Create Your Own Painter’s Palette in Photoshop

Create Your Own Painter's Palette in Photoshop

In the digital world, there are literally millions of colors available for you to use. Photoshop provides its own color picker, but if you’re looking for a more traditional solution, here’s a quick little tip to get you started.



Create a new file. It doesn’t have to be huge (mine is 640×480 pixels).

I then filled my background layer with a middle gray, just because I don’t like working on white.

Create a new layer and paint on dots of your own colors. I chose colors that directly represented the tubes of paint that I have stashed in my art box, and I’ve laid them out in the same way that I squeeze them on my traditional palette.

Here are the HSB values of all the colors I made:

Cadmium Yellow

Yellow Ochre
Yellow Ochre

Cadmium Red
Cadmium Red

Crimson
Alizaron Crimson

Cerulean Blue
Cerulean Blue

Ultramarine Blue
Ultramarine Blue

Burnt Sienna
Burnt Sienna

Burnt Umber
Burnt Umber

You can change the values to match your own color preferences and computer monitor, or create your own favorite colors.

Save your palette file so you can use it later.

Save your palette.

Now, whenever you start a new painting, you can open this file and place it next to your image.

Using your palette

You can now blend your colors by simply picking up the color you want and brushing them together with another color. Set your brush so that the opacity is controlled by pen pressure, and use the eye dropper tool to pick up blends of different colors. Blend your colors on a new layer so that when you want to “clean up,” you can just throw the layer away. Or just hide the layer if you want to keep the colors for future use.

If you use the brush tool to blend your colors, it’s inconvenient to have to change the size or the settings of your brush every time you want to blend a new color on your palette. I like to use the pencil tool instead. To switch back and forth between the pencil and the brush I am currently using, all I have to do is push Shift+B.

If you’re a traditional oil or acrylic painter, this should help you transition into digital painting a little better. Have a question or comment? Leave a message on DaniDraws.com. Happy Painting!