Randomized color combinations can’t always be trusted

May 1st, 2008 | No Comments

Random color combinations are an unfailing key to artistic inspiration. I’ve used everything from having an “art lottery” format — where I’ve assigned numbers to a chart of colors, and picked the numbers at random using a bingo drum (a long story!) — to using random.org’s random number generator to select CMYK values.

Last night I bumped into the ColorSchemer Studio software app, which is a nifty tool for building color schemes. It also has a randomize feature (exactly what I was looking for), which assigns groups of colors according to triads, tetrads, etc.

After messing with the randomize feature for far too long, I have decided once and for all that random color combinations can’t always be trusted, because of the eye-irritant stuff that they yield most of the time.

For example:

randomized color combinations

In the past, when I deliberately used multiple discordant colors in one painting, this randomization strategy could prove very handy. But now I prefer schemes that are more direct — I leave less to chance.

While I have eschewed color randomization, I will say that I have very fond of an another app made by ColorSchemer — a free app, at that — called Color Pix. This tool lets you read the hex numbers & CMYK values of anything on your screen. Works great.


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