Tonight's exercise was something that I've never really done before... picking colors just from observation.
Now, if that doesn't make sense or doesn't conjure up an image, let me put it this way... Photoshop has a lot of convenient shortcuts for creation, but it still doesn't take anything away from actual talent or desire. The thing is, when it comes to colors, Photoshop offers a very convenient tool called the Color Picker/Eyedropper.
This tool lets you hover the cursor over a particular area of an image, and Photoshop immediately recognizes and samples the color. The problems with this are many, but the main issue is that by using that tool too much, you never actually train your eye to see real color. Therefore, you can't pick those colors from observation, and you become a slave to the Eyedropper.
Earlier Thursday, I saw a post on Facebook from the fantastic Ron Lemen, where he showed off some of his beautiful, tiny landscape paintings. He did them as an exercise in color picking, and he picked the colors wonderfully... it inspired me to do the same later that night.
So, even though Ron's wonderful sketches only took him a couple minutes, and mine easily took me 10-20 minutes each, here is the result of my first ever free color picking exercise... no shortcuts used.
The goal was to capture the overall mood of the images, especially the color palette, and to convey the same mood and/or time of day.
Hopefully these convey what I was trying to convey...