My pressed clipping from a Red Tip Photinia long ago lost it’s brilliant color.

Pressed,dried, Red Tip Photinia clipping

The last couple of days I have painted samples of Color Value Painting, choosing hue according to its intrinsic value at full saturation rather than choosing hue according to the color of the object I am painting.  I want to show an example of completely arbitrary hue choices but I couldn’t bring myself to place full saturation red next to full saturation green.  Instead, I stayed with the left side of the color hue/value diamond.

Color hue/value

If it didn’t take so long to do the drawing, I would do another painting of the Red Tip Photinia using the right side of the diamond.

Comparing Full Color to Grayscale Mode

Sketchbook Drawing:  Pressed, Dried Red Tip Photinia – drawn first with pencil, followed by watercolor.

Limited Palette: Aureolin, French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin (all Winsor Newton watercolor tube paints)

Rose Madder is the only fragrant pigment I am aware of.  I couldn’t resist adding a bit of it to the Rose Geranium sketch I posted previously.

Three Stages of the Rose Geranium Study

I could have, and probably should have stopped after adding two spots of Rose Madder.  But ….. my mind kept wandering to that place of curiosity that so often gets me into trouble, while at the same time pushes me ahead.  I wanted to see what the Rose Geranium drawing would like like with a background of yellow/orange.

Memories of playful times in the 60’s and early 70’s flooded my thoughts …. skirts made from half a yard of Marimekko fabrics, kitchen walls painted bright orange with window trim in bright pink …. and brightly patterned BBQ shirts.  Now chefs wear pants made from similar fabrics that awaken the senses.

The study went from being focused on shapes and patterns to being focused simply on playful color … not necessarily a bad thing.

Rose Scented Geraniums with Rose Madder and Orange

I’ve discovered the pleasure of growing plants to brew tea from fresh leaves.  Rose Geranium tea is delicious!

Rose Scented Geraniums – Pelargonium Graveolens

Both of my Rose Scented Geraniums share a large, clay pot beside my back stoop.  I have an Old Fashioned Rose Scented Geranium and a Silver Edge Rose Scented Geranium.  They are both considered to be Pelargonium Graveolens.  The fragrance is delightful and the tea brewed from their leaves is refreshing and subtle.  A touch of raw honey from the bee hives across the street and I’m in heaven.

Never again will I moan over the multitude of greens in the summer.  As long as I stay either to the cool side headed toward gray as a neutralized green or the warm side headed toward brown as a neutralized green (depending on my color scheme) I can have the best of both warms and cools without conflict.  If I don’t become too distracted, I’ll paint a chart that illustrates my point.  In this painting I stayed on the side of grays rather than browns and was able to achieve both warm and cool variations in the leaves.  My palette was viridian, french ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, cadmium lemon and a touch of permanent crimson.  Note that they are all cool variations of their hues.  I did not use a warm green, a warm blue, a warm yellow or a warm red.

The greens I created are not realistic for a sunny day, but are quite close to the color of the geranium leaves on a bright but overcast day.  My choice was not based on reality anyway….. it was based on beautiful color and the joy of allowing pigment to mix on the paper, wet in wet creating gorgeous transitions from warm to coll and back again.

Color Scheme: Analogous

Drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor