Another set of rules …. to be broken, of course ….

Glass Inkwells No. 9, Hiding  …

The goal has always been to increase my Color Vocabulary and to use that expanded vocabulary in my plein air and studio work.  My morning color exercises are so much fun for me that it is not unusual to spend the entire day playing The Color Scheme game instead of grabbing my plein air bag and heading outside.  The Painting The Seasons variation is meant to bridge the gap between my morning exercises and easel painting.  It can be played with or without throwing for a color scheme.  I do not throw for a dominant color since the colors are determined by the season and the time of day.  Neutrals are determined by the real or imagined weather conditions.

The drawing above is  “Autumn Evening”, indicated by nine dots on the twelve-sided die.

#1 … Spring Morning

#2 … Spring Afternoon

#3 … Spring Evening

#4 … Summer Morning

#5 … Summer Afternoon

#6 … Summer Evening

#7 … Autumn Morning

#8 … Autumn Afternoon

#9 … Autumn Evening

#10 … Winter Morning

#11 … Winter Afternoon

#12 … Winter Evening

Sketchbook Drawing:  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor washes using a palette that relates to the colors seen as the sun is going down on a crisp evening in autumn.

Treasures galore at the Route 46 Flea Market …

Flea Market Treasures

Deciding what to draw first was difficult, a toss up between the glass inkwells and the colored glass that filled a 1950’s mint tin (I remember those mints well …. soft and buttery).

Colored Glass

I threw the dice and ended up with an Analogous Color Scheme with Split Complements, Yellow as my dominant color.

Color Glass playing The Color Scheme Game

Colors: Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green with Red-Violet and Blue-Violet.

Sketchbook Drawing: drawn first with fountain pen.  I ran out of ink in one filled with Alt Goldgrun ink and continued with another filled with Noodler’s Black Ink.  Followed by watercolor.

I am enjoying close up studies of the spring blossoms as much as I am the panoramic view of the landscape when painting en plein air this spring.

Pear Blossoms on Branch, pencil and watercolor

I’m not sure how well this subtle pencil and watercolor study will appear on computer monitors.  I attempted to express the delicacy of the pear tree blossoms, a challenge when silhouetted against off-white, hot press, watercolor paper.  I used yellows and lavenders as well as the grays and browns resulting from the mix of the two, sketched first in pencil.

I’ve switched from pen to pencil for the initial sketch, nudged by the delicacy of spring blossoms.  As much as I love my fountain pens and dip pens, I often use them as a crutch.  I’ll just have to limp for a while.

Trumpet Parts No. 63, Watercolor

Playing the Color Scheme Game, I threw a seven for the color scheme ( analogous with one complement ) and another seven for the dominant color (purple or violet).  Perfect!  I used red/violet,  violet, blue/violet and yellow.  I shifted the yellow closer to orange.  As I’ve mentioned before, I use the game as a starting point.  I like to think of the rules as a framework to build from, not a prison.  I could call the rules guidelines instead, but then I probably wouldn’t pay any attention to them at all.

Sketchbook painting:  drawn first with pencil, followed by watercolor.

Game Three of the Extended Game focuses on compositional arrangements. Jane R. Hofstetter’s book 7 Keys to Great Paintings is the inspiration for this variation of the game. I strongly recommend obtaining a copy of this book.

Six Compositional Arrangements of Spruce Tree

The six basic compositional arrangements are: Horizontal, Vertical, Cruciform, Axial, Radial and Cantilever.  Link to suggested rules for Game Three.

Link to other variations of the Extended Game.

Link to The Color Scheme Game.

Over the next few months I will post directions and samples for ways that the dice may be used to hone other skills for drawing and painting.  This game may be used as a home study challenge for both beginning and advanced artists.  A link to the rules and samples is at the top of the blog page listed as The Game.  Enjoy!  All feedback is appreciated.

throwing the dice for shapes

Link to Game One – Throwing the Dice for Shapes

Why play a silly game?  I do it to avoid procrastination and to conserve my energy for drawing and painting instead of wasting it on early morning decision making that can lead to procrastination.

Six-sided and twelve-sided dice

If I were to think about what it was I wanted to draw rather than grab an item on my way to the morning coffee pot, I would never make it to the coffee pot.  If I were to think about what colors and color scheme I wanted to use after drawing my initial ink contour sketch, especially if I wanted to try something different, I would pour myself a second or third mug of coffee and begin listening to the demon in the corner who is whispering that I could be making a better choice.  Once I did make a decision I would be thinking I should have made a different decision the entire time I was painting.  I remember reading somewhere that Georgia O-Keeffe wore only black so that she didn’t have to waste time and energy deciding what to wear each day. I feel the same way about my morning drawing.  I don’t want to have to think about it too hard, I simply want to begin the day with pen or brush in hand.

I invented the Color Scheme Game for my own use. I share it because I think it might be useful to other artists, too, at all levels. Beginners can easily learn about color schemes and basic elements of art.  Professional artists can easily break old habits and explore new territory.

The most important rule is to have fun, to enjoy the time spent with your sketchbook, your pen, your brush and your colors.

Sketchbook Morning Drawing: drawn first with Waterman Phileas Fountain Pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink followed by watercolor.

I threw the twelve-sided die twice.  It came up “7” both times.  The color scheme is a #7 – Analogous with one complement.  The Dominant Color is #7 – Purple.

Obviously I did not make the purple the strongest color.  I used the dominant color and its complement (yellow) for the background color and the shadow.  I used the colors adjacent to the dominant color (Red-purple and Blue-purple) for the dice.  In this case I had my bag of dice as my subject and chose red dice and blue die after throwing for my color scheme.