Monday, April 13, 2015

Pick a color! Or One way to to quickly decide on colors in your artwork

by Sheila Heber-Collins and illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne

While in the middle of my most recent children's picture book project, Petite Rouge; A 

Cajun Twist to an Old Tale (2015) I was faced with a bit of a quandary.

As the title says, the story features a main character of Little Red Riding Hood (Petite Rouge), and absolutely must have a red coat/cloak of some type. I decided to use Petite Rouge's red cloak as a foil for the evil character who, in this case, wasn't a wolf.....but instead was a alligator. And being a gator.....he was naturally typecast with a virulent green skin and scales. So right off the bat I've got a nice complimentary color contrast for my good/evil characters.

But I still had to decide on a color for Petite Rouge's clothes. She would be wearing the same outfit through out almost the entire book.
I roughed in the colors in the first scene where we actually get to “meet” Petite Rouge. She's trying on her new red cloak, for the first time. I left her clothes blank so's I could “preview” different colors in Photoshop. I scanned in the drawing and started playing with the enhance>adjust color> adjust hue/saturation tool.

 I isolated Petite Rouge's top and started playing (You can see her mom's hand helping her adjust her hood) :

So first I tried a pale greenish blue......Nope!

Then I thru caution in the wind and tried a crazy purple.....Definetly Nope!

Finally I tried a pale true blue.......Ah Ha! That's a definite YES! 

 The pale blue does not clash with the intense red of her cloak nor the yellow of the background room. And what's more I could “live with” that color through out the 32 page book.