still life


Every year at this time I make a gigantic batch of Festive Cookie Dough.

Butter, Cream Cheese and Margarine

Butter, Cream Cheese and Margarine … and a Sony Charger

I’ve cut back considerable on the amount I make.  Instead of nine pounds of cream cheese and four and a half pounds each of butter and margarine ( nine double batches of the recipe), I only make three double batches.  Simplifying my tasks allows more time for drawing and painting.

A note on the new blog about Tools and Techniques of Drawing and Painting (On my new website).  There were glitches in the subscribe box.  If you subscribed before yesterday, it didn’t work. If you didn’t receive a confirmation in your email box, you aren’t signed up.  The problem has now been fixed.  Please try it again.  You can subscribe on any page of the website except the Galleries.  Thanks!  Same domain name, but different home.  Link to front page of ChrisCarterArt.com. …………. Link to Blog (subscription box)

Festive Cookie Dough: Drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Complementary Color Scheme of Yellow and Violet

Another example of painting by both Color Value and Color Scheme …

Klutz Juggling CubesComparing Full-Color with Grayscale Mode

Klutz Juggling Cubes
Comparing Full-Color with Grayscale Mode

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

Limited Palette: Aureolin, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Alizarin, French Ultramarine Blue and Manganese Blue.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Family Treasures No. 47, Klutz Juggling Cubes – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Painting by color value does not always need to result in high contrast paintings.

Comparing Full Color to Grayscale Mode

Though there are extreme darks and a few strong lights, the overall feeling of the painting is more of a mid range contrast of values.  The leaves don’t contrast strongly against the background.  When violets are part of the adjacent colors, an extended analogous with one complement color scheme  provides an excellent selection of hues for any value range (High, mid or low contrast) even when painting with full saturation colors.

Spiderwort, Wandering Jew
Tradescantia Pallida

Sketchbook Drawing:  Spiderwort, Wandering Jew, Tradescantia Pallida – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Limited palette:  Aureolin, Permanent Alizarin, French Ultramarine Blue, Manganese Blue and a touch of Cerulean.

Continuing with example of painting by color value rather than color hue …

Still Life No.3 shown in grayscale mode

After trying a few color value paintings, you might notice that paintings created by color value often fall into standard color schemes.

Still Life No. 3 in full color

Though it may appear that painting by color value is too limited, I find the possibilities to be infinite and feel more playful and inventive with each new painting.

Color Value Still Life No.3 – ink vial and paint brushes: Drawn first with dip pen using Scribal Work Shop “Siren” ink, followed by watercolor washes choosing my colors by color value rather than hue.  Example for Color Value Workshops.

Limited palette: Three tubes of watercolor paint – Aureolin, French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin …. all Winsor Newton pigments.

To read the history of this Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper, read today’s post on Third Time Around.

Hair Clipper – Full Color and Grayscale

One method of painting by color value is to use full intensity colors, choosing the hue based on its intrinsic value at full intensity.

Intrinsic Color Value at Full Intensity

This is not a perfect color value scale.  The blue and the green were too diluted and dried lighter than I would like.  However, you get the idea …. I hope.

As you can see, yellow is always your lightest light.  Violet is always your darkest dark.  When it comes to everything between white and black, you can choose from either side of the diamond.  If you haven’t played around with this before, I suggest you use the left side (oranges and reds) for the surfaces that are illuminated by your light source.  Use the right side (greens and blues) for the surfaces in shadow.

Or, if you are really adventurous, mix and match all you want and you will still come out with a strong painting as long as you choose your hues to correspond correctly to the values seen on the objects you are using as models.

Grayscale

I began with a line drawing using a dip pen and “Nessie” ink. Using a limited palette of only three hues (Aureolin, Permanent Alizarin and French Ultramarine Blue) I mixed the other hues I needed to correspond with the values I wanted.  I mixed a yellow-orange, orange, yellow-green, green, and a slightly darker green moving toward blue-green.

First I painted the darkest dark, the shadows.  I let that dry completely so that I could see exactly how dark the violet shadows ended up. The second wash was the background, the yellow-orange.  These two washes define my value range, my lightest light (other than the white paper) and my darkest dark.  I then worked dark to light starting on the shadow side of the clipper and making my way around the surfaces from shadow to illuminated planes.

When I got to the clipper attachment I totally forgot what my goal was and simply played with the ink bleeding into a diluted blue-violet mix.  It is difficult to shut off my intuitive actions.

Family Treasures No.47 – Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper

I present this and other methods of painting by color value in the Color Value Workshops.

Tom’s bow ties are too hysterical for me to stop at only one painting.  This second study is an example of painting by color value.  I’ll be teaching a Color Value Workshop in Santa Rosa, CA at the end of January and another at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ in the spring.  One may also be scheduled in Salisbury, MD in the next few months.

Comparing the grayscale values

The image on the right shows the painting before adding another wash of violet to darken the shadows.

Grayscale mode of photograph

For variety, I lightened the value of the tie on the right.  Notice that the shadows are much darker than the bow ties.  When I mixed the violet for the shadows, I used too much water and the result was a wash that dried much too light.  I painted the rest of the painting before adjusting thew shadow value.  Had I painted using oil paints, the value of the mixed violet would not have lightened unless I added white.  The Color Value Workshop may be presented in either watercolor or oil.

Comparison in full color

Getting the values right is more important than getting the colors (hues) right!

Sketchbook drawings, color value studies: Family Treasures No. 46, Tom’s Bow Ties.  Drawn first with Sheaffer, snorkel, white dot fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink, followed by watercolor washes.

When Tom was wearing orange suits with these outrageous bow ties, I was wearing skirts made from my blue jeans.  No wonder we didn’t get together back then!  I don’t know what the transition was from attending Woodstock to wearing suits and polka dot bow ties.  It will, forever, be a mystery.

Tom’s 1970’s Bow Ties

I was hoping there would be a bit more of a separation between the blue-green bow tie in the upper left and the shadows which I made the exact same color and value.  Control usually produces more accurate results than hope.  I’ll blame it on eating too much turkey and sweet potatoes.  I’m sure it wasn’t the wine.  I love the shapes regardless of whether they make sense in the real world.
Sketchbook Thanksgiving Day Drawing: Tom’s Outrageous Bow Ties, Family Treasures No. 45.  Drawn first with a 1950’s Sheaffer white dot snorkel pen filled with Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Basic Triad.  Limited palette of Red-Violet, Yellow-Orange and Green Blue.

Each week when I visit my father, he has lost more buttons.

Sewing Buttons for Dad

My morning Color Scheme Game exercise indicated a color scheme of extended analogous with three complements, with Red as the dominant color.  That worked out well; the buttons are red.  My palette options were Violet, Red-Violet, Red, Red-Orange, Orange plus Yellow-Green, Green and Blue-Green.  I opted not to use the Green and Blue-Green.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia followed by watercolor.

I love strong reds playing against strong purples.  I do not love strong reds playing against strong greens.

Cross Complements with a bit of adjustment

Playing The Color Scheme Game forces me out of my comfort zone.  I groan every time I throw the die and it indicates any sort of Red and Green combination.  This morning I threw a Cross Complements Color Scheme with red as one of my colors.  That gave me Red, Green, Orange-Yellow and Blue-Violet.  I took the liberty of neutralizing my green, turning it into more of an olive green.  My original attempt was more of a yellow-green.  It was so brilliant and strong that it detracted from the strength of the red against purple relationship.  The olive works much better.  The yellow-green was also too light a value for the shapes and forms.

Sketchbook drawings: Garlic Bulb and Empty Anchovies Tin, drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia ( I like this ink a lot ), followed by watercolor washes.

Color Scheme: Cross Complements (Limited Palette of Red, Green, Yellow-Orange and Blue-Violet)

Kale Caesar Salad is on the menu tonight!

Garlic Bulb and Anchovies Tin w/o extra text

Text adds wonderful texture and variety to my sketchbook drawings.  The finer text would bleed if I had included it with the initial drawing.  When I add fine lines, such as text, after the watercolor washes, it also has a tendency to bleed if I don’t use an extremely fine nib such as a crow quill.

Garlic Bulb, Anchovies Tin and Fine Line Text

The top image looks flat and a bit boring compared to the bottom image.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Garlic Bulb and Anchovies Tin, drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia Ink, followed by watercolor washes, followed by text added using crow quill dip pen and Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia Ink.

Color Scheme Game throw of die determined the color scheme to be Primary Triad, a limited palette of Yellow, Red and Blue.  Additional neutrals are always permissible.

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