Trumpet Parts No. 77 was painted on the inside cover of my large, leather-bound sketchbook.  Each time I opened the sketchbook, I was forced to see this sketch that gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach.

Original Version of Trumpet Parts No. 77

I either had to glue something over it or change it.  I opted to try a few changes before gluing old, torn dictionary pages to cover it up.  I don’t often such a negative response to my sketches.  I either like them or I don’t like them.  Rarely do they make me physically ill.

Trumpet Parts No. 77 revisited

I made one change, then another and another and another.  It turns out that the blue didn’t work for me at all.  A bit surprising since the blue/violet shapes had been my favorite.  Though I still don’t like the sketch very much, it no longer makes me sick.

Color is quite powerful!  Color combinations are even more powerful!

Sketchbook painting: ink and watercolor

P.S. Sorry Nan!

Almost all of the paintings in the Trumpet Parts Series have been closed-form, closed-value paintings.

Trumpet Parts No. 95

The colors and values are limited by the boundaries of their shapes, creating paintings more decorative than realistic.  I found it easier to experiment with the color schemes by first creating an ink drawing of closed shapes, then painting the shapes with flat washes of full-saturation color based on a twelve hue color wheel.

With only five more paintings to go in this series, I am already turning my attention to the next series for my morning, wake-up paintings, Family Treasures. My goal will be to include open-form, open-value paintings that include a broader expression of the color scheme by including more neutral color mixes and saturation levels.

Sketchbook painting: drawn first with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

Trumpet Parts No. 94.  Cross Complementary Color Scheme.

Trumpet Parts No. 94

The cross complements are Violet, Yellow, Blue / Green and Red / Orange.  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with brown ink (Chocolate) followed by watercolor.  I returned to drawing in one of my unfinished, larger sketchbooks with thin paper.  I’ve been spoiled working in the sketchbooks with watercolor paper that doesn’t wrinkle when paint is applied.  Playing The Color Scheme game has liberated my mind when it comes to shadow colors!

I couldn’t resist including the young hollyhocks outside my window.

To view previous Trumpet Parts Series of 100 paintings and drawings visit my Chris Carter Artist Facebook Page.

I hadn’t given these little keys the opportunity to play a major role in the Trumpet Parts Series.  With less than a dozen left to go, it was about time to let them shine!

Trumpet Parts No. 93

Color Scheme is a Basic Triad of Red/Violet, Blue/Green and Yellow/Orange (with a stronger tendency toward Yellow).  The scan of the painting makes the Yellow/Orange look totally Yellow.

I hope I have as much fun with the series of Family Treasures!

sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen and ink followed by watercolor

Playing with shadow colors again.

Trumpet Parts No. 91, Color Scheme Game

My concentration was on the temperature of the colors, the value of the colors and the contrast of shapes.  Overhead lighting cast a strong shadow beneath the trumpet horn.  I opted to eliminate the minimal shadows cast by the dice and other trumpet parts, feeling they would create busy patterns out of nice, simple shapes.  My color scheme directive was Analogous with One Complement, Red  / Violet as Dominant color.  I opted to include the two cooler hues to the left of Red / Violet rather than work toward the warmer Red / Orange.

Trumpet Series Painting: drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor

The ink bleed is beginning to be a nuisance.

Trumpet Parts No. 90 and Rosemary Plant

I would have like this better if I hadn’t added the red/orange background.  The fine lines of the rosemary plant leaves bled into the watercolor, filling in the small negative shapes between the leaves.  The contrast was lost because the blue/green of the leaves is too close to the background value.  I went back with my fountain pen to redefine the blurred edges of the leaves.  The paper absorbed more ink and the delicate lines became clunky.

My color scheme is analogous with one complement, Red/Orange being the dominant color and blue/green being the complement accent.  I should have abandoned The Color Scheme Game directive and left the background white.  My curiosity got the better of me and I painted the background.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen, followed by watercolor, followed by fountain pen.

The orange shadows in the Trumpet Parts No. 74 daily painting was a surprising success and gave me the courage to play with shadow colors more often.  When I threw the die and ended up with a split complementary triad color scheme using Violet Red as my dominant color I didn’t hesitate to use the green for the shadow.  Playing The Color Scheme Game helps me move past my preconceived notions about colors of objects and shadows.

Trumpet Parts No. 88 in progress

For a change of pace, I drew the bent trumpet part in pencil before inking it.  I wanted the sections to link up properly with one another.  I almost left the drawing as you see it in this first image.  The seed for another series is planted in my brain, one that allows parts of the ink drawing to remain unpainted.  I like seeing the skeleton of the painting.

Knowing that the urge to stop and call it complete was being nurtured by my fear of a green shadow, I forced myself to continue.  At this point I wanted to see what a violet-red trumpet part yellow accents and a green shadow might look like.

Trumpet Parts No. 88

I like it.  How about you?

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first with pencil, followed by ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

I ended up drawing several variations of the laminated wood salt and pepper shakers.

Trumpet Parts No. 85 with Laminated Wood Salt Shaker

When I travel, I bring my favorite trumpet part, “T2P2”, with me.  It hung out on the table with the salt and pepper shaker, urging me to keep drawing all those laminated layers!  I liked the ink bleed in the previous attempts, but it only worked well in the wider layers.  The ink overpowered the color in the thinner layers.  I drew this in pencil first and applied brighter colors to create a more realistic rendering of the salt shaker.  I even used perspective to draw in the ovals at different intervals and diameters before indicating the lines of the thin layers.  Whew…. I haven’t done that in a long time.

Sketchbook drawing/painting: drawn first with pencil followed by watercolor washes.

You’ll find the trumpet part if you look hard enough.

Trumpet Parts No. 80, abstracted perspective

For some reason, my scanner reads the colors oddly when scanning from my handmade sketchbook with the Rives BFK paper pages.  Even with color adjustments I don’t seem to be able to reproduce the painting as it appears in my sketchbook.  This is as close as I can get.

Creating these altered perspective drawings captivates my brain in a similar way that working jigsaw puzzles does.  I search for patterns, shapes and color intersections.  The nice thing about spending time working in my sketchbook is that when the drawing is completed I don’t take it all apart and throw it back in a box.

When playing the Color Scheme Game, I am forced to concentrate even more on the changes in color value and color saturation.  The eye does not find its way to an object, it simply moves through the composition.  The eye does this when looking at any painting, but the brain thinks it has arrived when it recognizes something familiar.

I am attempting to reprogram my brain to get past seeing sky, trees and ground when painting en plein air.  I will be able to create a better reality when I can see the landscape abstractly.

Sketchbook painting:  Trumpet Parts No. 80, drawn first in pencil, followed by watercolor.  Extended Analogous Color Scheme.

This is not the direction I thought I would be heading in when I returned to full-time painting.

Trumpet Parts No. 79, pencil and watercolor 7" x 11"

I’m exploring the basic structure of things the same way I explore the skeleton in order to express the movement of a figure with one flowing line.  The basic structure of most things is geometric.  A byproduct of perspective drawing is intersecting planes that are not necessarily attached to the object being drawn.  The shapes that appear to float in the air surrounding the object create the illusion of space and movement that I strive for.  Hours vanish like cotton candy on my tongue when I’m working on these drawings.

By incorporating both neutral, less saturated colors with primary, full saturated colors, the push and pull effect between the shapes is enhanced. The more saturated colors appear to advance and the less saturated colors retreat.

Sketchbook drawing: Trumpet Parts No. 79, drawn first with pencil and ruler (Yikes! I’m using a ruler again…) followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme:  Everything except Blue/Green, Green, Green/Yellow