An analogous with one complement color scheme becomes even more dimensional when neutralized tones are included.

Family treasures No. 40, Flower Press

I’m not sure if the scanned image portrays the neutrals properly.  The analogous colors are yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange with the complementary color being violet.  There are three variations of the yellow-orange, the background, the top surfaces of the flower press and the edges of the flower press.   All three are neutralized with a touch of the violet complement.

I drew the flower press too small to draw the daisy and pansy design on the wood, so I placed them in the background instead.

sketchbook drawing: Family Treasures No. 40, Flower Press 0 drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement.

I left the white petals unpainted, taking advantage of the white of the paper and the definition of the fountain pen lines.

Daisies from Lauraly

The Color Scheme is Analogous with One Complement enjoying a reversal of the dominant color.  I used the complement of the analogous cluster to be the dominant color, the Red/Violet of the background.  The analogous colors, Yellow, Yellow-Green and Green are accents to the bold background shapes.  The white petals allow breathing room between the colored shapes.
Drawn first with a fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Rome Burning Ink on Rives BFK printing paper, followed by washes of watercolor.

After two days of struggling to break through a few plein air landscape barriers, it’s a relief to return to familiar territory, ink and watercolor botanical drawing.

Buddleia – Butterfly Bush

I love painting on the Rives BFK paper in my sketchbook.  I’ve ordered fifty 22″ x 30″ sheets to experiment painting large, en plein air, on a steep slant.  I don’t know how it will drip, but looking forward to finding out.

Color Palette: Analogous with near complement, Yellow/Green, Green, Blue/Green with Red/Violet.

Cutting or carrying armloads of gladioli from acres of newly bloomed, spiked flowers was part of my job as a young teen working on a local farm. Though I love flowers, gladioli were never among my favorites. I thought of them only as funeral flowers.

Gladiolus plant, ink and watercolor sketch

My attitude changed a couple of days ago when the gladioli were the only flowers not yet suffering from the drought. It was my first ever attempt to draw or paint a gladiolus plant. I had not realized it is a genus of the iris family, iridacae. It wasn’t until I had completed my first drawing (see today’s post on my other blog) that I made the connection. Drawing opens my eyes to the obvious I often miss even when I am standing in the middle of it.

Watercolor sketch:  drawn first with fountain pen filled with blue ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Palette:  I used a limited palette of phthalo blue (Joe’s Blue), alizarin crimson and gamboge.

Ahhhh ….. I took a break from studying the form of facial planes to enjoy painting the blossoming hollyhocks again before they shrivel from the lack of rain.

Hollyhock Inspirations

Until a week ago, my sole inspiration for painting hollyhocks, aside from the gorgeous plants themselves, has been Jane Dyer’s illustrations for Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

A garden of Hollyhocks

Susan Abbott is teaching a plein air workshop in Provence and has been posting her paintings on her blog.  Susan’s hollyhocks along a narrow street in Viens has become inspiration number two!

Mine along with Jane’s and Susan’s

Hollyhock to hollyhock

A few adjustments to the painting

After brewing a cup of fresh Rose Geranium Tea, I saw that the green shape adjacent to the center blossom was too similar in value, shape and size.  I broke up the shape and softened some edges.

the source of my fresh brewed tea!

Paintings:  watercolors.  Color palette is Alizarin crimson, Gamboge, Jerry’s Blue and a tiny touch of cadmium red.


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.

A quick drawing of Daffodils and Trumpet Parts before I grab my oil paints and attempt to capture the local trees breaking into blossom.

Daffodils and Trumpet Parts

Luckily, I threw the die and ended up with an Analogous with Split Complements color scheme.  I chose my own dominant color to be yellow.  I didn’t feel like being bizarre with the daffodils this morning.

Sketchbook drawing: Trumpet Parts No. 61, drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink followed by watercolor washes.  Color Scheme: Analogous (yellow/orange, yellow/ yellow/green) with split complements (red/violet, blue/violet).

Link to Color Scheme Game.

I brought the Color Scheme Game with me on my recent road trip to New Hampshire and Maine.

Narcissus in Glass Vase

A good time was had by all.

It will take me a few days to get back into my normal schedule of posting.  More details later…….

Ink and Watercolor Painting: Narcissus in Glass Vase. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink followed by watercolor.  I took liberties with the color scheme of Triad with Split Complements.  I also took liberties with the dominant color being blue.  When I left yesterday morning, the Narcissus had bloomed!

Very little time this morning for playing games.  Luckily, the toss of the dice gave me an easy color scheme in the real world.

Lily and Rose, Analogous Color Scheme

The analogous colors are green, yellow and orange.  Though the Valentine’s Day flowers are wilting, they worked well for this quick sketch before getting on with my busy day.  What is the orange shape in the bottom right corner?  It had to be there to balance the awkward comp0sition.  I would scratch my name into this mark if I wanted to sign the work.  I wanted to try anchoring the drawing on two, opposite sides.  I might have succeeded without the mark had I taken more time to compose the flowers and leaves a bit better.   Sketchbooks are great for this sort of experimentation.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first with Waterman Phileas filled with black ink, followed by watercolor, limited palette.

I threw the dice only for my color scheme this morning.  An eight came up …. Analogous with Split Complementary Colors.

Trumpet Parts with Lily

Having stayed up too late last night, I found it difficult to fight the gray morning by using bright colors.  I stayed with the theme of muted dreariness that poured through the window.  The Analogous Color Scheme consists of a dominant color, the two colors adjacent to that hue and the two colors on either side of the dominant color’s complement.  In this case, the dominant color is yellow.  On either side of the yellow are yellow / orange and yellow / green.  The complement of yellow is purple.  On either side of purple are red/ purple and blue / purple.

One of the great things about sketchbooks is that I can see problems and come up with partial solutions without the need to completely resolve the painting.  In reality, the light through the window was not strong enough to create a shadow of the lily.  I painted the shadow shape of the glass with too much contrast and sharp edges.  The shape didn’t work.  At the very end, I added the soft shadow shape of the lily to remind me of my thought process and the solution I might try if I were to paint this on watercolor paper.  I have no intention of doing that, but I love searching for solutions.

Trumpet Parts Series No 25 Sketchbook painting:  Drawn first with dip pen using Rohrer and Klinger Alt-Goldgrun ink.  Followed by watercolor, followed by dip pen in a mystery brown ink in my plastic Mont Blanc bottle.

To view other drawings / paintings from the Trumpet Parts Series, here is a link to the album on my Facebook Page, Chris Carter Artist.