still life


As you have noticed, I’m not posting very often on this blog anymore.  My schedule and my focus have shifted.  I’m spending more time traveling, teaching and painting in the studio.

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Please remember that most of my blog posting will be done on my website blog rather than here or on my Third Time Around Blog.  Please subscribe to the website blog and/or the monthly newsletter if you want to continue to follow my adventures and musings.  Link to Website Blog …… Thanks!

Image: Dip Pens in Goya Tin, drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor washes, Color Scheme- Analogous with Split Complements.

Two beautiful, red, anjou pears jumped into my shopping cart and the grocery store.

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Two Anjou Pears

I played only the first part of The Color Scheme Game. I wanted the Red-Violet of the pears to be one of my colors in my color scheme.  I threw the die and ended up with a color scheme of Analogous with One Complement.  I chose red/Violet, Violet, Blue/Violet and Yellow/Green.

Sketchbook Drawing – Artist Trading Card: Drawn first in ink with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Limited Palette  – Cadmium Lemon, French Ultramarine Blue and Crimson

While sipping my morning cup of coffee there is always time to do a quick color study of something simple.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton Swabs – Artist Trading Card

My bathroom provides a multitude of objects to use as shapes for an abstract design with which to play with color.  Cotton Swabs is a study in complementary colors,  a limited palette of Yellow and Violet.  The cotton swabs are the supporting actors in the design performance.  The shapes of the background and shadows are the lead actors.

Morning Sketch playing the Color Scheme Game:  Cotton Swabs – Ink and Watercolor – ACEO – Artist Trading Card

Color Scheme: Complementary

Dominant Color:  Yellow

As a teen I flavored shortbread cookies with Rose Extract. I saw it in a store and couldn’t resist buying it.  I can’t imagine what inspired me to add it to the shortbread cookie dough.  The delicious taste of the cookies comes back in a flash when I rub the leaves of my rose geranium plant.

Rose Geranium - Artist Trading Card

Rose Geranium – Artist Trading Card

When I purchased the plant last spring I expected it to grow no more than 24″ high and be somewhat bushy like the ones in the fragrant herb garden at Lord Stirling Park.  Mine is now almost five fee high! The plant has never bloomed.  The fragrance comes from the leaves.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement – Yellow/Green, Green, Blue/Green and Rose (of course)

ACEO Sketchbook drawing: Rose Geranium –  illustration drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

By altering the green with each dip of the brush an illusion of space is created around each fragrant leaf of the French Tarragon.

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French Tarragon – Artist Trading Card

The color palette is cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, cerulean blue and a touch of french ultramarine blue.  Some of the leaves are painted with one stroke of the brush, others are painted wet in wet, adding variations of green within a single leaf.

Sketchbook drawing: French Tarragon – illustration drawn first in ink with a fountain pen, followed by watercolor

Color Scheme: Analogous – Blue/Green, Green and Yellow/Green.  Dominant Color: Green

My brain often short-circuits at this time of year.  Sketchbook drawings usually reflect the scattered and disjointed thoughts running through my head.

Oxalis Plants with Abstract Shapes

Oxalis Plant with Abstract Shapes

At least three separate drawings are going on all at the same time.  The only consistent element of the drawing is the accidental color scheme.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Oxalis with Abstract Shapes – drawn first with inkbrush filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme:  Analogous with Split Complements ( Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green with Red Violet and Blue Violet).

Red and Green are unavoidable this time of year.

Family Treasures No. 49

Family Treasures No. 49

This year’s Christmas tree is more traditional than usual.  It’s a fairly symmetrical branch from the locust tree that hit the house during Hurrican Sandy.  Wrapped in lights and adorned with Tom’s wax angel, the kid’s airplane guidance tree topper angel and the gold painted walnut ornaments I made for my family more than forty years ago, the tree is stunning.

I took advantage of the cells to add color to the painting, opting for the complementary color scheme of red and green, the colors of the Christmas season.  Having neither green needles on the tree nor red ornaments hanging from the branches, I used the background as my main source of color.

Family Treasusres No. 49 – Angels, Walnuts and a Wiseman.  Drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Complementary Color Scheme of Red and Green – Limited Palette (cadmium yellow light, alizarin crimson, french ultramarine blue, a touch of cadmium red light, raw umber and burnt umber)

Color schemes have become another fine-tuned skill in my toolbox.  As with any tool, a lifetime can be spent learning new uses for tools.

Photo of Glass Inkwells and Travel Palette

Photo of Glass Inkwells and Travel Palette

Unexpected possibilities now present themselves during my morning practice of the Color Scheme Game.

Line Drawing

Line Drawing

Normally, I would continue the line drawing adding the pans of watercolor and the indications of the mixing wells.  At this point, I stopped.  There was something about the large, open shape of the palette without details that I liked.  It gave contrast to the smaller shapes that describe the inkwells.

Painting in the Inkwells

Painting in the Inkwells

I decided to throw the die and paint in only the inkwells leaving me the option of drawing the pans of pigment before painting the palette shape.  I came up with the Basic Triad Color Scheme with red as one of the colors.

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One more step

I went one step further to paint the inside lip of the travel palette.  I put the drawing aside until the next morning to see if I felt the same way about it.  In the middle of the night I awoke with the idea of indicating the paint in the palette as splats rather than pans of pigment.

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Glass Inkwells No.18 with pigment splats

I’m pleased with the results and glad that I allowed for something new to happen.

Sketchbook Drawing: Glass Inkwells No. 18, Ink and Watercolor. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Basic Triad of yellow, red and blue.

Limite palette: Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red Light, French Ultramarine Blue

When Tom is away, meals don’t happen. While I baked cookies, Deb came to the rescue and prepared dinner.

Lime, Apple and Fork

Lime, Apple and Fork

Sketchbook drawing: Lime, Apple and Fork – Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement (Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green and Red-Violet) The fork is a neutral gray.

Limited Palette: Cadmium Yellow Pale, Aureolin, Cadmium Red, Permanent Aliazrin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue

Last night while making cookie dough I created the samples for Exercise No. 1 on my website blog. Check it out!

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

The goal is to draw, draw, draw, without concern about the drawing being masterful.  This exercise will strengthen eye/hand coordination.  The foundation of a strong painting is strong drawing skills whether the work is realistic or abstract.

Sketchbook Drawing: Eggs in Cardboard Carton – drawn in three minutes with a fountain pen before breaking the eggs and adding them to the cookie dough batter.

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