handy downloadable charts to organise your supplies from Art by Jenny

Creating Colour Charts for Your Art Supplies

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. I also love to see all the colours at once, makes it easier to choose which ones I want to use for a project, see which ones I've got in the studio and how many I have yet to collect. Besides, they all look awesome together!

The first charts in this blog are readymade colour charts are for the complete ranges of Tim Holtz Distress and Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley mediums (all made by Ranger). I'm making some Dina Wakley MEdia charts too so she doesn't feel left out. All 3 collections have so many gorgeous hues and tones and they all work beautifully together!

Following these premade ones are a few blank swatch sheets for you to personalise and make your own! Use for all your favourite arty treasures :)

Swatching can be soothing and therapeutic ... good for those days when you're not feeling crafty but still want to create. It always feels great to spend time testing colours and see how they react and dry, like practicing different techniques without having a project. It also feels good to sort through markers and pens to see which ones still work, or taking time to sharpen the whole jar of pencils so they're ready for another day. One thing to definitely do, have paper or a journal nearby because the fingers will want to play :)

Ready-made Charts for Dylusions and Tim Holtz

To print or download each chart, click the small image of each and it should open in a new tab or window. Then choose to download or print for your own personal use. Each one should fit at 100% on an A4 or 91% on US Letter, or you can always choose the print option "fit to print" as well. 

For downloaded charts, use the built in photo editing app on your computer, phone or tablet to mark off what you have, colour in or add comments. 

They are all jpegs, so should be easily opened on all devices. 

 overview of the Ranger Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley range of markers, paints, inks and shimmers - chart with all colours  overview of the Ranger Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley range of markers, paints, inks and shimmers - chart with white splotches

Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley range of 36 gorgeous colours includes Matte and Shimmer Acrylic Paints, Ink Sprays, Shimmer Sprays and Paint Pens.

... Click here to visit the Dylusions shelf ...

overview of the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress range in an A4 swatch sheet - all colours in solid spots  overview of the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress range in an A4 swatch sheet - all colours in open spots  overview of the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress range in an A4 swatch sheet - all colours in white spots

Tim Holtz Distress range includes over 70 colours in a wide variety of mediums including - Distress Ink Pads, Mini Distress Ink Pads, Distress Reinkers, Spray Stains, Oxide Ink Pads, Oxide Reinkers, Oxide Ink Sprays, Embossing Glazes, Archival Ink Pad Stack (4 basic colours in full sized stamp pads), Mini Archival Ink Pads, Archival Reinkers, Distress Paints, Crayons, Woodless Watercolour Pencils (37 colours), Watercolour Markers (retired), a variety of Collage Mediums, Textures, Grits, Dry Glitter, Mica Flakes and Crackle Pastes. Its a growing range of essential arty goodness!

... Click here to visit the Tim Holtz shelf ... 

Make Your Own Colour Charts

Some pigments and inks look so dark in their bottles and only show their real selves on paper, then change again with a simple splash of water! I love watching paints react like this :)

It is a good idea to use different surfaces like plain office paper, glossy cardstock, vanilla card, mixed media paper, white watercolour, tan kraft stock, black paper. This gives you more accurate examples of your collection, especially with the transparent ones which will allow the colours underneath to effect the results. Creating samples with ribbons, yarn, calico, cotton, denim (any fabrics), burlap and tissue is a great resource too.

These next charts are designed for amusement. I like cats and splotches and jigsaw puzzles so thought, why not! Do you have a favourite shape? To use these, click each chart to print or download, following the instructions above.

Art by Jenny swatch chart for creating instant reminders of paints, inks, sprays, stains, crayons, pencils and other mediums - image of puzzle pieces  Art by Jenny swatch chart for creating instant reminders of paints, inks, sprays, stains, crayons, pencils and other mediums - image of cats  Art by Jenny swatch chart for creating instant reminders of paints, inks, sprays, stains, crayons, pencils and other mediums - image of splotches

The jigsaw patterned chart could be used as a reminder for colour theory, which colours create other colours. Add the colour you've mixed inbetween the colours you used to make it. For example, place orange inbetween red and yellow or lime green inbetween yellow and light bright blue. There are no rules, mix and match to your heart's desire. Don't forget to jot down what colours you used, especially if you've discovered a new favourite. 

More ideas and solutions

To duplicate a printed chart, either print more copies or trace it onto another sheet of paper using a window or lightbox.  

Another way to create charts is to stamp out your favourite character dozens of times (one for each colour). Remember to use an Archival Ink stamp pad, hybrid or a permanent ink (like StazOn) with water-soluble inks, paints and sprays. If creating a colour chart for alcohol inks or solvent based markers, use a waterbased stamp pad, like Distress Inks, to stamp out an image so your pictures don't bleed. 

Tags are also a great way of saving examples too, perfect for all the different mediums, textures and crackles because they're so easy to store in a box or hinged ring. Apply the medium on one side and write the technique, colours used and other details on the back, ready for future reference.

Make your own tags or use the readymade Tim Holtz Distress or Dina Wakley MEdia tags. Once finished, why not store them in a book, ring binder, album, shoe box, keyring, or use a piece of ribbon to tie your tags together. 

Create a portable directory ... a journal or book with a complete showcase of your treasures that 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 - anything will work. One that has pages that could be added might be handy, or have a book for each kind of product. Add drawn, printed or stamped images, die cut pieces, samples, everything. Add labels and names, tabs to pages and maybe an index when it gets larger. Such a great idea! Love it!

Another convenient way to take your colour charts with you ... print it out, fold in half and keep inside a Dyalog Canvas Cover, a journal or notebook. For a digital version, save the blank charts to your phone, tablet or device as a photo. As you collect each colour, colour in the swatch or type a note using the 'edit photo' app.

Some artists create huge charts of squares ...
It looks so beautiful when they're done and can be adapted for any 2-colour combinations you wish to use. It does tend to take ages (hours and hours and hours), and can be limited in which colours mix with what, however, if you're into maths and graphs and grids, you may enjoy this kind of thing whether as an exercise in colour theory, playing with squares or trying out new colour values. It works just 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 in whatever size you wish. Leave space in the side margins to write the colour names. Mark them out with a ruler or use graph paper, dot grid paper or Dylusions Dyalog Insert Books (these are mixed media paper too). 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. It can be full strength, half and half, 30/70 mix or tinted washes - it's your chart, create it your way!

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 information inspires you have a go, try new colours, discover colour combinations, mix colours, find new favourites and help you organise your art supplies! Play with your arty treasures and have fun :)

Happy a Wonderfully Creative Colourful Arty Crafty Day!

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