Analyzing Your Personal Color Palette

After reading the first two parts of this series, Developing Your Personal Color Palette and Developing Your Palette Using the Munsell Color Wheel, have you collected samples of colors that appeal to you?  Now it’s time to analyze what you have.  Do you have just a few colors, or did you choose a wide variety?  If you have a variety, sort them into piles that have something in common and choose a favorite combination.

Yellow color scheme

Color Collage: Yellow and Blue-Purple

If you have collected objects, take photos of them and combine the photos with your other pictures to make a collage.  This doesn’t need to be fine art. Just stick them to a piece of paper with a glue stick. I made my collage by gluing my pictures to an 18×24” piece of drawing paper, but you can use any size paper.

Now, think about how your collection of colors can be described using the  three characteristics of color: hue, value, and chroma.  For example, I would describe my collage this way:

  • Hues: Mostly yellow with its complement blue-purple and bits of red-purple and blue-green
  • Value: Full range of light (white and yellow) to dark (blue-purple)
  • Chroma: Mostly high intensity with some less intense lighter colors.  Very few muted or gray colors.

If your collection is mostly leaves and twigs from the forest floor your description may be more like this:

  • Hues: Orange, yellow, green (analogous)
  • Values: Mostly middle values, very little extreme light or dark
  • Chroma: Low intensity, muted, grayed down

These descriptions are very different, aren’t they?  Of course we can see the difference, but this exercise builds a vocabulary for describing color with words.

Let me know how you do with this exercise.  Post the description of your personal color palette in the comments below.

Go to part 4, Using Your Personal Color Palette to learn how to use your new color vocabulary when you make or view art.

Read the other parts of the series..

Part 1:  Developing Your Personal Color Palette

Part 2:  Developing Your Palette Using the Munsell Color Wheel

Part 4:  Using your Personal Color Palette


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