Learn how to recolor your artwork with predefined themes in color library, create your own color theme using color wheel, or pick a color theme from artwork or images using Color Theme Picker.

With Illustrator, you can create unlimited color variations instantly with a color-balancing wheel, curated color library, or the Color Theme Picker tool. Play with colors and themes and pick the one that works the best and recolor your artwork at the click of a button.

Recolor artwork

Get started with recoloring

To start recoloring your artwork,

  1. Select the artwork.
  2. Click  on Control Panel or choose Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork
  3. Click the Recolor button in the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel.

A dialog with the following recoloring options is displayed:

  • Undo: Cancel the latest change made to the artwork color.
  • Redo: Restore the latest change that was reverted using Undo.
  • Reset: Clear your color adjustments and revert to default dialog settings.
  • Color Library: Choose a color theme from predefined color library.
  • Colors: Choose the number of colors you want to show in your artwork.
  • Color Theme Picker: Pick a color theme from one or more images, artwork, or their select areas and use it in your artwork.
  • Color wheel: Display and adjust colors, their order, brightness, saturation, and hue.
  • Color order: Click to randomly change the order of colors.
  • Prominent Colors: Shows all colors that are prominent in your artwork based on their hue and other properties.
  • Saturation and Hue and Brightness and Hue: Adjust their value on the slider or randomly change their values using the  button next to the color wheel.
  • Save: Click this button to save your color theme.
  • Advanced Options: Click this button to view the advanced recoloring options.
Recolor artwork
Use recoloring options to explore more colors for your artwork

Recolor using color library

You can recolor artwork using predefined color themes available under the Color Library drop-down list. You can choose from color groups, document swatches, or preset color themes. All themes that you've defined are added to your Swatches panel as color group and will be available for recoloring.

Recolor using color library
Recolor using color library

Recolor using Color Theme Picker

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With Color Theme Picker, you can pick and extract colors from one or more artwork or images present on the canvas or their select portions and recolor your current artwork with them. Ensure that artwork or images from which you want to pick color inspiration are placed on your canvas. You can extract colors from both vector and raster objects on the canvas.

Do the following:

  1. In the Recolor Artwork dialog, click Color Theme Picker to activate the color picker.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click the object on the canvas from which you want to pick the color theme.
    • To pick colors from more than one object, hold Shift and click on the objects. 
    • Drag to marquee-select specific sections of an artwork to pick colors.
Recolor using color theme picker
Recolor using color picker

Recolor using color wheel

The color wheel displays the color stops for all the colors contained in your artwork. To recolor your artwork using the color wheel, do the following:

  1. Move the color handle shown at the center of the wheel.
  2. To choose a color from the Color Picker dialog, double-click anywhere on the wheel or right-click the color handle and choose Color Picker.
  3. To select a shade, right-click the color handle and choose Select Shade.
Change color properties
Recolor using color wheel

Add and move multiple color stops

To add a new color stop, right-click anywhere on the color wheel and choose Create New. Now, move this new color stop to pick a color of your choice.

By default, all the color stops move together. To unlink the color harmony and move color stops individually, click the  icon. Click again to relink the color harmony.

Change color weight and properties

You can view the weight of colors present in the artwork in the Prominent Colors section at the bottom of the Recolor dialog. Prominent colors are categorized based on the hue and shade of the color. To adjust the weight of a color in your artwork, hold and drag the edge of the color patch.

 To randomly change the color order, click  next to the color wheel.

Recolor artwork
Change color weight using Prominent Colors slider

Change color saturation and hue

By default, the color wheel shows the color saturation and hue. To adjust the color saturation and hue, drag the slider at the bottom.

Change color brightness and hue

To adjust the color brightness and hue, do the following:

  • Click the  button.
  • Drag the slider and pick a value that works the best for you.

 To randomly change saturation, hue, and brightness, click the  button next to the color wheel. The values are auto-adjusted and displayed in the color wheel.

Save your color theme

To save your color themes for future use, you can save them in your swatches panel. Do the following:

Click  and choose Save All Colors to save all colors in the Swatches panel or choose Save Prominent Colors to only save the colors shown in the Prominent Colors section. The saved colors would be saved as color group and will also be available in the Color Library drop-down list.

Save colors
Save your color theme

Recolor using advanced options

To view the advanced recoloring options, click Advanced Options button. For more details, see Recolor Artwork dialog overview.

If you want to directly open the advanced recoloring dialog next time with the current settings, select the Open Advanced Recolor Artwork dialog on launch.

Prominent colors
View advanced recoloring options

Got a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you.