In common with a lot of artists it seems, I love colour, but for a long time (we're talking years) I avoided making colour decisions or would work in black ink all of the time. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE black ink. But you can't use it on EVERYTHiNG. When I did do colour, it would come out as a frenzy of lumo greens and yellows, or muddy reds and weird browns, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it was awful, especially when printed on a final product.
I later bought an excellent book about using colour - called Colour Index, shown below, which has masses of ready-made colour combinations taken from life, nature, art, history and so on. It really helped for a good long time - I'd just reach for the book when I wasn't sure. Then I began to get comfortable with sampling colours from around me - a dress, some fabric, a car, old packaging, anything - but the difficulty was sometimes capturing and recreating them, and a camera phone wasn't quite around then - or if it was, it wasn't up to the job!
Dodgy name aside, it's a great app and it's free. Here’s a link to Kuler on the App Store:
You can point your phone or iPad at something - here I point my iPhone at Graham - and it picks colours from what you've it pointed at, making a 5 colour swatch from it.
Note the circles, which you can move with your fingertips to get the exact colour you're chasing:
or if you’re happy with the swatch's colours you can give it a name and save it - switch over the Public Theme button and other people can use it too:
then add it to your massive collection of Kuler swatches - here's Graham lounging among his co-swatches: