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Confused About Color?

Posted on Jun 5, 2013 by


A friend of mine, Nancy, asked me the other day what color would be a good accent color for her new decorating she is doing in her home.  I was so glad she asked…having just finished my color theory class…I had several answers for her.  Then it occurred to me that there may be more of you who have questions on color or who could benefit from some online tools.  So, today is the first in a series of posts to introduce you to some color tools that can help you in:

  • your scrapbooking color choices
  • your decorating
  • your crafts
  • painting
  • and a host of other color projects!

The first tool I will talk about is Kuler from Adobe.  If you have Photoshop, you can access your Kuler extension under the Window menu>Extensions>Kuler.  This will load your extension as a panel next to the layers panel and allow you to access many color schemes.  If you click on the middle button “Browse” you will find a dropdown menu that has some preset color schemes in the following areas.  Do some searching and experimenting.

  • Highest Rated
  • Most Popular
  • Newest
  • Random
  • Saved
  • Custom

As I write this, I am thinking…I would love to have my equipment in place to do a recording for you in Screenflow and upload a video tutorial on using Kuler in Photoshop!  But alas, I don’t have it yet.  I hope to begin doing this sometime later this month.  Which reminds me, you can take my 4-question quick survey on what topics you would want a tutorial in here.  That way I can deliver content you can benefit from!

If you click on the “Create” button, you will see a color wheel that you can choose different color schemes on.  What fun…there is a lot of experimenting you could do here.  Take some time to create a color scheme of your own.  And stay tuned for my first video tutorial which will be using Kuler from their website and in Photoshop.

Now, for those of you who don’t have Photoshop, you can go directly to their website and have so much fun!  Across the top you see 3 menu items.  Let’s explore each one briefly.

First, you have the “Create” Tab.  If you click on this, a beautiful color wheel comes up.  For those of you familiar with the color wheel you can explore different color “families”.  You can “swing” the arms around the circle by clicking and dragging one of the circles around. In any of the color families below, click and drag on different circles to see what you create.  If you drag a circle down near the center of the wheel, the colors will become tints (the hue mixed with white) commonly known as pastels.  Don’t be afraid to play around with the circles and colors.

  • Analagous will give you 5 colors right next to each other on the wheel.  
  • Monochromatic will give you 5 colors all in one hue.
  • Triad will give you 3 + 2 colors on an equidistant triangle.
  • Complimentary are 2 colors directly across the color wheel from each other.  Then Kuler adds in 3 other tints (pastels) or shades (hue mixed with black) from each of these 2 complementary colors.

If you scroll down this page far enough you will see the RGB color values and the Hex color number.  We will talk about these later.

I don’t want to get too wordy in one post, so look for the next post on using the “Explore” button in Kuler’s website where we will answer Nancy’s question to me more specifically.  So stay tuned and keep coming back!

Meanwhile, please share in the comments below what your favorite color is!  I will start by sharing mine…purple!  Woo Hoo!




  1. More Information on using Kuler Color Tool Online: Part 2 - [...] and tools for you!  If you missed the first article in this series you can read it here:  Confused…

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