While waiting for our salads to arrive, I quickly sketched Sue’s Special Coffee Drink, coffee, Tia Maria and whipped cream.

Sue's Special Coffee Drink

The dominant colors in this analogous color scheme are red, orange and yellow, all other colors are neutrals.  A touch of blue gives a bit of relief to the overall warm palette.

sketch: drawn first with fountain pen filled with a mix of red and black Noodler’s ink, followed by washes of watercolor added later …. the salads arrived before I could add color to the ink drawing.

A trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens provided a perfect opportunity to test my Peerless Watercolor Papers.

Typhonodorum Lindleyanum

It is difficult to say anything negative about these easily transportable watercolor papers. I am spoiled by the ease of flow and coverage I can achieve using tube watercolor pigments and find the lack of flow a bit frustrating.  The Peerless Papers require a different technique which I will explore over the next few months.  The Peerless colors are beautifully vibrant and well worth spending the time to learn how to manipulate them successfully.

The only place to sit was a low cement wall, four feet long, across from a giant Typhonodorum Lindleyanum.  The edges of the leaf were yellow, tinged with orange.  The color turned to green and ultimately to a dark blue-green as the leaf met the stem, a perfect analogous color scheme.

Sketch: drawn first with fountain pen followed by washes of Peerless Watercolor Papers using a Kuretake Water Brush.

One of my favorite paintings from this week’s Blues Jam…

Justine Gardner, Musician

Justine is a delight to paint whether she is on stage playing bass or sitting at a table sipping wine.

Nothing complex here.  The ink line is simple and direct.  The watercolor washes are simple and direct, an analogous color scheme at its most basic level, yellow, yellow/green, green/blue.

Drawn first with black ink using a dip pen, followed by strokes of watercolor

The eye explores a painting, directed by changes in shapes, values and hues. When any of those elements are too similar, the eye finds less reason to move about.

Hue intensity grabs the spotlight

The cluster of orange shapes in the center right are of slightly darker value, greater hue intensity and warmest color temperature.  This was unintentional. It steals the attention away from the three musicians and the nuances of analogous colors that bleed nicely into one another.  This orange mass appears solid and flat.  It creates an inconsistency  in the spatial relationship between figures, walls, floors and instruments.

Rob Fraser and Rich Frikkers

The variety of shapes is made more apparent when the values, hue intensity and color temperature are more varied and dispersed throughout the painting.  the eye moves from one shape to another being either pushed or pulled from one area to the next.

Sketches: drawn first with dip pen in Mont Blanc black ink, followed by watercolor.  Painted during the Tuesday night Blues Jam at Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant, June 14, 2011

Top sketch color scheme: Analogous

Bottom sketch color scheme: Double Complementary

Another overcast morning without sunshine through the window to illuminate the dishes drying on the towel beside the sink.

The ups and downs of coffee and wine

I started with a simple line drawing in ink using my Parker 51 fountain pen.  I didn’t worry about the inconsistent perspective or the reality of the towel folds.

Fountain Pen Line Drawing

The paper in the sketchbook is extremely thin and not friendly to laying down a wash.  Fortunately, I only have a few more pages to complete this book.  My dilemma this morning is that I can’t fit this color scheme into any of the standard schemes, yet it appears at first glance to be some sort of analogous color scheme with a complement.  Anybody out there have a pigeon hole for this one?

Morning Sketch:  line drawing with neutralized watercolor washes

Playing with analogous colors with one complement to suggest images:

Self Expression, watercolor and gouache

I equate this method of painting to lying on the warm ground and watching the clouds suggest objects or people floating in the sky above me.

Deciding on a limited palette color scheme to explore, I mix puddles of watercolor paint and toss, splatter and spill the different colors onto a sheet of watercolor paper allowing them to mix and/or dry before applying another layer.  I keep building the layers until something is suggested by the shapes and patterns of the color layers.  At that point I begin to define the image I am seeing in my head.  Often, I need to mix gouache with my watercolors to bring back light valued areas, creating edges to describe the object or figure.

The color scheme I played with in this painting is an analogous (purple, blue, green) with one complement (yellow).

I have extremely cooperative kids.

Alexis, Rainbow Hair. Lying on the scanner

The early stages of creating captured digigraphs by piling objects on my scanner coincided with the girls experimenting with hair dye.  As a substitute for expressing themselves through facial piercing, they were allowed to do anything they wanted with their hair.  Our house became the dye parlor of the neighborhood, the bathroom filled with laughter, chatter and color.

Analagous color scheme

Alexis and I were working outdoors one hot afternoon when I was startled by the beauty of the patterns created by Alexis and the worn paint on the shed.  It all worked together: her eyes, her hair, her shirt straps, her flesh and the chipping paint.