So I’m a bit further along in my piece for Light Grey’s Macro & Micro show and I figured I’d share an update PLUS a super quick and dirty colour tip.
Current colour palette:
Now I’ll save my approach to picking colours for another post but let’s say that you want to TWEAK the image instead of straight up changing them all. This is where I’d recommend the wonderful world of gradient maps.
So you’re in Photoshop, right? Good. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map and then the fun begins! The basic premise behind a gradient map (to my understanding) is that the software takes your artwork and simplifies it to a grayscale image. Photoshop then applies the colours of the gradient to a grayscale version (but it’s non destructive so you can always go back and change things…being non-committal is the best).
I digress. So the gradient above is a simple transition from a blue to an orange. The darkest parts of the image become blue and the lightest become orange. Everything in-between references the gradient and this is where you get those crazy tones. Awesome!
But I don’t stop there. Now that you have this adjustment layer above your artwork (I forgot to mention that, the map applies to everything below it) you can change how it interacts with everything else. So the above image has the blue/orange gradient map set to ‘hue’ with the opacity lowered to 30%. You might notice the ground is now more purple and the figures are a little less saturated.
Don’t panic! I’ve made a second gradient map going from red (at the darkest) to green (at the lightest).
Now I’ve changed that red/green adjustment layer to ‘hue’ again with an opacity of 30%. The colours are changing further as they now appear more muted.
Anyways, sometimes if I’m feeling like my go-to palettes aren’t working, I’ll play with gradient maps to offer a fresh twist. For example this…
Plus a default gradient map…
Gives you a much warmer palette with the right blend mode.
Or if you use this instead…
And screen it back you get this…
So a single palette can become quite diverse if you’re willing to get a bit creative with your gradient maps, blend modes, and the opacity of it all.
There are for sure better approaches to colour out there so please don’t take my process for anything but the simple efforts of yours truly.
Though if you want to tell me how silly this all is, feel free to let me know. I’ll likely apologise a lot.
What I won’t do is apologise for my Canadian spelling. Colour has a ‘u’ in it. For me it always has and always will.