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Deciding on colour palettes

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
When I'm not drawing my already established characters, my process for furry art is usually:

-doodle improvised characters in pencil until I have a drawing I'd like to finish
-ink drawing
-scan and colour digitally

At this point I almost always find myself endlessly switching around the colours in GIMP. It's fun and relaxing, but sometimes it can be a huge time-waster when I just can't seem to settle on one. Usually I'll have a vague palette in mind based on the vibe the character gives off, but I'll keep second guessing myself. Or worse, I'll find a colour scheme I absolutely love, and then I'll wonder if I'm "wasting" it on this character.

I was up into the wee hours playing around with the colours on this guy. I eventually decided to post the deep purple one, but I'm still not entirely set on it.

scootydragoncolours2.jpg


Does anyone else get hung up on colours? Is it easier for artists for whom colour selection is an earlier part of the design process?
 

Lysirell

Ruffus, the Eurasian Lynx!
I'm not very experienced with color, but i'd rather use a palette without too much contrast between the main colors, and use the more contrasting ones just as an "accent", like in the left image, i like that color palette a lot!
 

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
I'm not very experienced with color, but i'd rather use a palette without too much contrast between the main colors, and use the more contrasting ones just as an "accent", like in the left image, i like that color palette a lot!
I'm the same way, I've actually had to force myself to start using more contrasting colour palettes to get some variety! My first instinct is always to "play it safe" with a nice colour harmony.
 

Lysirell

Ruffus, the Eurasian Lynx!
I'm the same way, I've actually had to force myself to start using more contrasting colour palettes to get some variety! My first instinct is always to "play it safe" with a nice colour harmony.
Yep, you could also try using real photography of almost any kind for reference if it has an attractive color harmony or gradient, it's very useful when it comes to take a decision of whether or not you should use a color!
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
There's this educational video which deals with color harmonies in art, with many practical examples (not the redundant discussion on the color theory alone, as often happens in other vids). Hope it helps!

 

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
There's this educational video which deals with color harmonies in art, with many practical examples (not the redundant discussion on the color theory alone, as often happens in other vids). Hope it helps!

I saw this one a few years ago, but really needed the refresher. It's cool to see how these methods are used in practice. Thanks!
 

TallmanClay

want taco
Yep, maaajor problem for me. I really like painting faces. The rest of a drawing is just kind of there for me? So I'm always super lost when I have to start matching things. Beyond choosing the basic colors of the palette, deciding the saturation of things and whether I want cool or warm lighting is also very difficult.
 

Faexie

Rara for short :)
I tend to pick colors based on what personality I imagine the character would be.

Taking your lizard character as an example: the red version looks like he's more temperamental and would enjoy more extreme things (sports, music...). Purple version looks like the cool and relaxed type that's open minded and goes with the flow. Green version has a whimsical and creative side to him, and also seems more in touch with his emotions and his more feminine side, without being effeminate
 
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Razzie

New Member
A big help that I’ve found is the adobe color website. It’s free and it gives you a wheel that calculates different combinations like Monochromatic, Triad, etc. and/or you can edit it to your hearts delight.
 

Render

If you can lick it, it's probably safe
Banned
Does anyone else get hung up on colours? Is it easier for artists for whom colour selection is an earlier part of the design process?
Shoutout to a fellow GIMP user! I aced a 300 level Adobe Photoshop course exclusively using GIMP, instructor never had a clue lol

As to having a hard time picking colors, I'd say that's pretty normal. When you are sketching new characters you keep tinkering and adjusting until you find something you like; when coloring said characters you keep tinkering and adjusting until you find something you like. It is a timesuck but it is also worth it if the end result is perfect.

Personally, I look for a feeling a raw sketch brings to mind and use that as the basis for my initial color choices. Is the character aggressive (harsh reds and blacks) or relaxed (warm blues and greens) or hopeful (soft browns and yellows) or sad (watery blues) or happy (neon highlights) or sullen (neutral grays) or... Well, you get the point lol
 

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
I tend to pick colors based on what personality I imagine the character would be.

Taking your lizard character as an example: the red version looks like he's more temperamental and would enjoy more extreme things (sports, music...). Purple version looks like the cool and relaxed type that's open minded and goes with the flow. Green version has a whimsical and creative side to him, and also seems more in touch with his emotions and his more feminine side, without being effeminate

That's similar to how I jive with colours. The purple was my first choice because I had a cool, calm personality in mind when I was drawing him. But as I started playing with the colours, I started falling in love with the different personalities they created! It probably would be best to commit myself to a theme or feeling early on in the pencil stage, and base the rest of my decisions purely off of that.
 

Glossolalia

just happy to be here
Shoutout to a fellow GIMP user! I aced a 300 level Adobe Photoshop course exclusively using GIMP, instructor never had a clue lol

As to having a hard time picking colors, I'd say that's pretty normal. When you are sketching new characters you keep tinkering and adjusting until you find something you like; when coloring said characters you keep tinkering and adjusting until you find something you like. It is a timesuck but it is also worth it if the end result is perfect.

Personally, I look for a feeling a raw sketch brings to mind and use that as the basis for my initial color choices. Is the character aggressive (harsh reds and blacks) or relaxed (warm blues and greens) or hopeful (soft browns and yellows) or sad (watery blues) or happy (neon highlights) or sullen (neutral grays) or... Well, you get the point lol

GIMP is a life safer! I'm a traditional artist with very little digital experience, so right now I'm just using it for flat colour and touch ups, but I want to explore more eventually. Glad to hear that it holds up to Photoshop!

I think that character/mood planning aspect is my main problem. I don't tend to think very much before I start drawing, I just dive into a doodle and let it solidify. Putting a bit more thought into what tone I'm going for from the start would save me a lot of pointless tweaking down the line.
 

Faexie

Rara for short :)
That's similar to how I jive with colours. The purple was my first choice because I had a cool, calm personality in mind when I was drawing him. But as I started playing with the colours, I started falling in love with the different personalities they created!

I suppose you can always make new character designs for the alternate color scheme!
 
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