How to Create a Custom Color Palette in Procreate

A step by step guide on how to import and create your own custom color palettes in Procreate


So here you are browsing around and you notice a beautiful color palette from a floral arrangement you’re seeing online, you are now fully inspired by the various tones in the picture and suddenly the default color palettes you have in Procreate are simply not enough! Immediately you want to be creative, but sadly you don’t know how to even begin.

Creating your own custom color palettes from an image is not as difficult as it may seem. In this article I’ll take you through all the different steps so that you can open up a whole new world of color palettes, and take your artworks to the next level. 

Let's take a look at how you can create your very own color palettes that’s custom to your liking in the Procreate app.

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1.  Selecting an image

One of the best ways to find different color palettes is to do a quick online search on flowers, you can literally find a plethora of images to choose from on multiple sites.

One thing to note when selecting an image to import into Procreate, is that while you have a lot of vibrant images to choose from, there are sometimes lighting effects applied to some of the images. This means that the colors you pull from those images will be significantly darker than what the colors actually are.

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If you want to have realistic colors, you’re going to have to grab those images that are more vibrant in color. 

Once you’ve found the right one for you, screenshot the image and crop out the unnecessary areas so that it’s not too big when imported, or if you are sourcing from a free image platform, save the images to your pictures folder. 

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2.  How to import an image

Now head over to your Procreate app and launch. Once you’ve opened the app you’re going to open a new canvas, to do this click on the add or plus symbol to your top right corner and select screen size, this will take you to a blank canvas.

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To import the image click on the wrench icon which is your tool at the top left of the screen. In the drop down menu select the add button and then insert a photo.

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Select the folder that contains your image, locate the image and then simply click on it. To create space to create your color palettes, move the image over to the side by using your thumb and index finger to grab the image.

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3.  How to locate your default color palettes

To begin creating your palettes, go to your color icon which is that red button to the top right corner of your screen and click on it. Here you’ll see a list of default color palettes and where you can create your own.

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You’re probably going to be on your color wheel when you first open up, but if you were to click the bottom right icon of your screen that says palettes, that will bring you to your Procreate palettes.

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At the top of that menu where there’s the add or plus symbol, if you click on it you’ll have your own untitled palette box.

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You can then select the disc option at the bottom left of the screen which will take you to your color wheel. Below the color wheel there’s a box area and this is also another untitled palette area where you can drop your colors.

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4.  How to grab colors from an image

On your screen you will notice a tiny square to the left. If you press and hold down that square you will be able to hover over the image using your other index finger, and you’ll be able to see the various colors of the image. 

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At the very bottom of your circle, the color that is shown is the current color that was selected from your color wheel. The color that is at the top of that circle is the one that you’re currently hovering over. This allows you to see exactly what that color is going to be as you scan through the image.

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When you find a color that you like, simply release it and it will then pop up as your selected color.

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Another method to select your colors without having to hold down the square, is to tap the square and release it. Using your index finger, hover over the area you want the colors from and once you have the right color, press and let go of the circle and it will automatically grab that color.

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When locating your color keep in mind that there are many tones in each flower, so try to find those really vibrant ones if that's what you want.

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5.  How to add the colors

To add the colors to your untitled palette box under the color wheel, click on the color that you grabbed from the image by selecting the circular icon at the top right corner. Then all you have to do is touch a square in the untitled palette box area and the color will appear in one of the small boxes.

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If you accidentally created a duplicate color, all you have to do is to hold down the square for a second and the delete option will pop up for you to remove it.

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Continue to repeat the same steps until you have all the desired colors. You can create your harmonious color palettes, your cool color palettes and more. In the beginning when you are selecting the colors, try to grab all the colors that you want first until you know what color families you’re going to create.

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Once you’re then satisfied with all the colors you can then go about arranging them. Another tip to remember, is try to get some of those neutrals as they are great at breaking up white.

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6.  How to arrange your colors

Now that you have all your colors, to arrange them, drag and drop them in the correct order. Begin by dragging the colors to the left of the palette box and build outwards.

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You can begin by organizing your warm and cool colors and then move into creating color groupings. You can also separate your colors by dragging them to the other side and build from there, whether you want to create your neutrals or contrasting colors, that’s up to you.

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7.  How to create a new palette

To add a new palette to your now existing one, grab an image you like and follow the previous steps on how to import the image into the app.

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Once you’ve imported your image, click on your color icon and at the bottom of the menu select palettes. At the top of the palettes menu select the add or plus symbol to create a new one. 

To select colors from the image, default the new one you’ve created by clicking default, and then select disc at the bottom left of the menu.

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This will take you to the color wheel and untitled palette box where you can grab the colors you want from that new image.

When you’re ready to use these colors all you have to do is select them and get to it.

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You can also rename your color palettes by clicking on ‘untitled palette’ and then changing the name and selecting done.

And there you have it, how to create your very own custom palette in Procreate. Try to explore different images with various moods, you may surprise yourself with some of the color combinations and groupings you can create.

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