still life


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.

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.

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