Colour palette creation

By Josephine Cowell

Experiment with colour and create a unique palette from your own original photo

Don’t forget to share your colour palette or post online and tag @natsatclub and @ual_insights

Josef Albers, Three Color Studies for Homage to the Square, oil on blotting paper; The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. Source



How do artists and designers generate ideas for colour from their first point of inspiration?

These workshops will focus on the process of developing ideas and designs from your own original photography, helping you create lots of inspired design work which you can use when you get back in the studio!

Many different ideas can spring from one source of inspiration. The strongest designs happen when the designer is always re-visiting and questioning their research.

Sonia Delaunay, Sketch book. Source



  • Digital camera or camera phone

Any but not all of the following:

  • Paper scraps
  • Old magazines
  • Drawing/painting materials
  • Fabric scraps etc


Activity part one – Photographic investigation

Take photographs from around your house or outside space which you feel contain interesting colour.

Take time to really look at things you may not have considered before.

Here are a few examples:

  • The inside of a kitchen cupboard
  • A jewellery box
  • A shadow on the wall


Activity part two – Create your colour board

Choose one of your images, the one you think has the most beautiful or interesting colour in.

Depending on what materials you have, make a colour swatch representing the colours and their proportions in your photo. Use painting, colouring, collaging, stitching…etc.. any technique to make your swatch! Just focus on colour for now, if your image is 50% red make your swatch half red.


Activity part three – Colour swatch

Now you can play with colour proportion. Make more colour swatches (using the same colours from your image). This time change the balance of the colours each time.


Further Development

Create a library of as many colour pallets as you like from different photos. You can use these pallets in any creative project in the future.

Now you can move on to the next workshop and experiment with generating pattern and texture design from your own photography.


Thank you for taking part in the University of Arts London Saturday Club Workshop.

Share your colour palette or post online and tag @natsatclub and @ual_insights


 Contributed by Josephine Cowell, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London Fashion&Business Saturday Club

Jo is a Textiles tutor at LCF specialising in Knit. Jo works extensively with the LCF Outreach team, supporting students to develop their ideas and skills within Textiles. Jo provides tailored support to students when they are transitioning into FE and getting ready to apply to HE.

“The Saturday Club is a brilliant opportunity for young people to play and explore new areas of fashion. I work very hard to breakdown young people’s understanding of what Textiles can be so they can discover the joy and importance of studying a specialist course and what types of careers it can lead too.“


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