Color Comp

Color bridges

Need to create a color bridge to unify a complex palette? Draw a line (curved is fine) along the color palette, and pick colors along this line. This will create structure, a bridge of colors connecting the two most contrasted colors. Feel free to add a “special” color, an accent color, that break out of …

Color bridges Read More »


Do you need more color harmony? Try to get the colors to interact, to “kiss”. Bring some of one color into another. Desaturate to help them play better together. Build bridges between colors. Find a way to distribute a color throughout the piece, instead of just having it in one place.

Color meanings/themes

These are not absolutes! No universal color definition, feel free to break the rules if need be. Red Love, passion, violence, danger, anger, power Pink Innocence, sweetness, fimininity, playfulness, empathy, beauty Orange Warmth, sociability, friendliness, happiness, exotic, youthfulness Yellow Madness, sickness, insecurity, obsessiveness, idyllic, naiveté. Green Nature, immuaturity, corruption, ominous, darkness, danger. Blue Coldness, isolation, …

Color meanings/themes Read More »


We associate connected colors. How can you tie elements together with similar colors? Are you accidentally associating two elements that shouldn’t be?

Color the Value

Do you want to color a value comp? Create a hue/saturation layer set to “colorize” with the area masked. Then you’re able to toggle it on and off to insure that you’re keeping your values the same.

Curves layer

If you have lighting/color that you like but want to see if you can make it even better or more complex, add a curves adjustment layer with a clipping mask, and make variations using curves.

Color contrast

Are your colors too loud, or do they “fight” with each other for attention? Are all your colors bright, but none of them “pop”? Colors are relative— A shade appears red when it’s “redder” than its neighbor, and bright when it’s brighter than its neighbor. If you want to make something “pop”, make it really …

Color contrast Read More »

Popping colors

Trying to make colors “pop”? You don’t need more saturation, you need more contrast in saturation. The relative difference between colors is what makes them stand out, not their absolute saturation.

Grey communication

Grays communicate with each other more than saturated colors, they blend much more nicely together. Do you need to desaturate your colors to make the piece more cohesive?

Leading color

Do you have a leading color? Pick a leading color to be most saturated, desaturate the others a bit. Or a lot. Where’s the emphasis/focal point? Put your leading color there.