Color sampling in graphic design is an important skill to enhance the color sense of artwork. For designers, pixelating is a common filter to sample color of an image. However, the automatic approach might not be powerful enough to present key color affectively. This study is conducted to understand how color sampling differs between automatic pixelation and subjective selection. 28 participants conducted color sampling with 2 methods for their selected images and summarized the color changes with L*, C* and h* value in CIELCh color space. Subjective selections save salient colors on chips that are complex in details, especially for portraits, animals and artificial environment. While automatic pixelation performs perfectly on colors on chips that are uniform and simple, especially for scenery, plants and food. Furthermore, compared with automatic pixelation, subjective selection usually uses increased contrast and chroma together with shifted hue for color sampling. This reveals that perceived color sampling pursues a vivid color mosaic with emphasis on concerned area.