL!



  • @theprairiefox Colors can be tough to figure out! There are so many tips and theories. But you can do it! Here's a couple of ideas:

    You could use a limited palette to start out, like 3 colors, and use only dark/light tones from these.

    One trick is to have your focal point in warm colors and the majority of the rest of the scene in cool colors, or vice versa. This helps draw attention to your focus.

    It can also help to choose one main overall color, then paint over it at 70-80% opacity. Or layer it over your other colors at 20%. That way all your colors will share a similar hue, and feel like it's all part of the same scene.



  • @kat

    I. Feel. Your. Paaaaaaaaaain. Seriously.

    My colours never work. I've gotten better, but it's still a roll of the dice as to whether they'll actually work or not.

    A good thing to do is to find a picture (photo, illustration, doesn't matter) that has colours you like. You then use those colours. Just colour pick right from the image if you like.

    You'll then have colours you like and a good start for your painting. Fiddle from there.

    @Chip-Valecek that colour palette sebsite is amazing. I've been looking for something like that.



  • @carriecopa, thanks for those tips! Good idea about warm focal point, cool colors in the scene, and also the limited palette. Too many color choices may be a problem for me. I tried a color layer over everything yesterday, but probably chose the wrong color because it just looked dull. I have to keep trying, and hope I'm learning something from the effort!

    @Braden-Hallett , I'm so glad I'm not alone LOL! I'm def going to try Chip's tip about movie screenshots, and then pick colors from the image. Maybe find a good one with limited colors like Carrie suggested.



  • Color is often where I get hung up too. I sort of think that’s why I have SOOOOO many unpainted drawings. Something that helps me when I’m stuck is to go through “Art of” books and look for color schemes that could work for what I’m painting. Sometimes that’s enough to get me started and often the final colors end up being much different from the color inspiration, but you might give that a try and see where it takes you. Don’t give up! I think it’s hard for most people.



  • Also worth noting, often when I’ve spent hours of frustration trying to make my colors work, I realize that color is not actually my problem. It’s value. So if you haven’t, you might also try going back and making sure that you have your values worked out (maybe in the form of a grisaille) before you start trying to lay colors in.