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

An analogous with one complement color scheme becomes even more dimensional when neutralized tones are included.

Family treasures No. 40, Flower Press

I’m not sure if the scanned image portrays the neutrals properly.  The analogous colors are yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange with the complementary color being violet.  There are three variations of the yellow-orange, the background, the top surfaces of the flower press and the edges of the flower press.   All three are neutralized with a touch of the violet complement.

I drew the flower press too small to draw the daisy and pansy design on the wood, so I placed them in the background instead.

sketchbook drawing: Family Treasures No. 40, Flower Press 0 drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement.

The second throw of the die gave me yellow-green as a dominant color.  Rules are meant to be broken or re-interpreted.

Glass Inkwells No. 5

The first throw of the die gave me an analogous color scheme with one complement.  That means I use three colors adjacent to one another on the twelve hue color wheel plus one complement of any of those three hues.  The traditional interpretation of that color scheme with yellow-green as the dominant color would be: Yellow-Green and the two colors on either side of Yellow-Green which would be Yellow and Green …. plus either Red, Red-Violet or Violet.

When I looked at my ink drawing I kept seeing the two large rectangles as Yellow-Green, almost a yellow.  I didn’t want to use the colors on either side (yellow or green) in the painting.  Instead, I used my dominant color Yellow-Green as the complement of the analogous trio Red-Violet, Violet and Blue-Violet.  The rule that I try not to break is the rule of Being Flexible.

When I teach the Color Scheme Game Workshops, I am reminded that it is difficult for many people to break the rules.  I encourage you to do so!

I have listed below the variations possible, and totally permissible, that I could have chosen when I threw the die this morning.

1. Traditional Combination …. Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green with either Red, Red-Violet or Violet

2. Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green with either Red-Violet, Red or Red-Orange

3. Yellow-Green, Yellow, Yellow-Orange with either Red-Violet, Violet or Blue-Violet

4. Red-Violet, Red, Red-Orange with Yellow-Green

5. Violet, Red-Violet, Red with Yellow-Green

6. Blue-Violet, Violet, Red-Violet with Yellow-Green

Remember that the purpose of playing the game is to sharpen your tools so that when you are painting your more ‘serious’ work, you can craft it more masterfully and have more confidence (and more fun) doing so.

Sketchbook drawing: Glass Inkwells No. 5 – drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink followed by watercolor using a limited palette of Yellow-Green, Red-Violet, Violet and Blue-Violet.

Moving forward on bringing it all together …

Trumpet Parts No. 78, Transparent Planes

Once again, reality is only a starting point.  As I began to lay in color, I needed additional shapes to control the movement of the eye through the painting.  Reality is only relative anyway.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first in pencil followed by watercolor.  Erasing pencil line does not work well in my handmade sketchbook with the Rives paper.

Color Scheme: Analagous with one complement – Yellow, Yellow/Orange, Orange with violet.  I used only Cadmium Lemon for my yellow.  Cadmium Yellow is too opaque for transparent layers in this sketch.  The violet is a mix of alizarin crimson and french ultramarine blue, also for transparency.

Extended Analogous with One Complement

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Links to sample paintings using the various color schemes are now on the Color Scheme Game Page.

Playing the Color Scheme Game every morning is helping to strengthen the colors I use the rest of the day and into the night.  The painting above, painted during the weekly Blues Jam, is an excellent example of unintentional application of my morning experiments.

Painting: Portrait of V.D. King drawn first with dip pen followed by watercolor.  Painted at The Grisly Pear in New York City.

My brush dipped into only four colors on Monday night at The Grisly Pear.

Josh, Marge and Spiros, The Grisly Pear

Using only Winsor Orange, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizaring Crimson and French Ultramarine Blue I ended up with a pile of paintings, most of which fell into the color scheme Analogous with One Complement.   The transitions from alizarin to Ultramarine are a delightful passage of purple variations.  The brilliant yellow-orange is toned with a bit of crimson by the bleed of the ink I used.  I find myself using Noodler’s Black Swan in English Rose for the initial drawing done with a dip pen.  The bleed of the ink works well with my palette.

A couple more examples of the January 2, 2012 ink and watercolor sketches of the musicians can be seen on my other blog, Third Time Around or on my Grisly Pear album on Facebook.

Sketch:  drawn first with dip pen using Black Swan in English Rose Noodler’s Ink followed by watercolor washes.