Playing around with colors

I’ve been wanting to play some with color schemes for a while now, as well as stretching the colors I work with. Some conversations on Ravelry as well as some books I’ve read cemented that desire. I particularly haven’t cared for yellow or orange in the past and still don’t care for pink. I prefer muted colors to bright ones. I’m not necessarily going to step outside those preferences much, but I am going to try to push the boundaries a bit.

I want to avoid feeling pressured to produce finished objects, so I’ve decided that for the moment I’m just going to produce color schemes. If I happen to actually go on to weave or knit or spin something specific based on the results, fine. If I don’t, that’s fine too.

I’ve been taking more photos lately; I’ll probably mostly work with those. Today’s exercise is based on a photo I took purely for the colors. I’ve been eyeing these blackberry leaves for a while now. (That is, I don’t care for the photo as a photo.)


First, I opened the photo in one of my photo editors (in this case, GraphicConverter), zoomed in the photo so I could see pixels, and used the eyedropper to pick out some representative colors – if I included the pylon in the upper right corner, I had a whole rainbow to choose from!

little blobs of color from all over the rainbow, but muted

I decided to leave the pylon out of things, but to include the cattail beige from the upper left as the background. I made stripes in three different color groupings:

stripes, but no yellow

Since yellow can brighten an object, I decided to try to add a bit:

stripes yellow 1

That seemed like a little too much (I’m trying to think about rough proportions from the original images, among other things), so I cut back on the yellow a bit:

stripes yellow 2

That seems good!

There’s also a color palette tool I found online a while back, called Photocopa. It pulls out a selection of colors from a photo and also creates several palettes, not necessarily using the basic selection. These are the ones it pulled out from the blackberries photo:

color swatches selected by the Photocopa online application

I picked out these five colors:

PHOTOCOPA blackberries-1

and then played some with proportions:

PHOTOCOPA blackberries 2

All in all, I’m pleased with what I did, and I think I would feel happy to work with the final results of both processes. I worked in some yellow and orange, and once a bit of pink. Constructive criticism welcome!