What color(s) should I use? Have you come to a cross-road as you are happily coloring a page, then all of a sudden, you paused and became very unsure of the next step? I definitely have. This happened to me a lot especially when I am quite far along and love what I did. The fear of ruining the page with one bad decision is very real! I want to share with you my way to help me choose.
How I use Swatches
I frequently make small swatches of my possibilities just like how people use paint chips to tape on a wall to help visualize. These are small pieces of paper that I apply my ideas and cut out to be placed on the area that is in question. This helps me see what the impact is before I commit to it. I then take photos of the page with the swatches. I mentioned in one of my other blogs before, taking a photo of your “work in progress” at strategic point is a great way to help you see imperfections that you might not be able to see while working on the page. This is another good use of photos of your work.
When you do swatches, make sure that each of them are ideas you love. There is no point considering ideas that you obviously would not choose. So all my possibilities are actually ones that I just can’t choose because I love them all.
This is a page from Summer Nights by Hanna Karlzon. I am very pleased with the forest scene that I created with watercolor but it is quite a “busy” background. However, the girl’s beautiful dress needs to be special. I also fancy some kind of flowery or patterned design at least on the top portion of the dress as opposed to solid colors. So I drew out possibilities on tiny little squares to be place on the dress. This way I can see the effect of these colors against my background. I ended up picking the blue green sample as I feel it complements the background without overpowering. I even run a poll on Instagram story and have people vote on the choices. I think that’s kind of neat.
Here’s the completed page. What would you have picked?
The second example is from Fairies in Dreamland by Denyse Klette. I’ve colored all the flowers around the centre of attention and thought a night sky would fit the “dreamy” mood. So again I used swatches to help me visualize.
The choice is the left one and here’s the result:
The last example is a work in progress at this time, I made three color possibilities for this beautiful girl’s hair from the book Seasons by Hanna Karlzon. I haven’t picked yet. How about you help me choose by commenting below!
I hope you find this useful and inspired.