Colorist Tip #42 – Wall Color

wall color featured

Colorist Tip #42 – Wall Color

When setting up your coloring environment, try to pick a neutral wall color (like a 50% gray) to manage color influences. For my office, I used a photo gray card to match the color.

When coloring, you want to be aware of what colors your eyes can see (even in your pereipherals). If your walls are blue, you might find yourself leaning all of your grading towards warm colors. You eyes have a sort of natural “white balance” where they automatically adjust to suit the color of light in the environment around you. This is great for normal use, but sometimes this can throw you off when coloring if they adjust to a “warm” or “cool” toned room. The goal is to remove anything major that isn’t a neutral color from your field of vision so your eyes don’t adjust to a non-neutral color.

On a practical level, this means you just have to be picky when picking paint colors. There are great companies that can do all of this for you and set up your room. There are great film-specific paints you can use. However…I’m on a budget. A tight one. So what I did was bring in my photo gray card, had them match that color at the paint store and use that. Is it perfect? No. Is it good enough for the money if you use a critical eye to proof the color? Absolutely. Here’s my office, though the photo may not quite show the awesome gray on the walls depending on your monitor’s color settings:

This post is going to be the first in a short mini-series of how to set up a color environment, and do so on a budget (like I’ve had to do).


  • Benjamin Rowland

    03.03.2011 at 08:57 Reply

    Great website! I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed. Keep up the great work.

    Be blessed,
    Ben Rowland

  • Francesco

    30.05.2012 at 13:15 Reply

    Hi, can you tell me how is the 50% gray, in RGB and CYMK? ’cause i want the perfect grade for my eyes while editing/coloring… :D …. ps: i light your illumination! :D

    ps: i’m italian, sorry for my bad english.

    • Aaron Williams

      27.06.2012 at 11:07 Reply

      The best advice I can give is to bring a photo gray card to your paint store and have them match it. I don’t think they use RGB or CMYK values in their color formulas.

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