After the last post, I want to back away from tech for a bit, so I'm writing about color palettes today.
I used Colormind to derive palettes from images that resonated with me.
sonic cd: stardust speedway zone
I'm kicking things off with a bunch of 16-bit Sonic screenshots. It's probably no surprise that I love the art direction of this series; it's one of the first things I remember identifying as "futuristic" in the early nineties.
This shot, in particular, is from Sonic CD, a game on a console I only managed to rent once. The color palette is doing a TON of work here: it feels frenetic and cosmopolitan. Depictions like this really formed my perception of what a modern metropolis should look like!
(It bears mentioning: I love a dark palette with pops of purple and green.)
I found this via this tweet.
A strong blue-orange composition, sticking towards the midtones!
I'm tickled that Colormind detected the yellow street sign and threw it into the palette as a little burst of green.
I find these blue-orange palettes captivating: they can tilt warm or cold with only a little nudge, melancholy or energetic, even futuristic (thinking back to LEGO's "Ice Planet 2002" line from the nineties.)
sonic 2: chemical plant zone act 1
Increasingly displaced by blue-white LED lighting, sodium lamps used to throw their golden hue lazily over city blocks. Chemical plant zone captures this; it's kind of an oddball arrangement with the warmer tones in the background getting covered up by higher-energy bright colors, grays, and blues.
A near-black red sky is at once ominous and comforting.
sonic 2: chemical plant zone act 2
As the aforementioned level plays forward, you end up getting closer to the eponymous pink goo. The colors skew cooler here; even the pink tends a little towards the blue side.
Another strong blue-orange composition; it's fascinating how little one has to lean towards the blues to drop the temperature sharply.
metroid by mostly ghostly
A great illustration by LowBudgetGhost. (I love this illustrator's work!) I picked this piece because it's indicative of their other work: strong mid-to-light tone colors vibrating against each other.
Go check out their work!
chicago winter storm tweet
A really lovely photo of a chicago winter storm.
This just popped across my feed and reminded me of an ill-fated winter visit to Chicago from years past (one of many, to be honest!) In particular, I love how this palette captures the juxtaposition of those snowy whites and grays against the warm, again ominous sky.
lawrence ks sunset
Home sweet home. Lawrence is a small Kansas college town where I lived from 2004-2012. This shot is from Summer 2009; a view from the hill, where the college is located, down to the main street of the town.
lift in palm springs
weeping alaskan close up
halloween jack o lantern
Can I just say that I'm really chuffed that Colormind picked four beautiful colors and "swamp green" for this picture?
(This picture actually got me back into liquid inks -- mostly to play with masqueing fluid!)
Budapest Alley, at Night
I took a trip to Budapest a few years back -- my first overseas flight, with Krysten and some friends -- and took this photo looing down from the back of our hotel on our first night.
This picture has a pretty sedate palette: purple and yellow bounce off each other, but since they're not super-saturated they end up feeling pretty chill.
Budapest Sunset One
Budapest Sunset Two
1208 Room, Markers
An illustration I did of my old room from 2007. The room was a mess and I think the colors faithfully reflect that. The room in question had a bright green carpet set against burgundy walls, and the only source of light at night was a cheap Target paper lamp, giving off warm incandescent light. As a result, you get light purples, oranges, olives, and greens. The red of the wall isn't present, thankfully.
I particularly like the pastel-violet to mustard yellow transition.
Captain Yajima Splash
From Worthikid's "Captain Yajima" short animation.
Another pulp-comics-inspired palette. I love the poster colors -- the red, green, and eggshell white are out in front, grabbing your attention. The black is tinged a sickly green, like the black ink on neon green you'd see for a band flier.
I like that this palette gives you three different ways to grab attention.
F-Zero: Big Blue
The nineties aesthetic loves a beach. We hit a bunch of loud, hyper-saturated colors here: deep blues, palm tree greens, and neon oranges. The rambunctious colors are grounded by a staid, almost wine-like, magenta.
Demon's Crest Town
A game I really loved as a kid.
Demon's Crest is a SNES Capcom game set in a strange, ruined medieval world ruled by demons. The environment design is top-notch; it really shines in the early game when you're wandering through ruined towns and overgrown cemeteries.
Demon's Crest strikes a balance between eeriness and melancholy. It's probably no surprise they're using a saturated purple-green palette to play up the pulp horror vibes.
Portland Springtime Cherry Blossoms
I found this via this Reddit post.
Portland Springtime Cherry Blossoms Part Two
Found via this Reddit post.
Deep dream rainbow
Found via this Tweet.