Color Tests 1

Though I’ve decided I’m going to use watercolor for the final images, I’ve found it much easier, and less messy, to test out different color options in photoshop first.


For some reason, while I was first drawing the giraffe, I was envisioning it with pink spots. After having actually seen it, though, I have to ask myself, why are they there? The spots are not the focus of the giraffe, his neck is. Although I do think that pink and yellow is a fun combination, it doesn’t quite work with the concept behind the drawing.

I prefer this version to the pink one, I think. The brown color lets it remain in the realm of the realistic, but the variety in shades prevents it from being mundane and flat. Interest is maintained, but the focus is not taken away from the neck.

Same colors as above, but with added swirlies. That was just an idea that popped into my head, so I thought I’d see if it would work. I’m not entirely convinced either way. I think, if I do incorporate this into the final image, I will try to add it digitally rather than painting it on.. that way I don’t have to worry about ruining the paint.


The snake needs to be green, because, like with the giraffe, his color should not interfere with the child’s ability to understand which aspects of the image are the important ones to take notice of. So, here, I’ve just stuck with the stereotypical snake color association, looking at a couple different shades. The last one is my favorite, I think, because it’s the most vibrant, with more yellow in it.. it just draws more attention. Also, in the third one, I’ve gone over a few of the scales in a darker green color, rather than leaving them black, which I think helps to emphasize them as being actually an important part of the snake, and not just a detail thrown in. As with the little swirlies on the giraffe’s spots, I’ll add these in digitally after I’ve painted the rest of the image.


Because the seal will be in a tank of water, I’ve put some light blue in the background just to give me a sense of which colors will look best with the environment taken into consideration.

The grey, here, I didn’t even finish because it looks INCREDIBLY dull. I know I want to stick to relatively realistic colors, but it’s so boring! There will be a bright orange tiger on one page, and then on the other, this guy. Between the two, no one’s eye will stay on him, which is kind of against the point of the whole book.

Keeping the watery environment in mind, I decided to try out this lavender color. I didn’t want to go for blue, as I thought it would blend with the background too much, and so I thought this was kind of nice because it feels to me like a compromise between blue and grey.

Because I liked the lavender, but thought it might be too unrealistic, I tried out this darker, more blueish purple. I thought it might be similar to a dark grey or black seal without having to actually use those colors. The blue in this color helps relate the animal to an aquatic environment, while the purple in it keeps it from blending in to the background.

I haven’t come to a decisive conclusion with the seal as of yet. Although this exercise has been helpful, I think it’s going to come down to actually just painting it a few times and seeing what turns out the best.

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