Newbie Notes: Eyedropper Tool
The blending panels for the Color Challenge swatches have been enthusiastically received, so I will be including any that I make for future kits. Or at least some of them – for my current WIP I’m up to 11! Not all blends yield pretty results, but its all about the experimentation. Kirsten mentioned she didn’t know how to use these blends. The simplest way is to use the Eyedropper Tool. With this you can sample the colour anywhere along the blending panel and use this colour to add subtlety and depth to otherwise flat elements. Try using these variations for shadows and highlights instead of using Dodge and Burn techniques, or use them as part of gradients to add depth and interest to patterns and papers. If you want absolutely correct colour values, use the Hex numbers. The Eyedropper Tool can be off by a hair sometimes even with a solid colour sample.
Which brings me to what JHawk commented, that “the picker sometimes does not grab the correct color, especially if there is texture in the paper or element”. Try this, JHawk – With the Eyedropper Tool selected, look up at the tool options bar, under the File Edit etc bar at the top of your screen. Here you will see Sample Size followed by a dropdown box. If your Sample Size is set to Point Sample, that would explain why you are having difficulty selecting the colour you want from a non-solid paper or element. Point Size is just too specific for that. Try using a larger sample average. Photoshop goes up in increments to 101 by 101, Photoshop Elements has 3 by 3 and 5 by 5 Averages which is quite adequate for most design work.
And finally, a really cool tip! When you are working with any of the tools that use colour, just hold down the Alt key and your cursor will change to the Eyedropper Tool, allowing you to select a new colour on the fly. Sweet!