Trick for Unique Color Palettes on Procreate

procreate Jan 17, 2021
How to Make Color Palettes on Procreate

One of my favorite Friday freebies to send out are color palettes, which you probably already know if you're subscribed to my emails. If you aren't get on it! There are SO many freebies waiting for you. For the sake of changing things up a bit, I've decided to give you the gift that keeps on giving.

Today we are going over how to make your very own original color palettes! That way, you can make ALL kinds of color palettes, literally whenever you want, for yourself or maybe as a gift to a fellow creative! The gift-giving season may be over, but honestly, can we just do presents all year?!

I have ALSO included a color palette worksheet made by me, to help you guys get all the right colors that flow together and complement each other! This worksheet has made my life so much easier and I know all of you will benefit from it too.

Scroll to the bottom of this tutorial for a video!





Step 1: Select "Create new palette" in Procreate



I'm not using any reference photos for my color palette, I'm solely basing it on what colors I like! Luckily, Procreate is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you so you only really have to decide on one color for now. I highly recommend using the color palette worksheet to really organize your thoughts! Try really mixing it up, there are no rules here! Rules ain't cool.



Step 2: Start by picking a color you know and love and create a new layer



Create a new layer on top of the palette guide. Tap the guide and select "reference." Now, anything that you do on the layer above it will apply as if it's happening to the original layer, only it's preserving it and working indestructibly so you can use it again and again.

Watch the video below to see exactly what I mean. 



Start your color journey by picking a color you know, you love and you hold close to your heart. That's the color you're basing the rest of your palette off of! I decided to choose an obnoxiously loud green. Don't overthink this part, just pick a color that draws you in! Create a new layer and drag it on top of the reference layer (the worksheet). Drag and drop your chosen color into the circles under the main color tab (to the left, to the left).  


Step 3: Open the color harmony tool



A cool trick I like using when making my color palettes is the harmony tool. It's a sure way to make a color palette that doesn't suck! Go to your color wheel and select "harmony" at the bottom, and make sure you're on the original color you chose! On the top left of the color menu, you'll see the word "colors" and if you've never explored this setting in Procreate, yours will automatically be complementary, but we'll be using ALL of these settings to put together our worksheet! 



Notice that I still have the green color selected but Procreate shows me the exact opposite color that would complement the green. Select that color and add it under the "complementary" column. Even if you hate it, add it for now and we can make changes later!


Step 4: Select your original color again and change your harmony setting to "split complementary"



For those who aren't familiar with color theory, complementary is the color that's the exact opposite of your color on the color wheel. Split complementary colors are exact opposites on the color wheel, but more spread out. Grab each of these colors and drag them to the split complementary area!



I put these categories in a row together because I generally like how these look altogether. It's kind of a monochromatic scheme of complementary colors!  


Step 5: Pick your monochromatic colors




The monochromatic colors located at the bottom of the worksheet are going to be the separate shades of your original color. Make sure you have your original color selected and go to your disc. Inside the color wheel, it gives you the option to change the saturation and shade, instead of the hue. So you can stay within that original color!



I chose to go with a deeper green color and a lighter, almost minty, green color. 



Step 6: Pick your analogous colors



Make sure you have your original color selected and change your harmony to "analogous". Grab the colors it shows and drop them into the analogous section of the worksheet!



The analogous colors aren't textbook monochromatic colors but they offer a different hue of your original color and that's what I love about them. They are colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel.



Step 7: Pick your triadic colors 

Select your original color again and change the harmony to "triadic". This is where your palette is spread exactly even amongst three points. Grab the colors the wheel gives you and drop them into your triadic colors! These colors are a great combo because they're perfectly split between three colors.



Step 8: Pick your tetradic colors




Tetradic colors are split evenly into fours on your color disc. Make sure to have your original color selected so you get all your tetradic colors right! Drag and drop the tetradic colors into your worksheet. 


Step 9: Make any adjustments to colors you aren't happy with




Now it's the fun part! If there are colors you're not thrilled about within the category, now is the time to switch it up. For me, I'm not a huge fan of the lime green in my analogous colors so I'm just going to change my harmonies back to analogous and change the shade of my green. Select a version of the said color that you feel filled with glee about, and head to your disc. In the disc, you can play around with the shade of the color even MORE!



Step 10: Based on the colors you have in the worksheet, begin building your palette




Drag and drop any colors from the worksheet you love into the bottom palette (still working on the worksheet). We're OFFICIALLY almost finalizing our original palette! It doesn't really matter where you set up the bottom palette because it will be used as a reference sheet to fill in your actual color palette spots within Procreate.



A great thing to remember when building your palette is that you're not going to use ALL the colors in this palette (and if you do, you're a better man than I), so if there are a few colors you aren't thrilled about, don't take an hour changing them around. Plus you never know, some of these color combos might surprise you in the future!

Grab the colors from your worksheet and play around with saturation, shades, and hues. Drop-in your experimental colors at the bottom to see if you like the way they look with your other colors! 


Step 11: Finalize your palette!




To create a new palette, simply open your color palettes, select the + symbol at the top and set the palette as default. Setting it to default isn't necessary, but it'll help if you need to return to your disc because it'll be the active palette on that tab.

Go into your practice color palette area, select each color from the worksheet by holding your finger down on the color, and drop it into your color palette on the right side by tapping a square! And that's where your NEW and ORIGINAL color palette will live. There are so many ways to organize your color palette, so just find a way that works best for you. Last but not least, give your color palette the coolest name of all time. 



This tutorial was SO fun to create for you all and in my opinion, this is one of the best features on Procreate. I just love playing with color oh so much. Creating original color palettes is a great way to organize yourself for a particular project AND get you to use some color combinations that maybe you usually wouldn't. Trying new things isn't always easy, but this color palette worksheet (freeeeee direct download) definitely makes it a little better!







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