Once you decide on the colors you want to use, the next step is to summon the colors in Photoshop. As you learned in Chapter 1 (Foreground and background color chips), you can use the color chips at the bottom of the Tools panel to choose colors quickly. But, as with most things in Photoshop, you've got plenty of other options, including the Color Picker, the Eyedropper tool, and the Color and Swatches panels. They're all discussed here.
In Photoshop CS5, you can also summon a heads-up version of the Color Picker while you're painting. Flip ahead to Painting from Scratch to see it in action.
To choose the color you want to paint with, click the foreground color chip at the bottom of the Tools panel to open the Color Picker (Figure 12-6). The Color Picker is a fine tool for selecting colors, and it's probably the one you'll use most often (especially while you're learning). If you're not trying to summon a specific color value, pick a color by selecting it in the big, square color field on the left side of the dialog box; use the color slider to the right of the field to pick a different range of colors. The color you pick shows up in the smaller square swatch at the upper right of the box. Close the Color Picker dialog box and your foreground color chip changes to match the color you chose.
If you need to pick a specific color, you can enter its color values in the HSB (hue, saturation, brightness), RGB (red, green, blue), hex number ( ...