My brain often short-circuits at this time of year.  Sketchbook drawings usually reflect the scattered and disjointed thoughts running through my head.

Oxalis Plants with Abstract Shapes

Oxalis Plant with Abstract Shapes

At least three separate drawings are going on all at the same time.  The only consistent element of the drawing is the accidental color scheme.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Oxalis with Abstract Shapes – drawn first with inkbrush filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme:  Analogous with Split Complements ( Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green with Red Violet and Blue Violet).

Playing the Color Scheme Game can be used as merely a starting point. If the painting is telling you to change the plan, by all means, change the plan!

Trumpet Parts No. 62 with Daffodils and Oxalis Plants

After completing the drawing in ink I threw the die.  The die indicated a Modified Triad Color Scheme with Orange as one of the dominant colors.  That gave me blue as a second and I chose yellow/green over purple/red as my third, preferring my daffodils to be yellowish rather than purplish.  I didn’t like the way the blue worked for the oxalis plant and I didn’t think it would work for both the napkin under the trumpet and the trumpet.  I felt that the shapes might become confused and the trumpet would not stand out against the napkin.  For that reason, I moved away from my Modified Triad Color Scheme and introduced the neutralized red in the trumpet, a few oxalis leaves and the vertical  shape on the right.  The result was somewhat satisfactory, but more muted than I would have liked.  In order to support that muted effect I needed to added stronger color saturation and slightly darker color value to contrast the muted color.  I chose the bright red.  The effect worked.  The colors now look beautifully muted instead of too diluted.

I will continually point out that the purpose of the playing the game is to expand your horizons, not to simply follow rules.  Break the rules on a daily basis!  In playing the game, you will learn the rules and realize you are making the choice to stick to the color scheme or to step off the path.  Stepping off the path is the ultimate goal.

Sketchbook painting: Trumpet Parts No. 62 with Daffodils and Rooting Oxalis Plants.  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Green Marine Ink, followed by watercolor.

The monthly Ink Drop samples arrived yesterday.

Rooting Oxalis, Extended Analogous Color Scheme

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This month’s selection is five of Goulet Pens’ worst selling inks.  As soon as I receive the inks I put them through my bleed test. I was startled by the immediate permanence of Noodler’s Summer Tanager ink.  Even before my cup of coffee this morning I had to try it out, both with dip pen and fountain pen.  I love it!  It feathers a bit too much when used with a dip pen, but with a fountain pen it is perfect.  I leave tomorrow for New Hampshire and Maine and will definitely bring along my blue fountain pen filled with the lovely orange ink, not for the color but for the permanence (being a color other than black).  For delicate herbs, the orange color might be excellent.

Sketchbook painting:  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Summer Tanager Ink followed by watercolor using an extended analogous color scheme (Violet through yellow/orange, omitting red).

The subject of the painting can be chosen either before or after the dice are thrown. Yesterday afternoon I chose the subject based on the dominant color chosen by the twelve-sided die.

Rooting Oxalis, red-purple and yellow-green

I threw a two (Complementary Color Scheme) and an eight (Dominant Color = purple / red).  The rooting Oxalis in the kitchen window fit the bill.  I enjoyed both drawing and painting the Oxalis enough to chose it again for my morning subject.  This time I threw the dice after having chosen the Oxalis.

Rooting Oxalis, Analogous Colors

This time I threw a five (Analogous Color Scheme) and a two (Dominant color = Yellow Green)

I find it best to not look at the subject after the drawing stage is complete.  I move to my drafting table to apply the paint.  By not looking at the subject of the drawing, I am able to make decisions based on the value shapes and graphics of the painting rather than the reality that might not really work in my sketch.  This is especially helpful when the color scheme does not fit with the actual colors of my subject.

Sketchbook Drawings playing the Color Scheme Game: drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink, followed by watercolor.


Top painting:  Limited palette of Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light

Bottom painting: Cadmium Yellow Light, New Gamboge, Cadmium Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Antwerp Blue and a touch of dioxazine purple to neutralize the yellow for the mason jar’s wire.