What are pastel colors? They're usually described as colors with high value and low saturation. Solid pastel colors fit perfectly with fashion, web, and any other designs with their pale color combinations.
In today's tutorial, we are going to explore the default pastel color palette in Photoshop. Then we'll create our own pastel color scheme with the color picker tool and discover some useful pastel color codes. Finally, we will create a pastel palette with Adobe Color.
Did you know you can create your own pastel color codes (or pastel colors number)? If you want to learn about Photoshop pastel color palettes via video, check out our lesson on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
Obsessed with pastel colors? Create your own solid pastel colors. Or you can also pick up some great pastel color templates from the Envato Blog.
What You'll Learn in This Pastel Color Photoshop Tutorial
- How to access the default pastel colors in Photoshop
- How to create your own pastel color scheme using the default Color Libraries
- How to create a Photoshop pastel color palette using the Color Picker tool
- How to create a pastel color palette in Photoshop with Adobe Color
- Useful pastel color code Photoshop examples
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
- Photo of French Macaroons (No longer available. You can try this one instead.)
- Photo of Riga (a picture of pastel colors)
1. How to Access the Default Pastel Colors in Photoshop
There are two ways to open the default color libraries in Photoshop. Let's start with the Color Picker tool, click on the Foreground Color, and then select Color Libraries.
Press the Book button to see all the available libraries.
The second way to open the color library is to go to Window > Swatches and then hit Icon in the top-right corner of the Swatches panel.
And here you can see all the available default color libraries.
The main difference between these two methods is that when you open the color library in the Swatches panel, it automatically adds all the colors as swatches. If you open the color library in the Color Picker, it shows you the colors in the right column and different variations of the selected color in the left column. You'll see a variety of colors of pastel.
I can recommend the following libraries where you can find pastel colors:
- ANPA colors
- Pantone+ Solid Uncoated
- Pantone+ Pastel&Neons
Here are some examples of the Photoshop pastel color palette I created with these libraries:
2. How to Create Your Own Pastel Color Scheme Using the Default Color Libraries
Let's create our own pastel color codes. Open the ANPA color library with a lot of solid pastel colors. As you can see, the first four solid pastel colors of this library have a pretty low saturation with high value settings and could be useful for creating your own pastel color schemes. You can even find some white pastel colors to work with.
To add a new swatch, you should select the variation of the color that you like, and then hit Picker and select Add to Swatches. Now we have access to the desired color in our Swatches panel.
Let's add four more colors using the same method. I chose purple, turquoise, green, and yellow. As you can see, it's pretty easy to create your own pastel preset Photoshop color schemes using the ANPA color library.
Imagine all the pastel colors you can create from now on. You could even try creating white pastel colors for your design.
3. How to Create a Photoshop Pastel Color Palette Using the Color Picker Tool
Now let's create a pastel gradient Photoshop color scheme using a color picker and the image of the sunset. This will give us our pastel color palette. You can work with other pastel color pictures.
Open your picture of pastel colors. Open the Color Picker tool, and then select the colors sequentially and add them to swatches.
That's your pastel color palette! This is how our pastel gradient Photoshop color scheme looks:
And here's another example of pastel preset Photoshop swatches created with colors from another image:
Try this out with different pastel color pictures. Discover all the pastel colors you can get.
4. How to Create Pastel Color Palette Photoshop Swatches Using Adobe Color
In this section of our pastel color Photoshop tutorial, let's try Adobe Color for creating pastel palettes. In the left column, you can see different harmony rules, and before creating your new pastel palette, you need to select the one you want to use.
I choose the Square harmony rule for my Photoshop pastel color palette. To get pastel color code Photoshop presets, you need to keep the points near the center of the circle.
Be sure that the Saturation setting of each color is about 20-40% and the Value setting is about 80-100%.
Once you've found the colors you like, you can save them to your Creative Cloud library. Just select the existing library (or create a new one) and then press Save. Also, you can find pastel color swatches for Photoshop to download for free in the Adobe Color explore panel. Play around with pastel tones and choose the pastel color swatch you'd like to work with!
5. Pastel Palette Photoshop Color Codes
Now I want to show you some very useful pastel color codes (or pastel colors number) for your projects. Let's start with the Hex color codes:
Want to modify your pastel tone? You could play with the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness settings to change the look of the palette.
Let's look at the pastel color codes for the CMYK color mode:
- C=1 M=38 Y=0 K=0
- C=1 M=18 Y=0 K=0
- C=25 M=8 Y=0 K=0
- C=15 M=0 Y=2 K=0
- C=2 M=4 Y=8 K=0
- C=2 M=11 Y=18 K=0
Beautiful Pastel Color Downloads From Envato Elements
Now you know how to create your own pastel color swatch. But if you're obsessed with pastel colors and visual elements, we've got some pretty cool resources for you. Check out this selection of pastel color downloads from Envato Elements. You'll find form backgrounds and textures in all the pastel colors you can imagine!
1. Pastel Noise Background (JPG)
Create beautiful pastel noise backgrounds with this download. You'll get 15 abstract images created in various noise conditions. Use these textures for presentations, web backgrounds, book covers, etc. You can even import these to Photoshop and play around with opacity and layer masks to edit cool pastel color pictures.
2. Pastel Flowers (JPG, PNG, PSD)
Looking for beautiful pastel color pictures? This flower pattern is perfect to use for different occasions. Create amazing wedding invitations using this pastel color palette. Make a lovely background for a notebook cover or a love letter. This image could even inspire your next pastel color swatch!
3. Pastel Dessert Icons (SVG, PNG, AI, PSD)
If you're obsessed with all colors pastel, this is an icon set you need to try. Get a set of 30 different and delicious desserts to use for different projects. These icons could work perfectly for a dessert online business or to design cute social media posts.
4. 30 Pastel Watercolor Backgrounds (JPG)
This is a great pastel colors download to add to your collection. You'll get 30 different pastel watercolor backgrounds in all pastel colors, including white pastel colors. Use the watercolor texture to give some depth and craftiness to your designs. They will almost look handmade.
5. Nude Acrylic Strokes (PNG)
If you're into unique pastel color codes, this is a design asset to die for. With this download, you'll get 57 brush strokes to give some dynamism to your designs. All pastel colors are included, even some white pastel colors. Get this set of brush strokes and start designing beautiful pastel color pictures!
Today we've discovered what pastel colors are and how to create pastel color palettes. Have fun with the color combinations!
If you are looking for pastel color swatches for Photoshop to download, then check out Envato Elements. Find a really great number of high-quality Photoshop resources including pastel color swatches and pastel colors.
If you want to learn more about colors and Photoshop color-based effects, check out these tutorials:
- How to Create Five On-Trend ASE Color Palettes in Adobe SoftwareGrace Fussell22 Feb 2018
- The 5 Problems With Fundamental Color TheoryMonika Zagrobelna19 May 2023
- How to Create Pop Art Photo Effects With Photoshop ActionsJohn Negoita24 Dec 2020
- How to Create a Photoshop Color Effect ActionAnderson Luiz02 Oct 2019
- 25 Cool Photoshop Watercolor Effects & Filters With TextureMelody Nieves22 Feb 2023
- How to Create Moon Brushes for PhotoshopMarko Kožokar19 Jun 2022
- 30 Cool Photoshop Photo Effects to Add Style & WowMelody Nieves13 Mar 2023
- How to Create a Photo to Cartoon Effect in PhotoshopCristi Kerekes12 Feb 2022
- How to Make a Risograph Texture EffectAbbey Esparza30 Nov 2021
Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Janila Castañeda. Janila is a staff writer with Envato Tuts+.