Tutorial, How to make character color palettes for paints or fabrics

This isn’t a particularly hard thing to do I just believe it will benefit a lot of cosplayers when making costumes.
Something I have found extremely useful through my years of cosplaying is making color palettes  for characters I am planing on making. These color palettes can be for the fabric colors you will need or perhaps the paint colors you will need for armour and props.
The palettes are useful as you can print them out and then you are able to take them out with you when buying supplies, making it easier to compare materials to original colors. So much easier than comparing a fabric color to your phone screen at least.

Here is an example of the color palette  I used for my Demongaze Armour when out buying paints.
Demongaze color pallet and Sword
This color palette  is more complicated than the ones I usually make as it shows a variety of different shades in different areas of the Armour. You can make out that I had originally set out 8 boxes which then got divided into smaller boxes, 8 is usually the number I try to stick to. Theres just so much going on in this costume that it was impossible to stick to that. I also have a separate area for the sword just to keep things a little more simple.

Tutorial Time


The first step is to open Microsoft Paint and extent the page to a full A4 size.
Next you want to create a table of about 8 boxes (depending on the complexity / amount of color in the costume or prop it may be more or less). Keep this table to the far left of the page leaving enough room for a picture of your chosen character or prop to the right. Then insert a picture of your character/prop to the right of the table like so.
step one
I’m using Celaena from the Throne of Glass series as an example as she hasn’t got a color palette yet.

Now for the color. Use the color picker tool (looks like an eyedropper and is next to the rubber tool) over a predominant color of the costume/prop then switch to the color filler tool (looks like a tipped bucket of paint and is above the color picker tool) and then click on one of your boxes to fill the first back will that color. You can then label that square using the text box, I find switching to a white font shows up on most colors.
Step two
Continue this process with other predominant colors adding them to the rest of the boxes. Don’t forget that you can make more boxes by cutting larger ones in half or just adding more onto the original table. For armour and props I find it useful to add shadowed areas of a color to original color boxes, this helps with thinking ahead about shading reminding you to take that into consideration. It also helps with fabrics as some fabrics can look different depending on the light they get or just depending on how they were made.
Step tree
And your finished palette should look something like this! I did divide some of the boxes to show the difference in shading and light on the colors. I already know that the base material for this costume is leather and that’s why there is such a contrast when the light hits the leather.

After your palette is made you can remove the image of your character/prop or keep it if it helps remind you who or what the palette is for. Then print it off and take it with you the next time you are going out to buy materials for your upcoming project!
I’ve been making these for most of my recent costumes and it has really helped when buying materials for them. This technique is so much easier than having to compare fabric or paint to a phone screen.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

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