Color Approximator

Color Approximator

RH Creative Tools


Extensions and Tools for Adobe Photoshop CC


Dynamic Swatches Suite

Swatches that react to your brush and tools, dynamically.



When you're in the flow of painting or creating, if you're like me: you don't like fiddling with tiny sliders or typing in numbers. You just want to fluidly choose a color that matches where you are.


Introducing Color Approximator- part of the RH Dynamic Swatches series.

Color Approximator

The Color Approximator extension for Adobe Photoshop instantly and automatically generates nearby color swatches according to your preferences.


   When painting, color picking from the canvas is standard workflow.  But the fluidity is broken when you need a variation of a color not already on the image. Perhaps you want a more saturated version, a brighter version, warmer, colder etc.


  While the photoshop default swatches are handy for some situations they're far from adaptive, and usually not relevant to the image you're working on. So you pick a color and then start fiddling with sliders.  And they can be fiddly.


    Color approximator gives you instant ranges and variations on the color you choose directly from your image. On the fly!

According to Your Preferences


Color Approximator is designed to be as minimal as possible, but with all the options clear and present.

 Two different blending  algorithms.


Just click to toggle between the blending algorithms Mix or Process.


Mix: Takes the two tonal variations of your foreground color and literally mixes them together.  This lends to smoother gradients and more subtle variations.


Process: Takes the nature of the two tonal variations and applies them on top of each other. This lends to more accurate and vibrant gradients and larger variations.



Vertical and Horizontal rules


This is where it all shines - where you decide what variations you want the swatch palette to show.   Just click to toggle either axis button and instantly the palette is updated to show variations of  Brightness, Color, Temperature, Chroma, Random and Spectral.


Rather than fiddle with a brightness slider, then a saturation slider, repeat until you get the tone you're looking for,  Approximator giives you those colors - instantly, and at a glance.



Wild Variations


So you just want something different? A random color combination?   Approximator has a built in randomiser that generates a wide range of tonally pleasing palettes.  Just click away to your hearts content and choose whatever is most appealing.



Keep it there !


When you have a palette, a tone, a wild variation that you like and want to keep. Approximator can be locked down.  You can still use it to choose colors like a regular swatch at this point, it just holds onto the colors until you click the lock off again.



Color Approximator integrates seamlessly with Photoshop. It can be resized as large as you want, or to a surprisingly compact window.   It can be docked with any native panel, it can be minimised, iconised, double tapped to reduced to tab.  It even remembers your settings between sessions. Even photoshop resets.


Color Approximator takes no CPU time while painting - all the dynamic action happens instantly and only when you change colors.


Color Approximator can be adapted to any UI preference you can imagine.



Color Approximator is fully compatible with Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 and above, utilizing and leveraging the very latest API.

Color Approximator is functional and identical on both Windows and Apple platforms.




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Dynamic Swatches Series

The tremendously well recieved Dynamic Swatches Series has just got better! ..




With a wholly refreshed interface, interactive UI, enhanced floating point color precision and many more small improvements we now have version 2.0!


And as such it deserved a whole new page-  click to see more

Color Nudger Series

Elegance can be deceptively simple.


“Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve.. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.”


― Edsger W. Dijkstra


The Color Nudger extensions were born of frustration.   As artists we now have a plethora of surfaces and pen enabled tablets, but the UI of many painting apps havent changed to reflect this.   Adobe Photoshop is making great strides to adapt, but it can't be all things to all people.   Extensions allow us to integrate tools to our own specific needs.


  In this case, it's the Color Nudger series.   While engaged in digital painting I like to have the interface as uncluttered as possible.   Pulling up menus or fiddling with little sliders takes me out of the flow, and sometimes I just want to nudge a color in one direction or another.  This is where the Color Nudger series comes into play superbly.







Buy it now at





Buy it now at





Buy it now at


Coming Soon

     Each extension is sold seperately by design.  YOU should have the flexibility to have as many as you want, wherever you want.  As a digital painter, I want as much screen estate as possible, so large panels are usually just an annoyance to me. I want them tidy, specific to their task and out of the way.

All Dynamic Swatches Panels are functional and identical on both Windows and Apple platforms.

RH BlendPaint Tools

RH BlendPaint tools for Photoshop


Do you remember when Adobe introduced mixer brushes, only to be disappointed with how atrociously random and wholly useless they are as defaults? Do you miss Painter and Clip Studio Paint - switching between the apps for just “that” brush ?


It’s “that” magic brush .. you know the one.. the brush that lays down color while blending seamlessly with the underlying color. Gradient painting smoothly, but with the crispness of edge where you need it. It's taking into account "that feel" more than anything, and to me, these brushes (specifically one of them) "feel" just about perfect for what I do.


I’ve been a digital illustrator for a couple of decades now and to this day I’ve not found a Photoshop tool that does the job even remotely as good as Painter did right from the word go. And yes, I’m going right back to Fauve Matisse on windows 3.1 (!)


These tools are not .ABR brushes (which ultimately are just monochrome stamps with a few placement flows) but the modern .TPL tool presets. That means they come with all the settings just right.


They’re based on the Mixer Brush after literally months of experimenting to get them to the just right stage. The mixer brush tool is notoriously fickle and not massively intuitive; change one attribute and they behave so very differently. And there are such a number of things that will throw them off again. Basically, they can be voodoo to the uninitiated.


That’s why I’m sharing these TPL presets. Just load them into your tool presets library and you’re good to go.




Happy Painting!







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