Every artist has struggled with color at least once in their career. For me, it has been a lifelong challenge. I love bright colors – the more the merrier. It has involved quite a lot of discipline over the years to use color schemes. Sometimes the colors of a painting just come together, but for me, most of the time, adding a color to see “if it works” is my modus operandi. (Then I have to remove the color if it doesn’t! Feel free to relish your superior ability to plan ahead ; )
I am currently working on 3 pieces. One is a colored pencil homage to Andy Warhol. It’s created after the well-known Marilyn Monroe silkscreen image, the one with 4 Marilyns, each a different color palette.
Part of the series of images I am doing involves learning from the great masters. I am trying to duplicate their works closely. Therefore, I used similar background colors to Warhol’s. However, rather than a human as the subject, my Rat Terrier, Lucy, is in the place of Marilyn. Lucy is also an iconic type dog, although many would argue that she is not as beautiful as Miss Monroe was.
After painting the backgrounds, I realized that painting Lucy would be a challenge in color choice because Marilyn’s skin in the original is pink, while Lucy is mostly white. I didn’t want to paint Lucy pink or white. So, a color dilemma presented itself.
After several days of thinking and problem-solving activities, I found a great app online. It’s called Color Grab, and here’s what it does: after using your camera to identify which color you want to match, Color Grab will provide 5 colors that work with it. This app includes all the usual choices for color schemes, like monochromatic, complementary, triad, etc., and also has some I have never heard of: Gaudi, Butterfly, and Europa.
Color Grab is free for commercial and non-commercial use, and is so full-featured that I will likely spend months trying all the options. Oh, yeah, the colors you choose can be imported digitally to your programs! It’s a truly great app for creatives, and one I think every artist, designer, crafter, quilter, or other creative person who works with color will love. You can find Color Grab at