How to Create a Color Palette From Any Image in Procreate

The Procreate app allows you to be creative in choosing whatever colors you want for your projects.

procreate color palete from a photo

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However, finding the right colors to use for a particular project can be difficult, especially if you’re not well versed in color theory.

How do you know what colors go well together? What colors should you use on your coloring page or illustration?

To make things easier, you can take inspiration from photos you like to create your own color palettes for your projects.

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to do just that!

Where to Find Images To Use For Your Procreate Palette

Although it can be tempting to use a photo from Google or Pinterest, this may be illegal because images have copyright. I’m not a lawyer, but I recommend always being cautious when selecting images so you don’t end up violating someone else’s copyright.

I recommend using photos that are available for use such as those at Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay. You want to look for photos that are royalty free or that have a creative commons license.

Better yet, take your own pictures! You really don’t have to worry about copyright then!

For this post, I’m going to use a picture I took of some flowers in my garden. You can download this photo here to follow along with the tutorial if you’d like. I’m 100% ok with you using a color palette created from this photo. 🙂

There are two ways to create a color palette from a photo in Procreate.

I’ve created a short video tutorial to walk you through creating your palette.

Create an Automatic Color Palette From an Image

The first thing you want to do is to make sure your photo is available on the camera roll on your iPad. When downloading the photo (or when taking one yourself), make sure you save image on your iPad.

Now we can start creating the Procreate palette.

Open up a new canvas in Procreate.

Open up the color section by selecting the colored circle in the upper right hand corner of the screen. You will see a menu at the bottom that allows you to pick several different ways to choose colors.

For this tutorial we’ll be working with palettes.

Open your palette menu.

Open color palette menu in Procreate

Here you should see some color palettes, likely those that came with Procreate and those you’ve downloaded or created over time.

At the top of the palette menu, you should see a plus button. Select that plus button and you’ll see that a new menu comes up.

Select “New from Photos.”

Your camera roll should show up. If it doesn’t, you may have to give Procreate permission to see your pictures.

Select the picture that you want to create a color palette from. That’s it!

Now if you scroll to the top of your color palettes, you should see a color palette called “Palette from Image.”

Procreate automatically imported a color palette for you from your image.

How cool is that?

I did my first Tiktok with this trick

If you click on the title “Palette from Image” you can change the name to whatever you want. I’ll name mine “Flowers From the Garden.”

Now you have this color palette in your library and can use it any time you want!

Manually Select Colors from a Photo

I find that when Procreate automatically selects colors from a photo it doesn’t always select the colors that I would select if I was going to choose them myself.

The good news is that you can select colors directly from a photo to make a palette!

Import Your Photo Into Procreate

For this, you’ll want to import your photo into Procreate.

You can import your photo directly from your gallery by selecting “photo” on the top right of the screen. This will bring the photo in and create a canvas that is the same size of that photo.

Alternatively, you can bring your photo onto an already premade canvas. This is what I tend to do so that I can test out each of the colors I select next to the photo if I want to.

For this, first start a new canvas like you would normally do when starting a new project.

Select the wrench icon on the top of the screen, and then select add.

Choose insert a photo. Then select your photo. Procreate will add the photo to your canvas on a new layer. Hit the little selection arrow on the top left of your screen to set your picture.

To learn more about layers, read my ultimate guide to layers in Procreate.

choose to open a new color palette

Once you do that, you can zoom in and out on your picture by pinching in and out.

Open your color palette menu as we did above.

Hit the plus button and create a new palette. This creates a new palette and puts it at the top of your list. You will also see that there is a blue button called default. This is helpful when you are creating (or using) a palette since your palettes will open up to that one every time. You could also open up the disc menu and the default pallette will show under the disc.

We will now work on selecting colors using the eyedropper function. I like to call this the color picker!

Customizing Your Eyedropper

Before we start, let’s make sure that your eyedropper is set up.

Select the wrench icon at the top of your screen and select the Prefs menu.

How to get to your gesture menu in Procreate

Next select Gesture Controls. This is where you can set up different gestures within Procreate. On the left hand side you’ll see a menu. Select Eyedropper.

On this screen, I recommend you toggle on the last option, “touch and hold.” I also recommend setting the delay for at least .30 seconds. I have mine set for .46s. You don’t want this time to be too short because you’ll be accidentally changing your colors all the time otherwise.

(Ask me how I know).

You can select one of the other options if you’d like to use one of those instead, but I’ll be showing you how to do this using the touch and hold option.

Changing the eyedropper tool to make a Procreate Palette

Select done.

You should see your canvas with the picture on your screen.

Create Your Palette

Open up your color palette.

Now, touch the screen with your finger and hold it there. You should see the eyedropper come up showing you the color you are on.

You can move your finger around the screen to find the color you want.

You can see that the top of the circle shows the color you are selecting while the bottom of the circle shows the last color that was selected.

touch and hold to pick a color for a Procreate Palette from a picture

Pick a color you like from your photo.

Once you find a color you like, release your finger from the screen and place it in your palette by touching your new palette. You can use this same process to select as many colors from your photo as you’d like. Each palette holds 30 color swatches.

place your color on the Procreate palette

When you’re done, you can rename your palette so you remember what it was.

I hope you’ll share what you create! If you do, be sure to tag me on Instagram @marlena.larson to let me know!

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