Creating Colour Charts for Your Art Supplies

Updated charts have been added to include the gorgeous tropical hues and ultra bright cocktail from Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions range and the beautiful new blue, Speckled Egg, in the Tim Holtz's Ranger Distress range.

As we collect colours of paints, inks and other essentials of our favourite art supplies, it can be pretty handy to know what colours are available as which products. Having dozens of charts is great sometimes but I find it much easier to see what is available at a glance, with little indicators for each media. I also love to see all the colours at once, so I can choose which ones I want to use for a project, which ones I've got in the studio and how many I have yet to collect.

The first two are ready-made colour charts are for the complete range of Tim Holtz Distress and Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley collections (all made by Ranger). Following these are a few blank ones for you to personalise and make your own charts! Use for paints, pens, pencils, inks, anything :) Its good to see the actual colour of each one, sometimes its alot different to what a computer can print.

Ready-made Charts for Dylusions and Tim Holtz

To any of these charts, click the jpeg image (it should open in a new tab or window) to see it bigger to download and print for your own personal use. Each one should fit at 100% on an A4 or 93% on US Letter, or you can always choose the print option "fit to print" as well.

click to view all the colours in the Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Mixed media range    colour chart for the complete range of Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley mediums

Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley range of over 30 gorgeous colours includes Acrylic Paint, Ink Sprays, Shimmer Sprays and Paint Pens.
Tim Holtz Distress range includes Ink Pads, Mini Ink Pads, Reinkers, Mini Archival Ink Pads, Archival Reinkers, Spray Stains, Paints, Watersoluble Crayons, Watercolour Markers, Oxide Sprays, Oxide Ink Pads, Oxide Reinkers and Embossing Glazes - essential treasures to add colour and texture to our art.

Each precoloured chart has indicators to let you know what is available for each colour... Speckled Egg and Crackling Campfire, the newest Distress colours, are the exception as they're not been made into Distress Mini Ink Pads but will be made into Crayons with every 3 colours released. Distress Colour no.3 will be announced in November too!

Make Your Own Colour Chart

The blank charts could be used for any kind of art supplies... any brand, any designer, any type! Just have fun discovering all the colours you've got, blending new ones, organising, collecting, playing and simply messing about with colour :)

Having a colour chart is useful for organising supplies but I find it most useful for creating samples of each colour, especially those that look different on the labels to their actual contents. Some pigments look so dark, but add a splash of water and they come to life! I love watching paints react like this :)

Swatch Chart for the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress range of mixed media mediums by Jenny James    Swatch Chart for the Ranger Dylusions Dyan Reaveley range of mixed media mediums by Jenny James

How to use Blank Colour Charts ... Click on the picture to either download and/or print. Use the printout or trace onto another sheet of paper. Colour them in with your arty treasures, any kind and any brand. Why not make a new chart for each different sort you have, so you can easily keep track of your collection and see at a glance what each colour really looks like. 

Another way to create charts is to stamp out your favourite character dozens of times and colour them in. Just remember to use an Archival Ink (or solvent based) and let it dry completely before using watersoluble media like Distress Inks and Dylusions Sprays.

Create an a different kind of art journal... one that is more like a directory and can be taken everywhere you go... especially when visiting shops or craft fairs :) A fantastic idea from a wonderful customer. Basically, get any book or binder (one that has pages that could be added might be better) and add printed or stamped images, cut out die cutting templates, everything. Add labels and names, tabs to pages and maybe an index when it gets larger. Such a great idea! Love it!

To see how each medium reacts and dries on different surfaces, create the charts on different types of paper (plain, glossy, watercolour, mixed media). Creating swatches on fabrics like cotton, burlap and denim is a great resource too.

Need a reminder of customised colours? On the jigsaw patterned chart, you could add the colour you've mixed inbetween the colours you used to make it. For example, red with yellow and between them, their combined colour (orange). Don't forget to jot down what colours you used to create your new fave! It can be useful as a reminder if you've made something you want to use again.

make your own instant reminder of the colours in your collection - cat shapes from Art by Jenny  make your own instant reminder of the colours in your collection - puzzle shapes from Art by Jenny  make your own instant reminder of the colours in your collection - splash shapes from Art by Jenny

A fresh thought for the day... save the blank charts to your phone, iPad or tablet and use them as a reminder of what you have 

Some artists create these huge charts of squares. It looks so beautiful when they're done and while it does take a fair amount of time (hours and hours and hours), it can be so worthwhile. Especially if you mix your own colours from scratch. Its like a times table chart - the colour in the square along the side mixed with the colour across the top makes the colour in the square where they meet.

How to do this ... Start with a grid of lots of squares (mark them out with a ruler or use graph paper or Dylusions Dyalog Grid Insert Books). Colour the top row and the left (or right) vertical column with your colours. In all the intersections from each of these rows, add a mixture of the two colours.

If you need help doing this or have questions of any arty kind, use the 'say hello' button to drop me a line or pick up the phone.

I hope this blog post inspires you try new colours, discover new colour combinations, mix colours, find new favourites and help you organise your art supplies!

Happy a Wonderfully Creative Colourful Arty Crafty Day!