Sunday, June 16, 2013

Color My World

Color is, perhaps, the thing that primes my creativity pump more than any other.  When I am driving around the countryside for work (and I have done a lot of that over the past 29 years) and watching the days and seasons change, it is the color of the changes that I notice first:  the bright greens of spring, then the darker greens of the corn and beans and trees in the summer, the wildflowers by the side of the road, and the bare branches of trees against blue and gray skies.   I used to wish that I were a painter so I could capture those colors but now I try to take photos in my brain so I can remember then and try to translate them into quilts and other fiber art.

My eye is getting better at picking out individual colors, having used fabric prints to analyze constituent colors, but I can always use help in "capturing" and recording colors.  (Sadly, my color memory is pathetic.  I can lose the memory of a color when walking just 3 or 4 feet from a piece of fabric!)   I have been exploring some web tools and mobile apps to help me with that, and with discovering new palettes that appeal to me.  These are designed primarily for those who are doing web design work, but they serve fabric artists well, too.

Design Seeds has thousands of inspirational palettes that you can browse.  If I'm looking for a palette with a particular color of combination, I can often find at least a starting point here.  The palettes are pulled from photos so, in addition to inspiration, it's a good place to practice picking out constituent colors myself.    (It also allows you to pin a photo/palette to Pinterest, so you can build your own inspiration library that you can visit on your own Pinterest boards.)

Finding a tool that would let me pull a palette from my own photos took a little longer.  It's not that there aren't any number of tools on the web, it's a matter of finding one that gave me what I wanted.   Honestly, I thought it would be easier than it was.  Taking a photo that I took of bird's nest at my front door (sadly, Mom Robin must have been bothered by all my comings and goings, because she abandoned the nest) I plugged it into several color palette generators, and all but one missed the blue of the eggs entirely--and that was key piece of it for me.  In the end, I liked Color Palette FX; it pulled out all the colors, including the blue.  You can click on any one of the tools in the palette and it will give you the color name,  and the hex, rgb, and hsv values.


I can also export the photo and palette as a jpeg:

What web tool or app do you use for color inspiration or memory?

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