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


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

It’s that time of year again.  Jane presents me with a beautiful poinsettia.  This one, for me, is a new variety ….. an Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red, featuring curly blossom petals.

Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red

Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red, Color and Grayscale Comparison

The leaves and blossoms are compact and a challenge to draw in a visually dynamic way.  I experimented by inventing space shapes between leaves and blossoms.  I’m sure before the season is over I’ll give it another try.

Sketchbook drawing:  Drawn first with dip pens using Noodler’s Tiananmen for the curly petals and Private Reserve Avocado for the leaves.  I applied clear water to allow the ink to bleed into both the petals and leaves before adding touches of watercolor.

The Complementary Color Scheme of Red and Green, a  difficult color scheme to avoid this time of year.  Converting the scan to grayscale is helpful to see how strong the graphics can be using only one hue (green leaves against green background cell) when the value of the hue is extended from light to dark.

On my way to collect fresh eggs I found pieces of a chicken on the driveway.  In the middle of bones, flesh and feathers, I found the skull of a turkey vulture.  I think it odd that no other parts of the vulture were in sight.  Naturally, along with two dozen fresh eggs, I brought home the skull.

Turkey Vulture Skull, two views

Playing the Color Scheme Game, I threw Complementary Colors of Yellow and Violet.  I used neutrals for the bones.  I am fascinated by the inside of the skull.  It is similar to a turtle shell, a bridgework of bone looking like a spinal network fused against the inside of the uppermost portion of the skull.  I wonder what happened to this vulture, where the rest of it ended up, and why it was lying, cleaned of all flesh and brains, in the midst of a freshly killed chicken.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Turkey Vulture Skull seen from two viewpoints. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s sepia, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Complementary Colors

Dominant Color: Yellow

The dip pen and ink led to frustration and too much ink bleed into the watercolor during the Color Scheme Game Workshop.  I can’t expect everyone to have the same passion I have for dip pens and fountain pens.

Vintage Sheaffer fountain Pen

Thanks to a student’s suggestions, I tested a fine line Sharpie marker to see if it would bleed.  It did not.  Rather than struggling with ink blops and long drying periods I’m switching to permanent markers for the half day and single day workshops.

Color Scheme Game Painting:  drawn first with fine line Sharpie marker followed by watercolor.  Color Scheme is complementary (blue and orange).

In reality, the fork was black.

Pasta Demonstration & Luncheon

Thursdays are spent with my father.  He suffers dementia and lives in an assisted living facility.  Fortunately the facility has daily activities and events that provide entertainment for the residents as well as the neighboring community.  This past Thursday Chef Mike demonstrated the method of making fresh pasta.  The tables were set with a plate of dipping oil for the bread along with four brightly striped napkins and black, plastic forks.  How could I resist?

When I’m with my father I have to keep my sketching extremely basic so that I can stop at any given moment without frustration.  The fork and napkin provided a perfect still life to draw without getting fussy about detail.  With the Color Scheme Game in mind I altered the color of the plastic fork in spite of the fact that I adore the combination of red and black.  Chef Mike was making both tomato and spinach pasta.  I felt it only fitting for the napkin to represent the tomato pasta and the fork to represent the spinach pasta.  Red and green are, of course, a complementary color scheme.

Drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink, followed by watercolor.

I had packed up my paints and turned to carry them indoors when the cloud covering exploded. Patches of blue sky dared me to stay a little longer in the gusting wind.  How could I resist?

Winterscape Oil Sketch

I enjoyed ending a long, cold, wet day on the porch with a quick sketch inspired by the movement of the clouds and the ever-changing shapes of the little blue patches.  I’m trying to move away from such strong purples, but my instincts aren’t making that easy.  Next week I will choose a different, limited palette and try for more green grays and orange grays.

I find it easier to direct my color mixing of grays when I think of them based on the secondary colors of orange, green and purple rather than the primary colors, yellow, red and blue.  This may seem strange when I am working with a limited palette choosing one of each of the primaries without any of the secondaries.  Using my Color Wheel #5, I keep my gray mixes clean rather than muddy.

The wheel is more useful by not labeling the pigments I used to create the wheel.  As I am mixing, my brain adjusts to the variations of pigments by simply looking for the most common characteristics of the hue rather than nagging at me by telling me “That’s cadmium red and you’re using Scarlet Lake.”

Oil Sketch: painted on 5″ x 8″ prepared birch panel.

Limited Palette: Scarlet Lake, Cadmium Lemon, Cobalt Blue, Titanium White

Color Scheme: Complementary – Purple /Yellow with the yellow leaning toward green.