Simply Ways to Pick Colours

Many people ‘wing it’ and pick colours at random when colouring – this can sometimes lead to:

  • Too many colours being used and the overall picture looking confusing and jumbled
  • Too few colours being used and the picture looking dull and boring
  • Colours being used that clash quite badly and can be a bit of a headache

I’ve spoken to a few people who would love to give Adult Colouring a go but are daunted when it comes to choosing colours and are put off.


Depending on the size of your picture and how complex it is i’d recommend using 6-12 colours – perhaps with some extras for shading or huge double page spreads



Simply put this is literally picking your colours at random – you don’t know what you are going to end up with and it is an exciting way to learn how colours interact with each other and practice working with a limited palette.

Here is an example of a limited palette colouring I did with very few colours picked at random



Start by picking one colour and then choose each colour as you progress with your colouring – it is easy to lose track of how many colours you have used and I suggest trying the colours out on a scrap of paper as you go

Here is an example of a colouring where I winged it



I use this method quite a lot when colouring – I choose 2 opposite points on a colour wheel one for either end of a large image I am colouring and then follow the colours on the colour wheel in between.


For example on the Jelly fish image from Lost Ocean Colouring Book I decided on Orange and Blue

So the colours go from Orange, Orangey Red, Red, Reddy Pink, Pink, Pinky Purple, Purple, Blue

To make things a bit more interesting I then reversed this on some of the tentacles and had some shorter tentacles with just 1 or 2 colours



If you still don’t feel too comfortable using these methods above there are also a wide range of Colour Palette Generators online or as Apps on Mobiles and Tablets which work by either:

  • Generating a completely random palette for you
  • Generating a palette based on a photo or image you upload
  • Generating a palette based on one colour you pick
  • A library of palettes to pick and choose from

Here are some Colour Palette Generators – to find more try a search for ‘Colour Palette Generator’

If you have a different method for picking colours i’d love to hear about it and will gladly edit my post to mention it – so comment below!


One thought on “Simply Ways to Pick Colours

  1. Sian Willis says:

    I love how you have listed the different methods! i may use some of these for my weekly challenges. i may try the scrabble bag method with my next colouring!


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