draw nature color with a tablet

From Desert to Ocean: Exploring Nature's Color Palette Ideas

XPPen 2023-10-17 18:14:02 9 min read

Nature has been a constant muse for artists, designers, and anyone who loves beauty. It offers a vast range of colors, textures, and patterns that inspire stunning nature color palettes.

We'll explore the beautiful landscapes on Earth, from deserts to forests and oceans, discovering their rich and diverse nature color palettes. Let's start with the captivating hues of the desert first!

Desert Color Palette

The Desert's Hidden Treasures

The desert may seem barren at first, but it reveals a rich desert color palette. Beyond the initial sandy view, you'll find a vibrant range of hues showcasing nature's beauty in harsh conditions.

1. Earthy Tones: The Foundation of the Desert

desert earthy palette

The foundation of the desert color palette is formed by earthy tones such as sandy beige, warm terracotta, and dusty brown. These colors are the backdrop for the desert's stark beauty.

The science behind these colors lies in the minerals and sediments found in desert soils. For instance, the reddish terracotta hues often come from iron oxide in the sand. These earthy tones, rooted in geology, create a grounded and natural feeling.

2. Sunlit Gold: The Magic of Desert Sunsets

gold desert palette

When the sun sets in the desert, it paints the landscape in warm golden hues, that elicits an inviting atmosphere. These golden shades, from soft yellows to deep oranges, are key to the desert's color palette. The golden tones are a result of the angle at which sunlight penetrates the Earth's atmosphere, scattering shorter wavelengths and allowing the warm colors to dominate.

The Wavelength, Frequency and Photon energy of visible lights:

ColorWavelength (nm)Frequency (THz)Photon energy (eV)

Source: Wikipedia

3. Desert Rose: A Touch of Femininity

desert flower palette

Amidst the arid sands, you may come across delicate desert flowers with petals in shades of pink and mauve. These subtle but enchanting colors add a touch of femininity to the desert's color palette.

These colors are often the result of specific desert plant adaptations and the unique pigments they've developed to thrive in this harsh environment.

4. Sky High: The Desert's Brilliant Blues

desert blue sky palette

During the day and twilight, the desert often boasts clear blue skies that contrast the warm earthy tones below. These brilliant blues are an essential component of the desert palette.

Dive deeper into the beauty and diversity of desert landscapes - National Geographic's Guide to Desert Ecosystems. In fact, dunes are just about 10% of deserts, while the rest are made up of mountains, rocks, sandy plains, and salt flats.

Creating a Desert Color Palette

To create a desert-inspired color palette, you can start with a base of sandy beige or terracotta and add accents of golden yellows and desert rose. By capturing the essence of a desert sunset, you can evoke the feeling of warmth and tranquility in your design.

With the XPPen Deco Mini 7's pressure sensitivity, seamlessly transitioning between these shades of gold becomes a breeze. This feature not only enhances your creative process but also ensures that you can replicate the radiant desert glow with precision, making your artwork a true reflection of the natural world.

It's important to note that the desert color palette can vary depending on the season. During spring, after rainfall, you may witness a burst of vibrant greens as dormant plants come to life. In contrast, the summer heat can intensify the warm earthy tones.

Sunrise Color Palette

A New Day's Promise

The colors of a sunrise are a symbol of hope and new beginnings. As the sun rises above the horizon, it paints the sky with a breathtaking array of sunrise color palette colors that can inspire a unique color palette.

1. Gentle Pinks and Lavenders: The Early Serenity

pink lavender sunrise palette

The early moments of a sunrise often feature soft pastel pinks and lavenders. These delicate hues create a sense of serenity and optimism. These colors are created by the scattering of shorter wavelengths of light during sunrise.

2. Warm Corals and Oranges: The Rising Energy

coral orange sunrise palette

As the sun climbs higher, it bathes the sky in warm corals and oranges. These colors radiate energy and enthusiasm. The warm tones are a result of the sun's angle, which allows longer wavelengths to predominate during this time.

3. Golden Yellows: The Joyful Finale

golden yellow sunrise palette

The final stage of sunrise is marked by brilliant golden yellows that evoke feelings of warmth and happiness. These hues are perfect for infusing a sense of joy into any palette.

4. Awakening Blues: The Dawn of Azure Tranquility

sunrise blue sky palette

The transition between night and day often includes shades of calming azure blue, symbolizing the awakening of a new day.

Creating a Sunrise Color Palette

To create a sunrise-inspired color palette, begin with gentle pinks and lavenders, transition to warm corals and oranges, and finish with golden yellows. This progression can capture the emotional journey of a sunrise in your design.

The colors of a sunrise can also be influenced by the weather and geographical location. In some regions, sunrise colors may be more intense during specific seasons, while cloud cover can affect the hues.

Sunset Color Palette

The Artistry of a Sunset

As day turns into night, we're treated to a mesmerizing display of colors in the sunset color palette. Whether it's over the ocean, in a forest, or across a desert horizon, sunsets are always captivating with their vivid and shifting hues.

1. Fiery Reds and Oranges: The Early Splendor

red orange sunset palette

During the beginning of a sunset, you'll typically see vibrant reds and oranges. As the sun lowers in the sky, its light passes through more layers of the atmosphere, scattering blue light and allowing red and yellow light to reach your eyes directly.

Sometimes, the entire western sky seems to be glowing. This is because small particles of dust, pollution, or other aerosols also scatter blue light, leaving more pure red and yellow light to pass through the atmosphere.

These colors evoke feelings of warmth and passion, making them perfect for creating an energetic and vibrant sunset color palette.

2. Mellow Purples and Pinks: A Soothing Transition

purple pink sunset palette

As the sun continues to descend, the sky often takes on shades of soft purples and pinks. These cooler, pastel tones bring a sense of calm and tranquility to any color scheme, making them ideal for creating a soothing atmosphere. The interplay of light and atmosphere creates these soft, romantic shades.

3. Twilight Blues: The Mystical Nightfall

sunset blue sky palette

Just after the sun has set, the sky transforms into shades of deep blue and indigo. These colors capture the mystery and depth of the night, making them a beautiful contrasting color to any sunset-inspired palette.

Creating a Sunset Color Palette

To create a sunset-inspired color palette, begin with the fiery reds and oranges, transition to mellow purples and pinks, and finish with deep twilight blues. This progression can be used to evoke the emotional journey of a sunset in your design.

The colors of a sunset can also vary with the seasons. In some regions, sunsets during winter may feature cooler, bluer tones, while summer sunsets can be more fiery and intense.

Forest Color Palette

A Symphony of Greenery

Stepping into a forest is like entering a world of endless greenery and natural wonders. The forest offers a captivating color palette inspired by nature, a harmonious blend of earthy greens, rich browns, and vibrant pops of color from various plant species.

1. Lush Green Canopy: The Heart of the Woods

lush green forest palette

The primary feature of a forest's color palette is its lush green canopy. This forest green, vibrant, symbolizes growth, vitality, and renewal. It serves as the cornerstone of the forest's color spectrum.

The science behind the green color of leaves is chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for photosynthesis in plants.

2. Earthy Browns: The Trunks and Leaves

brown trunks forest palette

As you wander through the forest, the ground beneath your feet unfolds like a rich tapestry, adorned with an array of earthy brown tones. From the majestic tree trunks that stretch skyward to the leaves that have carpeted the forest floor, these hues infuse a sense of warmth and depth into the overall palette, anchoring the lush greens that thrive overhead.

3. Floral Accents: Nature's Pops of Color

forest wildflower palette

The forest isn't just about greenery; it's also home to many wildflowers. The blossoms contribute splashes of color, ranging from delicate blues and purples to bright yellows and reds, punctuating the forest landscape with their beauty.

Forest Green Color Palette

The Depths of Lush Woodlands

Now, let's delve deeper into the forest green color palette, drawing inspiration from the heart of lush woodlands. This unique palette is a celebration of nature's greenest offerings.

1. Mossy Greens: Serenity and Timelessness

mossy green forest palette

When you look closer, you'll encounter the enchanting world of moss-covered rocks and tree trunks. These shades of mossy green add a sense of tranquility and timelessness to any design, creating a connection with the forest's ancient beauty.

Moss is a unique plant species that thrives in moist and shaded areas, contributing to these soothing green hues.

2. Vibrant Fern Fronds: Freshness and Growth

vibrant fern forest palette

Underneath the shades of towering trees are the vibrant fronds of ferns that bring a brighter, more lively green to the palette. This hue embodies the freshness and continuous growth that characterizes the forest.

Ferns have adapted to grow in the understory of forests, contributing to this specific shade of green.

3. Balanced Olive Undertones: Earthy Depth

forest olive palette

To provide a more muted and earthy touch, consider incorporating olive green. These subtle undertones offer depth and complexity, pairing seamlessly with the brighter greens to create a balanced forest green color palette.

Olive tones are often associated with the presence of chlorophyll in the leaves of certain tree species.

Creating a Forest Color Palette

To create a forest-inspired color palette, start with a base of deep forest green, add earthy browns, and punctuate with pops of wildflower-inspired colors. This combination captures the essence of the forest's beauty and diversity.

Embrace the artistry of nature with the XPPen Deco Mini 7's responsive stylus. It allows you to add intricate details to the rugged bark of trees and capture the subtle transitions of color in the fallen leaves with ease, seamlessly integrating your creative vision into the heart of the forest.

Forests undergo significant seasonal changes, with spring bringing vibrant greens and colorful blooms, while autumn sees a transformation into rich, earthy tones of red, orange, and yellow.

Ocean Color Palette

The Serenity of the Sea

The ocean, with its vast expanse of water, is a study in shades of blue and green. The colors of the ocean can vary greatly depending on factors like depth, weather, time of day, coral formation, and even the presence of algae in the surface.

1. Azure Blue: Crystal-Clear Waters

azure blue ocean palette

The crystal-clear waters of a tropical paradise often appear in varying shades of azure blue. This serene color is popular for creating calming and inviting environments. The blue color of the ocean is primarily due to the selective absorption and scattering of sunlight by water molecules.

2. Deep Navy: The Ocean's Mystique

deep navy ocean palette

As you move further from the shore, the ocean's color deepens into a rich navy blue. This dark and mysterious hue is perfect for adding drama and sophistication to a color palette. The deep blue of the ocean reflects the absence of direct sunlight, which allows the water to appear darker.

3. Emerald Green: Shallow Waters' Vibrancy

emerald green ocean palette

In areas where the water is shallow (like beaches and sandbars) and sunlight can penetrate, you'll find the vibrant greens of coral reefs and aquatic plants. These colors infuse energy and vibrancy into the ocean-inspired palette.

The green hues in shallow waters are often associated with the presence of microscopic marine life and chlorophyll-containing organisms.

Creating an Ocean Color Palette

To create an ocean-inspired color palette, use shades of azure blue, deep navy, and vibrant emerald green. This combination can transport the essence of the ocean's beauty and diversity into your design.

The colors of the ocean can vary with the seasons and geographical locations. For instance, colder waters may have cooler, bluer tones, while tropical seas often feature a more extensive range of blue and green shades.

Creating Nature-Inspired Color Palettes

Understanding the science and principles behind each of these nature-inspired color palettes can be a valuable tool for artists and designers looking to harness the beauty of the natural world. When creating your own nature-inspired color palettes, consider the following steps:

  1. Research: Dive into the specific environment or landscape you want to draw inspiration from. Learn about the geology, botany, and climatic factors that influence the colors found in that environment.

  2. Color Theory: Familiarize yourself with color theory, including concepts like complementary colors, analogous colors, and color harmonies. This knowledge will help you create balanced and visually appealing palettes.

  3. Observation: Spend time in the natural environment you're drawing inspiration from. Observe the colors in different lighting conditions and seasons. Take photographs and make color swatches.

  4. Digital Tools: Use digital design tools and software, such as Adobe Creative Suite or XPPen's graphic tablets, to create and experiment with your color palettes. These tools provide the flexibility to fine-tune and adjust colors to your liking.

  5. Feedback: Don't hesitate to seek feedback from peers or mentors in the creative industry. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions to refine your palette.

Drawing Nature with XPPen Deco Mini 7

Turn the beautiful scenery and colors of nature into a work of art! Take that inspiration into digital art with the perfect partner, XPPen drawing tablet. The XPPen Deco Mini 7 drawing tablet is the perfect companion for artists on the go.

With its small and lightweight design, the Deco Mini 7 is exceptionally portable. Weighing just about 10 ounces and measuring compactly, it can easily fit into your bag, making it an ideal choice for artists, designers, and illustrators who are constantly on the move.

Here are some key features of the XPPen Deco Mini 7:

  • Compact Size: The Deco Mini 7's small footprint of 7"x4" means it won't take up much space on your desk, making it perfect for both home and travel use.

  • Ultra-Lightweight: Weighing 307g, only a fraction of larger drawing tablets, it won't weigh you down during your creative endeavors.

  • Responsive Pen: The included stylus is pressure-sensitive and supports 60° tilt function, ensuring precise and natural drawing and painting experiences.

  • Customizable Shortcut Keys: The tablet has 8 programmable shortcut keys for added convenience and efficiency.

Whether you're sketching in the great outdoors or simply seeking a portable solution for your digital art projects, the XPPen Deco Mini 7 offers the perfect blend of functionality and mobility. Unleash your creativity wherever inspiration strikes with this small yet powerful drawing tablet.

XPPen deco min 7 tablet

Explore the world of colors, draw inspiration from nature, and turn your ideas into beautiful digital art with the XPPen Deco Mini 7. Embrace the freedom to create wherever your imagination takes you.

Final Words

Nature's color palettes inspire artists, designers, and creators to capture the beauty of the natural world in their work.

Nature provides a wide range of colors, from deserts to forests and sunsets to sunrises. You can use these diverse colors in your creative projects. Whether you prefer ocean blues, forest greens, or desert reds, you have plenty of options to choose from.

So, the next time you need color inspiration, look no further than the great outdoors, where nature's endless color palette ideas await your discovery!

Find more drawing references from nature here: 5 Surprising Places to Find Free Drawing Reference

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