Creating color swatch sets in Photoshop

In this lesson, we will learn how to get color samples from an image and create sets of them that can be used later, especially when you work with different clients, each of whom prefers certain colors for their project or when you just want to create your own collection. color shades.

One of my favorite activities is the photography of landscapes with the subsequent preservation of individual color shades presented in the photographs, in the form of sets of colors. In the end, it is almost impossible to surpass Mother Nature when it comes to the harmonious combination of colors. In this lesson, we will do everything exactly as I just described – take samples of color shades from a photo, place them in a palette of colors and then save them as a separate set of color swatches. We will also look at how to restore the original colors to the program after the end of the work and how to load the created set when we need it!

Below is a photo from which I will take individual color shades. I want to create a set of color swatches called “Autumn Leaves”, so this photo fits perfectly:

Image of colorful autumn foliage

At the end of the lesson, we will look at an example of how you can use the colors from the set we created to create a completely different image. Let’s start.

Step 1: Delete the existing color shades from the Samples panel

In order to create your own set of color shades, let’s first remove all the color hue samples presented in the Swatches panel. Do not worry, they will not be removed forever, as we will consider later. Switch to the Swatches panel, which is grouped by default with the Color and Styles panels. Unless you have previously downloaded other sets of colors, the Samples panel will display the colors that were originally set in the default program:

The Swatches panel displays a set of default color tone swatches.

Unfortunately, in the program Photoshop There is no “Delete all color swatches” command, so in order to remove all color hue samples displayed in the Swatches panel, we will need to delete each color swatch manually. To do this, while holding down the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key, move the mouse cursor over the color swatch in the upper left corner (“RGB red”). You will see how the cursor in this case takes the form of scissors:

Hold down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) Hover the mouse over the red sample in the upper left corner. Cursormiceatthiswill takeformscissors

Then, while still holding the Alt / Option key, click on the color pattern to remove it. Continue clicking on other color tones to remove them. You will need to click the mouse button a total of 122 times to remove all the samples, but depending on how quickly you press the mouse button, it should not take you much time. When you finish removing hue samples, your Swatches panel will be completely empty:

After removing all the default color samples, the Samples panel is empty.

Step 2: Choose the eyedropper tool

Open the image in Photoshop where you want to take color swatches (if it is not already open), then select the Eyedropper tool from the toolbar or press the I key to quickly select the tool:


Step 3: Get the first color swatch from the image

After selecting the eyedropper tool, move the mouse cursor to the area where you want to sample a color, then click to obtain a sample. I want to get a bright yellow sample from one of the leaves at the top of my image as the first color of my future set:

Take a sample of bright yellow color from one of the leaves

You can determine exactly what color you got from the image by looking at the icon of the primary color swatch on the toolbar:

The resulting color is displayed on the toolbar as the primary color.

Note: it may be easier for you to collect colors by holding down the mouse button as you move the cursor inside the image (with the eyedropper tool selected). The color on which the cursor will fall will be displayed on the toolbar as the main color and continuously change as you move the mouse, giving you the opportunity to preview the color before getting its sample. This method seems to me more convenient than a way to click the mouse button and only then see what kind of sample we received. Release the mouse button when you find the color that suits you for your set of color swatches.

Step 4: Add Color to the Swatches panel

Once you have the first color swatch, move the mouse cursor to an empty area inside the Swatches panel. You will see the cursor take the shape of a paint bucket. Click anywhere on a blank area to convert the resulting color to a color swatch. As a result of this action, a dialog box opens where you are prompted to enter a name for your color swatch. If you create a set of color hue samples for a client that uses certain Panton colors and, as a result, requires them, then it would be a good idea to call your color sample a color that matches the Panton color chart (for example, Panton Yellow 012 C). If you are creating a set of color swatches for your own use, give the sample a name you would like. I will name my Yellow color swatch:

Give your new color sample a friendly name or you can not call it at all.

In fact, it is not necessary to give names to color samples, so if the names of the patterns do not matter to you, then leave the names that the program suggests by default. Click OK to close the dialog box when you give the name of the color pattern. If I look now at the Swatches panel, I can see that my first color swatch was added there:

My created yellow color swatch appeared in the Swatches panel.

Step 5: Continuing to collect colors and create color samples from them

Continue collecting colors from your image and then clicking on the empty area of ​​the Swatches panel to save them as color tone samples, giving them names if necessary. I collected 10 more colors from the image and as a result I got 11 new samples on the Samples panel. You can create as many color swatches as you like:

More collected colors have been added to the Swatches panel as samples of color shades.

Step 6: Save the color swatches as a separate set.

When you finish adding colors to the Samples panel and are ready to save them as a separate set of samples, click on the small right-hand arrow in the upper right corner of the Samples panel to bring up the panel menu:

Clicking on the small right-hand arrow, bring up the Samples panel menu.

Then from the menu that appears, select Save Swatches:

Select the command “Save Samples”

The Save dialog box appears. Enter a name for your new sample set. I will name my set “Autumn Leaves”:

Enter the name for the new sample set.

Next, click “Save (Save) to save the sample set. The program saves a set of color swatches in the same place where other sample sets stored in the program are stored by default, so you don’t have to search the entire computer for the right folder the next time you want to access any of the created sample sets that we and consider further.

Step 7: Restore Default Color Swatches

We received several colors from the image, created color samples from them, and saved these samples as a separate new set of samples. But what if we again want to use the default color samples that we deleted at the beginning of the lesson? All we need is to click the small right-hand arrow in the upper right corner of the Samples panel again to call the panel menu again and select Restore Samples from the list that appears.“(Reset Swatches):

In order to return the default color samples to the panel, select the “Restore samples” command.

In the corresponding dialog box, the program will ask you about the need to replace the current color samples with the default ones. You can either confirm the need to replace the current default color samples by clicking the OK button, or add the default samples to the current samples without deleting the latter by clicking the Add button. I will click the OK button and replace my Autumn Leaves sample set with default color samples:

Click OK to restore default color swatches.

After this action, the default color swatches appeared on the Samples panel:

Default color swatches returned to Samples panel

Next, we look at how to load and how to use our own set of samples.

Step 8: Load Your Own Set Of Color Swatches

The next time you want to use the created set of color swatches, all you need to do is click the right-hand arrow again to display the Swatches panel menu. If you look at the bottom of the menu, you will see a list of additional sets of color swatches that you can currently download. Most of these sets originally come with Photoshop, but since our sample set is stored in the same place as the other sets, you can also see it in the list of sets. You just need to click on the name of your set to select it. The program places the color sample sets in alphabetical order, so my set of Autumn Leaves comes second from the top:

You will find all sets of color swatches, including yours, in the Samples panel menu. Clickontitlerecruitmentforhimof choice

Again, the program will ask you if you want to replace the existing sets with new ones or add new color samples to the samples already located on the panel. I will click OK to replace the default samples with the created samples from the Autumn Leaves set:

Click the Replace button to replace the default swatches on the panel with new color swatches.

As a result of this action, my new samples of color shades from the set of “Autumn Leaves” will be loaded into the Samples panel, ready for further use:

My own set of color swatches is uploaded to the Swatches panel.

Step 9: Choose a new base color in the Swatches panel

The great advantage of using color swatches is that they are predefined colors. This means that these are the colors that we have already chosen (or the colors that the program has chosen for us if you work with the default samples), and we do not need to choose these colors from the color palette each time we need them. To select any of the colors in the Swatches panel, simply hover the mouse over the desired color swatch. You will see the cursor take the shape of a pipette. After that click on the color to select it. In my case, I will choose orange, second from left:

To select the desired color, click on its sample in the Swatches panel.

After clicking on the desired color, you can see that we really selected this color and displayed it on the sample color icon on the toolbar:

The color you clicked on in the Swatches panel is displayed on the sample color of the main color on the toolbar.

Step 10: Choose a new background color in the Swatches panel

To select a specific color as the background color, press and hold Ctrl (Win) / Command (Mac) and at the same time click on the desired color in the Swatches panel. In my case, with the key pressed Ctrl / Command I’ll click on the dark red color:

Holding the Ctrl key (Win) / Command (Mac) click on the desired color in the Swatches panel to make it background color

Now, if I look at the toolbar again, I will see that a dark red color has appeared on the background color sample icon, which I have just chosen:

The color that you selected in the Swatches panel is displayed on the background color swatch icon on the toolbar.

Now I can use the colors from my “Autumn Leaves” set as I wish and when I wish! Below are the lines of the poem, which I designed using the colors from my created set of color swatches and the Scattered Maple Leaves brush set by default in Photoshop:

A poem decorated with flowers from my created set of autumn leaves color swatches

And here we are done! We learned how to easily create your own color swatches and whole sets of swatches in Photoshop!

Author: Steve Patterson

Transfer: Ksenia Rudenko

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