One of my favorite paintings from this week’s Blues Jam…

Justine Gardner, Musician

Justine is a delight to paint whether she is on stage playing bass or sitting at a table sipping wine.

Nothing complex here.  The ink line is simple and direct.  The watercolor washes are simple and direct, an analogous color scheme at its most basic level, yellow, yellow/green, green/blue.

Drawn first with black ink using a dip pen, followed by strokes of watercolor

This portrait of Justine Gardner is another example of the strong impact that a limited palette of primary colors can achieve.

Justine Gardner playing bass at the Blues Jam

The key is using pure color and taking advantage of the inherent value of the local color.  Yellow will never be a dark value.  Reds and blues, used as pure undiluted pigments will never be as light a value as yellows and can be stretched from dark to mid-range with a bit of dilution.

Portrait of Justine drawn first with a black ink using a dip pen, followed by strokes of pure color allowed to mix wet-in-wet on the paper.