It seem like an unpromising start to looking inspiration in winter colours for a creative project. Where you are it might be snowy. Here, it is dreary and bleak, muddy, cold and wet. At a first glance, everything is drab and shades of grey and mud.
However, taking the time to really notice reveals winter has its own beautiful colours. Sometimes things can feel more special if they are not obvious, and that’s definitely case for spotting beauty in dreary and drab.
It’s one thing noticing that winter is in fact beautiful even if it’s not snowy. It’s another thing entirely identifying colours that can be used in a project!
Get Outside and Take Photos
I’ve talked about doing this before. I have a post about finding inspiration in autumn colours, and another about the colours of spring. All you need is your phone (assuming it has a camera), and half an hour to go out for a walk. It’s a fun thing to do, and it helps us creative people to slow down a bit and notice what is actually there. And if you are somebody who doesn’t like winter, you might even find it a little bit less objectionable after spending some time consciously looking for beauty and inspiration in it.
Pulling the colours out of a picture can be more difficult than it might seem. One thing that you can do to make it a bit easier is to use pixelating software. I used onlinetools.com. It will recommend that you get the paid version, but I used the free one and it did what I needed it to do. There are other tools out there too. Generally all you need to do is upload a photo, tell it how many pixels you want and it will pixelate your photo.
Rendering your photo into some kind of MInecraft version makes it so much easier to choose colours. Generally speaking, the bigger the squares, the less colours there are, making it easier to choose. The tricky thing is finding the sweet spot between having enough colours to choose from, but not so many that it’s overwhelming. So if you’re having trouble choosing colours, you could try changing the number of pixels.
Here are some of the photos I took, along with their pixelated versions.
Living in a rural area means there are lots of fields! The first two pictures are of the same field.
These pictures are of a beautiful sunrise I caught over Christmas.
This one is of a pond in the village.
These two are of Dersingham Bog.
The last photo is of a hawthorn twig.
Doing this in itself can be quite a lot of fun! It might be enough on its own to scratch a creative itch. If you wanted to take things further, you could try choosing 5-8 colours from each photo (or just your favourite), then matching those colours with embroidery thread, yarn, fabric, paint or coloured pencil. I would recommend keeping a record of them somewhere, in a folder, or a notebook or sketchbook, or you could use your phone again and take some photos.
You might find that inspiration strikes while you are having a rummage through your bits and pieces, and you get some ideas for projects.
I believe that the process is just as important as having a finished thing at the end of it, so I would try to let go of any feelings of obligation you might have to actually make something. I can recommend just having fun finding inspiration in winter colours, whether you actually use them in the end or not!
If you would like a PDF of the photos in the post with the pixelated versions and a little colour scheme for each one, you can download it by filling in the form below. For more information about why I ask for an email address, click here.