I love to match the colors of my photos with my
patterned papers. And with the power of Photoshop Elements it is
so easy and fun to do this. This tutorial will demonstrate how to
make a fast and easy custom color swatch in Photoshop Elements using
colors from your photos using the color picker tool. Another method
to pick colors is by using the Color Table (see "Color Table"
Open up the picture you would like to work with.
The photo I will be working on is a 5x7 200dpi photo.
The Color Swatch palette can be viewed by clicking
on Window>Color Swatch (make sure there is a check mark by the
Color Swatch to keep it open on your work space.) The default colors
are loading in my swatch. I will now clear out the swatch to make
a new custom swatch. I can do this by holding down my ALT key as
I click on each color. You will notice a scissor appear as I cut
away each color.
Once you have cleared away all the colors, we can
start using our color eye dropper (color picker) to pick our colors.
Click in the set foreground color box.
A pop up box will appear.
Click on the spot on your picture that you would
like to grab the color from. I am picking a dark green color from
Click ok in your color picker box. Now we want to
save this color in our Color Swatch. Move your cursor over to the
empty color swatch and you will see a paint bucket appear. Click
once and a color box will be made. If you want you can name your
new color. Click on Ok.
Select more colors by repeating the steps above.
Once you have picked your colors, save your new
color swatch. Do this by clicking on More > Save Color Swatches
Name your Custom Swatch and save.
I have made a folder called "swatches"
on my hard drive. You can save to the default Photoshop Elements
Preset folder. Color swatches are saved with an .aco extension.
To use your new color swatch to make a paper. Open
up a new image. I am making a 12in x 12in paper 200dpi. Click OK.
Click on your paint bucket tool
Make sure forground color is picked.
Click in the set foreground box
Click on the color you want to use in your color
You will notice that you foreground color changes
to this. Then click in your new document and you will get a paper
in the color you want. Now you can play with textures and brushes
to make some fun background papers.
Another way to make custom Swatches is explained
in my tutorial "Making a Custom Color Swatch Using the Color