As much as I don’t like green and red together, I think green and rose is beautiful.

Scented-rose-geranium-artist-trading-card-ACEO-ink-watercolor-chris-carter-artist-012413-sz

Scented Rose Geranium

This is the second little Artist Trading Card I have painted inspired by my Scented Rose Geranium.  Both  days I threw the die and got a Complementary Color Scheme.  Link to previous painting post.

The colors work better because the red leans toward violet and the greens lean toward yellow.  Rather than being the same value, as red and green are, pink and green offers more of a value range allowing the shapes to play more dynamically with one another.  The value difference is subtle yet effective.

I leave in the morning to teach color workshops at Village Art Supply in Santa Rosa, CA.  I hope to see some of you there!  I’m giving a free demo on Thursday evening.

Sketchbook Artist Trading Card: Scented Rose Geranium No. 2 – drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor

Color Scheme:  Complementary Color Scheme

The large leaves of the Nespera Tree and the small leaves of the Rosemary Plant are painted using the same palette.

Loquat Tree (Eriobotrya-japonica) Nespera

Loquat Tree (Eriobotrya-japonica) Nespera

Rosemary Plant

Rosemary Plant

The palette for the leaves is cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, cerulean blue and french ultramarine blue.

The background colors are drastically different.  The color scheme for the Nespera illustration is Analogous with Near Complement.  The color scheme for the Rosemary illustration is Extended Analogous.

Sketchbook drawings: drawn first in ink with fountain pen followed by watercolor.  3.5″ x 2.5″ standard size for Artist Trading Cards.

As a teen I flavored shortbread cookies with Rose Extract. I saw it in a store and couldn’t resist buying it.  I can’t imagine what inspired me to add it to the shortbread cookie dough.  The delicious taste of the cookies comes back in a flash when I rub the leaves of my rose geranium plant.

Rose Geranium - Artist Trading Card

Rose Geranium – Artist Trading Card

When I purchased the plant last spring I expected it to grow no more than 24″ high and be somewhat bushy like the ones in the fragrant herb garden at Lord Stirling Park.  Mine is now almost five fee high! The plant has never bloomed.  The fragrance comes from the leaves.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement – Yellow/Green, Green, Blue/Green and Rose (of course)

ACEO Sketchbook drawing: Rose Geranium –  illustration drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

By altering the green with each dip of the brush an illusion of space is created around each fragrant leaf of the French Tarragon.

french-tarragon-artist-trading-cards-ATC-ink-watercolor-Chris-Carter-Artist-010213

French Tarragon – Artist Trading Card

The color palette is cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, cerulean blue and a touch of french ultramarine blue.  Some of the leaves are painted with one stroke of the brush, others are painted wet in wet, adding variations of green within a single leaf.

Sketchbook drawing: French Tarragon – illustration drawn first in ink with a fountain pen, followed by watercolor

Color Scheme: Analogous – Blue/Green, Green and Yellow/Green.  Dominant Color: Green

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).

It’s that time of year again.  Jane presents me with a beautiful poinsettia.  This one, for me, is a new variety ….. an Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red, featuring curly blossom petals.

Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red

Eckespoint Winter Rose Dark Red, Color and Grayscale Comparison

The leaves and blossoms are compact and a challenge to draw in a visually dynamic way.  I experimented by inventing space shapes between leaves and blossoms.  I’m sure before the season is over I’ll give it another try.

Sketchbook drawing:  Drawn first with dip pens using Noodler’s Tiananmen for the curly petals and Private Reserve Avocado for the leaves.  I applied clear water to allow the ink to bleed into both the petals and leaves before adding touches of watercolor.

The Complementary Color Scheme of Red and Green, a  difficult color scheme to avoid this time of year.  Converting the scan to grayscale is helpful to see how strong the graphics can be using only one hue (green leaves against green background cell) when the value of the hue is extended from light to dark.

Painting by color value does not always need to result in high contrast paintings.

Comparing Full Color to Grayscale Mode

Though there are extreme darks and a few strong lights, the overall feeling of the painting is more of a mid range contrast of values.  The leaves don’t contrast strongly against the background.  When violets are part of the adjacent colors, an extended analogous with one complement color scheme  provides an excellent selection of hues for any value range (High, mid or low contrast) even when painting with full saturation colors.

Spiderwort, Wandering Jew
Tradescantia Pallida

Sketchbook Drawing:  Spiderwort, Wandering Jew, Tradescantia Pallida – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Limited palette:  Aureolin, Permanent Alizarin, French Ultramarine Blue, Manganese Blue and a touch of Cerulean.