Exploring deeper into the world of neutrals within color schemes …..

Scribe and Squares

Based on the throw of the die, the color scheme came up Double Split Complements with blue-violet as one of the dominant colors.  My colors were Blue-Violet, Yellow-Orange, Red-Violet and Yellow-Green.  I neutralized all of them, bringing them closer to browns and grays, but keeping in mind the original hue.  I wanted to stay closer to the nature of the metal and wood of my father’s scribe and squares.

Family Treasures No. 23 – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor washes.

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Aside from the fact that it looks as if it might fall off the lift, I like this one.

Bob's Truck on the lift, waiting for a new transmission.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Tony’s Auto in Washington, NJ lately.  After watching me sketch Ed working on my K-car, Bob asked if I would do a sketch of his truck.  I was delighted.

A fountain pen and a bit of watercolor can express so much when the values ring true.  A bit of warm color and a bit of cool color create the illusion of a more expanded palette.

There is simply no excuse not to paint everywhere I go when I can get by with such simple tools and a sketchbook.

And …… the mysterious problem of the high idle appears to have been solved, though we are not sure how it was solved.

Out of 140 tubes of paint, all but about twenty had not been opened for at least ten years, some for over twenty years.  With matches and a pair of pliers I was able to open all but two.  The awl was helpful when the paint had hardened, creating a plug at the opening of the tube.  Only three tubes of paint required the use of the awl.  This method may be used with oil, watercolor, acrylic, casein, gouache, etc.

I find wooden matches to be better for the job than the cardboard matches.  They burn longer and are easier to strike.  By holding the flame beneath the tube at the base of the cap and rotating the tube over the flame, the paint becomes softened and the cap, with the help of the pliers, can be loosened.  Some tubes require two or even three matches.  Turn the cap firmly but gently or the tube might give way before the cap and paint will squirt out from the crack in the tube.  When this happens, I wrap the tube in plastic wrap or keep it in a zip-lock bag to prevent it from hardening.

Two delightful discoveries during the continued Color Value Chart painting session (Color Exercise #4) were Cinnabar Green and Olive Green.  Cinnabar is a beautiful, light value yellow green.  Olive is almost black.  Two other discoveries in the almost black category were Purple Lake and Indigo.

Another example of drastic differences between pigments can be seen by the example below of the swatches of Cobalt Violet.  Cobalt Violet manufactured by Winsor Newton is quite cool whereas the Cobalt Violet manufactured by Couleurs  is rather warm.  Notice that the pigment by Couleurs is labeled “light hue”.  “Light” and “hue” are clues that the pigments will be different, even if the pigments are created by the same manufacturer.  It is important to make color swatches to have a record of both the value and the temperature of your pigments.

As I find time I will post comments and reviews about the books I have listed on the “Book Pages”.  I welcome all comments and additional suggestions and reviews of books you have found useful, inspiring and informative.

I also welcome suggestions and reviews of equipment, tools, paints, brushes, etc.  Soon there will be pages added for easy reference for both studio and en plein air painting.