How do you go about making your palettes

so I am basically trying to answer 1 question
How do different people make their palettes

This is how I would do it

  • make a Big canvas and draw lot of spheres with my grey

  • then open the HSL slider in aseprite and put down the base colors

  • I usually keep a set Saturation, and Light while plotting down the base colors

  • then for the shading I reduce the saturation and light to another set value and hue shift a bit (hue shifting is different for each color)

Here's how it Usually comes out

437d4ebd-9be3-4c12-95e2-f5e8b5ecd2b1-image.png

so this is my method I will be interested to see your methods in this thread

RACECAR

That's so cool!! 😮

I'm actually having a hard time trying to form my own palette and this is such a good approach in my opinion~

occasionally i'm pixelin', most of the time I'm trying to be casually vibin'

When I make palettes, here are a few questions I ask myself during the process of its creation:

  • what range of values am I aiming for?
  • what range of hues am I aiming for?
  • what range of saturation am I aiming for?
  • how many colours am I aiming for?

It also helps if you have a vague idea of how you'd like to use your palette - if it's more like a fantasy console palette like PICO-8, or if it's a palette used for an avatar, etc.

For example, if I were to make a GameBoy palette, I'd answer those questions as follows:

  • what range of values am I aiming for? Roughly full black to full white.
  • what range of hues am I aiming for? Let's say one hue, as the GameBoy is a monochrome system.
  • what range of saturation am I aiming for? Let's not make it too vibrant, so a fair bit of grey in each colour.
  • how many colours am I aiming for? GameBoy used 4 colours, so let's say 4.

This is an example of course, so you could answer each question differently (like using 2-3 hues rather than just one), depending on what your intentions are.

Hope it helps!

Personally palette creation is highly defined by the context you're using it in. Therefore I create palettes as I create a piece - it's never set in stone. This doesn't mean my process is random, however.

First of all I use colors that are close enough to the feel I want. This serves to get a feel of the colors as I make the art. References are paramount in this step, since sometimes the colors might react in an "unusual" way, such as when close to strong, colored lightsources.

As I finish blocking out the colors I see which one of them are superfluous to the piece, by replacing them by already existing colors. Tweaking the colors so that they can be used in several contexts in the piece, checking values and contrast, and so on. In this step I analyze the shades and decide which hues require less contrast, and which doesn't. Remember that sometimes low contrast can be useful in pixelart to suggest very soft and smooth surface, or misty landscapes. This is, too, an example of context making the colors feel useful.

This approach feels better to me because the palette will be tailor-made to the piece I'm making. Lastly I run the finished image into contrast filters to zero in on a good balance (sometimes, manual adjustments only get me so far due to being accustomed to the piece. Adjusting it with an app may reveal points that need more work, or give me a different feel to it).

There's no tried and true method to make art and palettes, but you do get more efficient at it when you apply the colors you've created in a context.

This being said, ckelsallpxls also raises great points about palette making, I agree with it as well.

Most of my palettes are based on something. I see something that is some colors, I say, "cool colors," then I take them and adjust them so they are more suited for pixel art. Usually in this process I am making some piece at the same time as the palette, and I adjust the colors as I am making the art to make sure they work well.

1st: What feeling do I want from my palette? Something bold? Muddy? Vibrant? I look for a direction to go.
2nd: What does it actually look like, using it? I might test it out and find that while a ramp looks fine, its colors might not work exactly well in context. Adjust, adjust, adjust!

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I usually start with a few colors that have a certain vibe that i want, then just gradually expand it to more hues and lightness levels.

I try to organize the colors into a grid where dark is on one side and light is on the other, so you can see which colors are roughly of equivalent brightness, and colors in multiple ramps will touch. I feel this makes a lot more sense than branching palette layouts.

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I also make a test shading ball for every possible small ramp (top left), so you can just how every pair of colors will work together, and fix any contrast issues.