If you have paints, pastels, water soluble media, markers, colored pencils, any type of material which can be combined, you should make a color chart.
A color chart is simple to make, although it is a bit time consuming. I have made color charts for most of my media, as I want to know exactly what the colors look like. Here are a few examples:
Now, these are not beautiful color charts but they are very functional and helpful. By having my colors in chart form, I can quickly see the actual colors of all my media. I have color charts for all my colored pencils as well. The water soluble pencils are not combined with a second color, I simply colored the square with the pencil then wet it, let it dry and put the chart on the inside top of my pencil tins. (I had separated all my pencils into colors-ROYGBIV-and had them out in the open. After a small child knocked one of the containers off my desk resulting in shattered leads, I realized it was much safer to have them stored in their original tins. Learn from my mistakes, people!)
Now, to create beautiful color charts, all you need is imagination and patience. Here are some examples I’ve found on line:
Each of these is an example of a more artistic way to create color charts. There seems to be a great deal of Copic color charts, which makes sense. (I have heard you purchase 3 similar colors and blend them together, which would be perfect for unique color charts. Since I don’t have any Copic markers, nor do I plan to purchase any, I could try to do the same thing with my own alcohol based markers. I’ll let you know what the results are.)
A very simple way to create unique color charts is to use a stamp or copyright-free image from the internet with the same image for each color. I would suggest a simple design:
Print onto watercolor paper or multi-media paper if you are creating a wet media color chart. If you’re using dry media you can print on regular card stock. I have, in the past, had some trouble with the ink from my printer smearing and smudging. One way to stop this is to go over the lines of your printing with a Prismacolor blending pencil. I have had success with this method and the pencils are readily available. They have them at Hobby Lobby, as that’s where I picked mine up.
The main point of this exercise is to give you an accurate picture of your art materials but also to give you a simple, but fun, way to use your new media. Honestly, there are times when I am concerned about using my art materials. The reason I bought them was to use them, but when they are costly-for example, my DerWent Inktense Pencils I was worried about using them up. They were special, due to the time it took to save the money for the purchase, and I wanted to hoard them. Making a color chart took the newness off the pencils and allowed me to use them without worry-I was only making a color chart after all. This freed me from feeling they were to precious to use. I use them all the time now and will be purchasing the most used pencils from open stock to replace them as they are used up.
Remember, they will make more. They do it every day. Use your stuff and enjoy the process. What you will create is far more important than hoarding those supplies.