How To Choose Your Colour Palette

Posted on 28 June 2016

How To Choose Your Colour Palette -feature

We’ve all been there. You get out your colouring book, lay out your pencils in a neat row, flick through the book until you find the perfect image and have no idea what colour to start with! It can be tricky to commit to a colour palette without doing the necessary research first, should you choose blues and greens only? Would a black, white and grey scheme look best? Or should you go completely out of the box and blindly pick a couple of colours that you then have to commit to?

There is no need to fret anymore dear reader as we have done the research and will bring you the best ways to choose your colour palette when filling in your adult colouring book. 

Traditional Colour Palettes

When choosing your colour palette you will need to consider the layout of the 12 point colour wheel. This is a circle broken into 12 pieces that runs through all of the primary, secondary and tertiary colours on the wheel. In order the colours are:

How to choose your colour palette - colour wheel
  • Yellow
  • Yellow-orange
  • Orange
  • Red-orange
  • Red
  • Red-purple
  • Purple
  • Blue-purple
  • Blue
  • Blue-green
  • Green
  • Yellow-green

Now that we know the colours let’s take a look at the traditional colour palettes that are the easiest to create.


A monochromatic colour scheme is made up of different shades and tones of one colour and usually includes a base colour of black or white. A monochromatic colour palette is the easiest to recreate as it only requires one colour and any of its available shades.

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - Monochromatic


An analogous colour scheme is another easy to make colour palette as it consists of three colours that are found next to each other on the colour wheel. To make the palette more appealing you can use different tints and shades of your three chosen colours.

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - Analogous


A complementary colour scheme is created by using colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. When placed side by side these colours stand out in their own way making them complement each other. Example colour schemes include yellow and purple, blue and orange and red and green.

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - complementary


A triadic colour palette contains three different colours from equally spaced out hues on the colour wheel. This can usually contain all three primary colours or all three secondary colours.

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - Triadic

Alternatively you can steer clear of the standard colour schemes and create your own. This could be hard to do as you will want the colours to complement each other while not being too dull/bright and potentially ruining your colouring page.

If you sit back and take a look around your room there could be heaps of colour palette inspiration staring back at you, you might just not know it yet!

Finding Colour Palette Inspiration

Nature is a great source of inspiration for a colour palette. It involves another great way to relax and unwind, as to become inspired all you need to do is go on a walk around the block and take a look at your neighbour’s lawns and flower beds. You can pick some fresh flowers to take back with you or take a walk to your local florists and buy the brightest, most colourful bouquet you can find. You don’t need to be tied down to green to be inspired by nature!

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - inspiration1

Inspiration available to you around the house can include your favourite weekly glossy or even a newspaper or catalogue. Scroll through and see which pages catch your eye, once you’re feeling inspired pick up your pens and start colouring.

How To Choose Your Colour Palette - inspiration2

Colour Palette Tips

Here are a couple of great tips to help you out once you have started your colouring page:

  1. Create a colour swatch. If you aren’t 100% sure in the colours that you have chosen then take another piece of paper in the same shade as your colouring page and create a colour swatch. Doing this you can test out the pencils shades by colouring lightly or darker by applying different pressures to your pencil.
  2. If you plan on spending more than one sitting on a colouring page then grab an elastic band and when you have finished each sitting, wrap the band around your chosen pencils. This way you will know which colours to use next time.

As always don’t forget to show us your completed Mindfun designs on social media by sending your pictures to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Happy colouring!

More Posts

Search our store