I’m coming up for air….. just for a moment….

Hat City Kitchen ... Listening to the Blues

Hat City Kitchen … Listening to the Blues

I’ve been happily lost in the world of live music, art exhibits, travel adventures and learning how to make my own online tutorials.

The Bad Hands - 4th Annual Blues Bash

The Bad Hands – 4th Annual Blues Bash

To top it off, it’s getting warmer and I’ll be back to drawing in my garden within weeks!

Happy Spring!

Paintings: drawn first in ink with dip pen followed by watercolor, painted during live performances.

Video: demonstration of creating a color wheel for the color scheme game using raw sienna, cadmium red deep and ultramarine blue as my primaries.

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We tried to stop giving my mother elephants.  We switched to moose.  After the polar fleece robe featuring a moose motif, we returned to the giving of elephants.  This moose standing in snow, mounted on a strangely curved slab of glass was a gift from that short period of time when the family felt the elephant collection was getting too large.

Moose Paperweight, Family Treasures No. 34

I find triad color schemes to be useful when the subject is somewhat neutral, like a brown moose.  It’s not that much of a stretch from reality to make the antlers yellow and the moose’s body leaning toward violet.  Using the Complementary Triad Color Scheme (one pair of complements with one color equal distance between the two) I chose a blue-green for the background of the larger cell.

Sketchbook Drawing: Family Treasures No. 34 – drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor washes.

Adjacent Double Near Complements may not be an official Color Scheme but it is one I find I intuitively use quite often.  I generally choose either the warm half of the color wheel (skipping the center two hues) or the cool half of the color wheel (skipping the center two hues).  It works well with the in-between colors as well.  Pick any two adjacent two colors, skip the next two colors in either direction and use the next two colors.  It’s simple and it is beautiful.

Harp Player and Sean Daly, The Grisly Pear

This painting, created during the January 30, 2012 Blues Jam at The Grisly Pear in the West Village, illustrates the ADNC color scheme.  (Violet, Red Violet, Orange Yellow and Yellow.

Drawn first with dip pen and black ink, followed by watercolor.

When painting dancers or musicians during a performance there is no time to contemplate what I’m drawing, what colors I’m using or even why I think I can express the energy of the moment in less than a minute with a pen and a brush.  I paint whatever grabs my attention and provides me with a starting point.

Saucon Valley High School Jazz Ensemble

The Saucon Valley High School Jazz Ensemble won second place in the High School Jazz Band competition at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA.  As a reward, they opened for Kevin Eubanks last Friday evening.  I was given a table to paint on at the back of the room giving me front, slightly distant view of the stage.  What I saw was a mass of musicians dressed in black sitting on black chairs behind black music stands.  The only shapes that stood out were the brass instruments as the stage lights struck them and ……. the bright red neckties worn by each of the band members.

Two students, Two trombones, Two red neckties

A little bit of color can go a long way to save the day.

Drawings: drawn first with dip pen followed by watercolor

Black ink is great for the initial, dip pen drawing while painting during musical performances.  The black lines bring the color to life.  Colored inks, on the other hand, become part of the color scheme, bleeding into the watercolor and often separating into the various colored pigments that they are made from.  Below are examples of the watercolor bringing out the red in Waterman Havana Brown Ink.

Jeffrey Hills playing Tuba (Sousaphone), SteelStacks Cabaret, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Ernie Elly on Drums, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Havana Brown is beautiful on its own, too.

Frederick Lonzo, Mark Braud, Charlie Gabriel
Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Another example of the ink bleed into the yellows, blues and purples.

Sketches:  Drawn first with dip pen using Waterman Havana Brown Ink, followed by watercolor

Extended Analogous with One Complement

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Links to sample paintings using the various color schemes are now on the Color Scheme Game Page.

Playing the Color Scheme Game every morning is helping to strengthen the colors I use the rest of the day and into the night.  The painting above, painted during the weekly Blues Jam, is an excellent example of unintentional application of my morning experiments.

Painting: Portrait of V.D. King drawn first with dip pen followed by watercolor.  Painted at The Grisly Pear in New York City.

Here is another sample of the double complementary color scheme I used at the Raven’s Nest Blues Jam on Wednesday night.

Arne Englund and Don Plowman, Raven's Nest Blues Jam

The dominant complements are purple / yellow.  The supporting complements are blue / orange.  The two are united by the red tone in the ink line that bleeds nicely into each of the colors, acting as a mother color.  Several years ago, after reading Stephen Quiller’s Painter’s Guide to Color, I was inspired to try using a mother color to unite my palette.

Painting: Painted on location during the weekly Blues Jam at Raven’s Nest, Quakertown, PA.  First drawn with dip pen using Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses Ink, followed by watercolor