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).

Color schemes have become another fine-tuned skill in my toolbox.  As with any tool, a lifetime can be spent learning new uses for tools.

Photo of Glass Inkwells and Travel Palette

Photo of Glass Inkwells and Travel Palette

Unexpected possibilities now present themselves during my morning practice of the Color Scheme Game.

Line Drawing

Line Drawing

Normally, I would continue the line drawing adding the pans of watercolor and the indications of the mixing wells.  At this point, I stopped.  There was something about the large, open shape of the palette without details that I liked.  It gave contrast to the smaller shapes that describe the inkwells.

Painting in the Inkwells

Painting in the Inkwells

I decided to throw the die and paint in only the inkwells leaving me the option of drawing the pans of pigment before painting the palette shape.  I came up with the Basic Triad Color Scheme with red as one of the colors.

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One more step

I went one step further to paint the inside lip of the travel palette.  I put the drawing aside until the next morning to see if I felt the same way about it.  In the middle of the night I awoke with the idea of indicating the paint in the palette as splats rather than pans of pigment.

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Glass Inkwells No.18 with pigment splats

I’m pleased with the results and glad that I allowed for something new to happen.

Sketchbook Drawing: Glass Inkwells No. 18, Ink and Watercolor. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Basic Triad of yellow, red and blue.

Limite palette: Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red Light, French Ultramarine Blue

When Tom is away, meals don’t happen. While I baked cookies, Deb came to the rescue and prepared dinner.

Lime, Apple and Fork

Lime, Apple and Fork

Sketchbook drawing: Lime, Apple and Fork – Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Analogous with one complement (Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green and Red-Violet) The fork is a neutral gray.

Limited Palette: Cadmium Yellow Pale, Aureolin, Cadmium Red, Permanent Aliazrin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue

Last night while making cookie dough I created the samples for Exercise No. 1 on my website blog. Check it out!

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

The goal is to draw, draw, draw, without concern about the drawing being masterful.  This exercise will strengthen eye/hand coordination.  The foundation of a strong painting is strong drawing skills whether the work is realistic or abstract.

Sketchbook Drawing: Eggs in Cardboard Carton – drawn in three minutes with a fountain pen before breaking the eggs and adding them to the cookie dough batter.

Another example of painting by both Color Value and Color Scheme …

Klutz Juggling CubesComparing Full-Color with Grayscale Mode

Klutz Juggling Cubes
Comparing Full-Color with Grayscale Mode

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

Limited Palette: Aureolin, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Alizarin, French Ultramarine Blue and Manganese Blue.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Family Treasures No. 47, Klutz Juggling Cubes – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Continuing with example of painting by color value rather than color hue …

Still Life No.3 shown in grayscale mode

After trying a few color value paintings, you might notice that paintings created by color value often fall into standard color schemes.

Still Life No. 3 in full color

Though it may appear that painting by color value is too limited, I find the possibilities to be infinite and feel more playful and inventive with each new painting.

Color Value Still Life No.3 – ink vial and paint brushes: Drawn first with dip pen using Scribal Work Shop “Siren” ink, followed by watercolor washes choosing my colors by color value rather than hue.  Example for Color Value Workshops.

Limited palette: Three tubes of watercolor paint – Aureolin, French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin …. all Winsor Newton pigments.

To read the history of this Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper, read today’s post on Third Time Around.

Hair Clipper – Full Color and Grayscale

One method of painting by color value is to use full intensity colors, choosing the hue based on its intrinsic value at full intensity.

Intrinsic Color Value at Full Intensity

This is not a perfect color value scale.  The blue and the green were too diluted and dried lighter than I would like.  However, you get the idea …. I hope.

As you can see, yellow is always your lightest light.  Violet is always your darkest dark.  When it comes to everything between white and black, you can choose from either side of the diamond.  If you haven’t played around with this before, I suggest you use the left side (oranges and reds) for the surfaces that are illuminated by your light source.  Use the right side (greens and blues) for the surfaces in shadow.

Or, if you are really adventurous, mix and match all you want and you will still come out with a strong painting as long as you choose your hues to correspond correctly to the values seen on the objects you are using as models.

Grayscale

I began with a line drawing using a dip pen and “Nessie” ink. Using a limited palette of only three hues (Aureolin, Permanent Alizarin and French Ultramarine Blue) I mixed the other hues I needed to correspond with the values I wanted.  I mixed a yellow-orange, orange, yellow-green, green, and a slightly darker green moving toward blue-green.

First I painted the darkest dark, the shadows.  I let that dry completely so that I could see exactly how dark the violet shadows ended up. The second wash was the background, the yellow-orange.  These two washes define my value range, my lightest light (other than the white paper) and my darkest dark.  I then worked dark to light starting on the shadow side of the clipper and making my way around the surfaces from shadow to illuminated planes.

When I got to the clipper attachment I totally forgot what my goal was and simply played with the ink bleeding into a diluted blue-violet mix.  It is difficult to shut off my intuitive actions.

Family Treasures No.47 – Craftsman Electric Hair Clipper

I present this and other methods of painting by color value in the Color Value Workshops.