Defining paint color with help of the eyedropper tool (in Photoshop)

It has been three weeks since I last worked on my jellyfish painting. Isn’t it ironic that when I last worked on it, I wrote about it under the title, “Procrastination and Painting.” Seems like I’ve been procrastinating getting back to this painting! I know the reason why. I hit a stumbling block.

I was struggling with the color of the jellyfish. What I ended up with was a very orange color. No matter how many times I mixed it, I couldn’t get it to look like the photo. When I left off, I planned to use the eyedropper tool in Adobe Photoshop, to help pinpoint the colors in the photo. It certainly seemed like a good plan. Let’s see if it actually works!


When I opened the photo in Photoshop and starting clicking around on the jellyfish photo, I was surprised to see the colors that came up – maroon, brown, tan, gold. I already felt that it was helping me “see” colors in the jellyfish that I wasn’t seeing. Since I use thalo blue, cadmium yellow and cadmium red to mix my colors, I decided the RGB (red, green, blue) breakdown of the colors was the most useful. I tried to mix and measure following this breakdown.



My first try wasn’t great. I mixed a color which seem to match, but when I painted on top of my existing color, it didn’t look great. I guess the fact that I was painting on top of color, was an issue. The orange beneath my new color, was having an effect on the new color. I didn’t give up!


I kept mixing colors until I got something, that when I put it on top, it looked right. I feel like I’m starting to get there, but have my work cut out for me. I’m so inexperienced I pick hard things and don’t realized they are hard until I’m in the middle of it.


The thing that I love about this photo is that it glows. The colors in my painting are dull and I’m not sure I can fix it – if I’m mixing the colors. Tomorrow I have off and I plan on attacking this painting to see what I can do!


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