Hollyhock color scheme game chris carter artist ink watercolor 090318 1080Exciting news!  The Color Scheme Game was first introduced on this blog many years ago.  At the time, I was only teaching live workshops, not having the software flexibility I wanted to teach it properly online.  To my delight, the benefits of playing the game have been shared around the world and I find myself teaching live workshops in Wales as well as in the USA. I have met fabulous artists and shared the joy of creative living and expressing life with pen and brush.

My dream of being able to share the game around the world every day and in every country has now come true.  An even more extensive version of the game is now available online at www.ExploreWithChrisCarter.com.

Just a reminder … this blog is not the blog I currently post to on a more regular basis.  I leave it online because of the wealth of information that is packed into it’s pages.  If you wish to subscribe to my current blog, please visit my website www.ChrisCarterArt.com.

P.S. – I’m now actively posting demo videos on my YouTube channel. Please visit and subscribe to my channel.  Thanks! You/Tube.com/c/chriscarterart

On September 26th and 27th I’ll be teaching another Color Scheme Game/Color Value Workshops at RileyStreet Art Supply in Santa Rosa.  On September 28th and 29th I’ll teach Watercolor Techniques at the art story.  Online registration is open on my website: ChrisCarterArt.com.

Orbs No. 20 - Watercolor - 12" x 18"

Orbs No. 20 – Watercolor – 12″ x 18″

I’m looking forward to spending time with new students and traveling a bit with former students who will be sharing some of their favorite en plein air painting spots with me.  I’ll do my best to post a few of our color adventures while I’m away.

Image:  Orbs No. 20 , watercolor, 12″ x 18″, created using flea market trash as templates applying paint with a mouth atomizer.  Color Scheme: Extended Analogous.

The cicada I sketched didn’t last too long after I returned it to the wild.  The next day I found its wings in the driveway.

cicada-wings-ink-watercolor-drawing-chris-carter-artist-060713-webThe cicadae mating song can reach over 100 decibels, the loudest song known in the insect world.  “The adult male cicada possesses two ribbed membranes called tymbals, one on each side of its first abdominal segment. By contracting the tymbal muscle, the cicada buckles the membrane inward, producing a loud click. As the membrane snaps back, it clicks again. The two tymbals click alternately.”

Here is the ink drawing shown in the last post …. now painted using an analogous with one complement color scheme.

17 year cicada

17 year cicada

Finally, after far too long, I am offering online critiques and private lessons….. visit my website for information and sign up.

I hope, within the next month, I will be able to offer The Color Workshop as an online option.

Thanks for your patience.

Images:  Drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

Coming up soon!  Both The Color Scheme Game Workshop and the Color Value Workshop is being offered back to back at the National Association for Women Artists in New York City on June 18th and 19th.  Call the N.A.W.A. office to register (212) 675-1616.  Space is limited to eight students.

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue

Since teaching the last workshop at N.A.W.A. I have had several personal breakthroughs with color, experimenting with more neutralized primaries and discovering gorgeous palettes.  I also attended a fabulous workshop with Don Andrews.  Again, I experienced several important breakthroughs regarding maintaining strong color when working with color value.  I’ll be sharing these breakthroughs at the upcoming workshops in New York City.

Herman's Roping Boots

Seashells, Westmoreland State Park, VA

Seashells, Westmoreland State Park, VA

Seashells No.3, Myrtle Beach, SC

Seashells No.3, Myrtle Beach, SC

Blue Crab Belly

Blue Crab Belly

Click here for more info and materials list.  Please Contact me if you have questions.

Finally!  The downloadable, PDF Version of The Color Scheme Game is now available on my website!

Color Scheme Game Kit

Color Scheme Game Kit

Die and grayscale are not included.  Print on cardstock (available at office supply stores) and laminate with clear contact paper.  Color scheme templates and custom color wheel templates make learning about color, color schemes and mixing colors with a limited palette a breeze!

Visit my Website Store for details.  Website: ChrisCarterArt.com

Directions for playing both The Color Scheme Game and the Extended Color Scheme Game are included.

Contact me if you have any problems.

In the early 70’s I rented an apartment near Cleveland Circle in Boston.

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The kitchen was narrow with high ceilings. A large window allowed the morning sunlight to pour past the potted herbs onto the glass doors of the cupboards, the counters and the floor.  The night I painted the walls bright orange and the cupboards fire engine red, I dropped into bed with a migraine.  I thought it was from the colors I’d chosen in too small a room.  Most likely, it was from the fumes.

Next morning, I awoke to the most cheerful kitchen I’d ever experienced.  The following year, I moved to a studio/loft space where I repeated the red and orange interior decor wherever possible … the bathroom I constructed and the one wall that wasn’t brick.  The memories of those days flooded back to me while painting this morning’s drawing, a sketch of Mike’s kitchen in Mountain View last month.  I threw the die and came up with the color scheme Analogous with One Complement.  The dominant color was to be orange/yellow.  As I remembered the effect of the fire engine red paint, my orange/yellow counter top became more of a red/orange.

Artist Trading Card – Morning Sketch: Sliced Apple, drawn in ink with fountain pen, followed (weeks later) with watercolor.

As much as I don’t like green and red together, I think green and rose is beautiful.

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Scented Rose Geranium

This is the second little Artist Trading Card I have painted inspired by my Scented Rose Geranium.  Both  days I threw the die and got a Complementary Color Scheme.  Link to previous painting post.

The colors work better because the red leans toward violet and the greens lean toward yellow.  Rather than being the same value, as red and green are, pink and green offers more of a value range allowing the shapes to play more dynamically with one another.  The value difference is subtle yet effective.

I leave in the morning to teach color workshops at Village Art Supply in Santa Rosa, CA.  I hope to see some of you there!  I’m giving a free demo on Thursday evening.

Sketchbook Artist Trading Card: Scented Rose Geranium No. 2 – drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor

Color Scheme:  Complementary Color Scheme

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

While sipping my morning cup of coffee there is always time to do a quick color study of something simple.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton Swabs – Artist Trading Card

My bathroom provides a multitude of objects to use as shapes for an abstract design with which to play with color.  Cotton Swabs is a study in complementary colors,  a limited palette of Yellow and Violet.  The cotton swabs are the supporting actors in the design performance.  The shapes of the background and shadows are the lead actors.

Morning Sketch playing the Color Scheme Game:  Cotton Swabs – Ink and Watercolor – ACEO – Artist Trading Card

Color Scheme: Complementary

Dominant Color:  Yellow

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