Here’s a simple way to make colour palettes from your favourite photos.

Photoshop Instructions

  • Open any photo that has appealing overall colours in it
  • Open the swatches panel and delete the colours already there. To do this, hold down your Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and hover your mouse over the colour swatch in the top left corner. Your mouse cursor will change into a scissors icon. Click to delete all the swatches.
  • On your photo, use the Single Row (or single column) Marquee Tool & Select a Single Pixel Row.
  • Transform (CTRL+T) & Stretch to Full Height
  • Use the eyedropper tool to pick out a colour you like
  • Move your mouse cursor into the empty area inside the Swatches palette. The cursor will change into a paint bucket icon. Click anywhere inside the empty area to convert your sampled color into a color swatch. Photoshop will pop up a dialog box asking you to enter a name for your color swatch.  Hit enter.
  • Repeat until you have a bunch of colours that look good together.
  • When you’ve finished adding colours to the Swatches palette, to save them as a new Photoshop swatch set, click on the small right-pointing arrow in the top right corner of the Swatches palette to access the palette menu. Select Save Swatches, name it, and hit save.

I’ve been having lots of fun doing this. Here’s one i made earlier with this pic of my son being silly..

And this is the palette I made from it.

Download the swatch set I made here