If you are anything like me then one of the hardest parts of any painting project is actually picking the colour scheme that I’m going to use. My usual starting place is to look online to see what others have already done and get some inspiration. But sometimes I have one particular colour in mind that I really want to use; the problem then is what other colours would work with it. A colour wheel is one option and I’ve also spent time looking at the colour charts from various different paint manufactures for ideas.
Now the Red Steel painting competition is coming up next month and I have picked up a new model to paint up and enter as a single miniature. It has armour on it and I know what colour I want to use for the armour. The problem is that I don’t know what colours will work for other parts of the model. And then I had what I think is a bit of brain wave. Adobe Kuler!
Also known as Adobe Color this is a free online application designed to create and manage colour sets. It is free to use, but if you want to save any of your work you will need to set up an account, but again this is free. Where this differs from a normal colour wheel is that it does some of the work for you. So for example you want to use Blue as your primary colour. You select that form the colour wheel and then you have some options on the right of the screen for picking colours to go with it. You could pick ‘Complementary’ which looks for a colour on the opposite side of the wheel or you pick ‘Shade’ which will pick colours either side of the main colour. There is also a custom option where you can pick whatever you want to go with your primary colour.
Now the colours it selects may not match the paints you have available, in fact I’d be amazed if they did, but I think it gives you a good idea of what can work. It might be that you go with something similar for the paints you already have, you may mix up something special or you may go out and buy some more paints. Either way I have found it an invaluable, and free, tool that has certainly helped me and is now bookmarked for future use.