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.


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.


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 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.

Glass Inkwells No. 4 …

Basic Triad Color Scheme

A quick note ….. the moose has not yet returned.  It’s either having the time of its life or in real trouble.  Dressed in turquoise, anything could have happened.

As the trees begin to turn I find myself being pulled back to plein air painting.  My ink lines were looser, more free flowing like the drawings of musicians.  There are only seven pages left in my original, coptic bound sketchbook.  The next one is ready to go.  My intent is to fill it with plein air landscapes as I travel through New Jersey, Maryland and California over the next few months, jumping back and forth between reality and the color scheme game.

Morning Sketchbook Drawing: Glass Inkwells No. 4, Color Scheme: Basic Triad (Yellow-Orange, Blue-Green, Red-Violet)  I leaned more toward yellow than Orange. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor

My father started teaching me how to use hand tools at the age of three or four.  This was one of my favorites.

Family Treasures No. 10 – Twin Handled Hand Drill

I love the wood handles and the gear, painted red.  It still works beautifully, turning smoothly.  The sound it makes brings a flood of wonderful memories.

I played The Color Scheme Game in reverse, wanting to be true to the colors of the Twin Handled Hand Drill.  The Dominant Color is Yellow / Orange.  I chose to use a triad color scheme by making the background blue.  (Yellow/Orange, Cool Red, Blue)

Family Treasures No. 10 – Drawn first with pencil.  Painted with watercolors

I hadn’t given these little keys the opportunity to play a major role in the Trumpet Parts Series.  With less than a dozen left to go, it was about time to let them shine!

Trumpet Parts No. 93

Color Scheme is a Basic Triad of Red/Violet, Blue/Green and Yellow/Orange (with a stronger tendency toward Yellow).  The scan of the painting makes the Yellow/Orange look totally Yellow.

I hope I have as much fun with the series of Family Treasures!

sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen and ink followed by watercolor