color palettes


The events of the last six months has transformed my life in an incredibly positive way.

Mouse, Tail of a Parrot, Coffee Mug, Fountain Pen Cap and Key to my FIT

Mouse, Tail of a Parrot, Coffee Mug, Fountain Pen Cap and Key to my FIT

Thanks to a kindred spirit, Joanie Springer, an amazing artist I met through Daily Paintworks and my Creative Color Blog, I taught a couple of workshops in Santa Rosa in November when I visited my son in Mountain View.  That visit realigned my brain and my heart.  The amazing Weedy Seadragon ( Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) I discovered at the Academy of Science in San Francisco sealed my fate.

Jumping ahead six months….. I replaced my 1988 K-car (that I loved, but needed a new catalytic converter to get through NJ inspection this month) with my first New Car!, a standard transmission (hooray!) Blue Raspberry (turquoise) Honda, FIT.  I got 44.5 mpg on a recent trip to Maine.  In addition to the amazing new set of wheels, I added an ipad to my collection of amazing devices.  I can now make my own art videos to post online for my workshop students.

Skipping the rest of the wonderful moves forward…… my father’s dementia is taking it’s toll.   When my father received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Rotary last Saturday evening, I captured a video of the presentation with my ipad.  While waiting for it to upload to video for my family to see, I drew and painted the above image.  ( I didn’t know not to film it in Portrait……. it has taken me all day to upload the video!) It is now 5:11 pm.  I realize that today’s sketchbook drawing is a self-portrait of where I am at this moment …. a really great place to be ….. and a great place to move on from.  I remember the moment of hesitation, standing at the end of the diving board.  Taking a deep breath before beginning my steps forward … leading to the end of the board and the leap forward into the air above the water ….. reaching me arms out into a swan dive or folding my body in half into a Jack-Knife Dive…… then entering the water and gliding through the liquid space beneath the surface.

Image:  Drawn first in ink with fountain pen (Noodler’s Whalerman’s Sepia) followed by watercolor using a limited palette of Raw sienna, cadmium red deep and ultramarine blue.

A quick reminder…. I am teaching workshops in Santa Rosa again at the end of April!

April 25th & 26th …. Village Art Supply – Color Scheme Game and Color Value Workshop

April 27th & 28th …. Riley Street Art Supply – Extraordinary and Fun Watercolor Techniques playing with Abstract Design.

Email me for details … Chris@ChrisCarterArt.com

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Drawings often deviate from the original plan.

Pressed Red Tip Photinia Branch with shadows, backlit illumination

The plan was to paint the drawing according to color value rather than color hue using illogical and discordant hues.  I began drawing with a dip pen using Diamine Ochre ink.  I wanted to see what variations of hue the ink would separate into when I added only clean water along the edges of the lines.  The flow of ink into the water worked beautifully for the dry, pressed leaves, more of a burnt sienna hue than an ochre hue. I followed the inspiration of the leaves rather than proceed with my original plan.  After painting the shadows and cell shapes the leaves looked flat and uninteresting.  I pale wash of aureolin with a touch of burnt sienna brought life back into the leaves.

I’ll give my original plan another try and post it on the Creative Color Blog later today.

Sketchbook Drawing: Pressed Red Tip Branch and Shadows, ink and watercolor.  Limited palette of aureolin, french ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

My plants are never pleased when they are brought indoors after living happily on the front porch from May until late autumn.  All of the pots were brought inside before Hurricane Sandy hit land.

Unhappy Oxalis Plant

Three days after the hurricane hit, I caught a plane for California to teach two Color Scheme Game Workshops in Santa Rosa.  Tom, without power for almost two weeks, pampered my plants in my absence.  They have all survived, though a couple are still struggling.  This little pot of Oxalis has a giant corm standing out of the dirt in the middle of the pot.  Survival is such a strong, driving force among all living things.

Sketchbook Drawing: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme: Modified Triad (Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green and Blue Green)  Pot and dirt are neutralized hues of the triad.

Over the past few months, the objects drawn within the rectangular cells have been working their way across the borders of the cells.  The objects have now escaped the cells entirely.   The turquoise moose is the leader of the revolution!

Glass Inkwells No.8 …. Escaped

The color palette of Glass Inkwells No. 8 was inspired by the amazing morning sky and the glow on the cornfield as the sun rose ad day or two ago.  There was a silver cloud cover above a strip of deep phthalo sky.

I’ve added another variation to The Color Scheme Game to play with Seasonal Color Palettes.

Sketchbook Drawing: Glass Inkwells No. 8 was drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor washes.

This modified triad color scheme is the same as an extended analogous color scheme with two colors omitted.

Trumpet Parts No. 96

Blue / Violet, Blue / Green and Green / Yellow.  The Two colors omitted are Blue and Green.  I felt like the color sketch was screaming for a bit of orange so I filled in the closed shapes in the title and date.  Whew….. a bit of relief from the overpowering frogginess of the trumpet parts.

Sketchbook color sketch: drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor on thin, wrinkly paper.

Last night I transplanted thirty-five, eight inch tall, GirasolMammoth Sunflower seedlings.

Sunflower Seedling

Eighteen were planted in the far corner of the yard between the raspberry bed and the Blueberry house.  At daybreak, only eleven remained.  I believe the groundhogs living under the tool shed had a tasty, midnight snack.  It is survival of the fittest in my backyard.

The rest of the seedlings were planted along the fence close to the house amongst the poison ivy vines.  I’m hoping the poison ivy will act as a deterrent.  Once the seedlings are too large to be munched on by small critters, I’ll yank out the poison ivy.

Odd colors for a sunflower seedling?  I decided to use the same color scheme for the seedling as I used for this morning’s Trumpet Parts No. 91.  The color scheme game dictated Analogous with one complement, violet as dominant color.

There were still eleven seedlings thriving between the berries after dinner this evening.

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

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Sometimes the ink bleeds a bit too much.

Trumpet Parts No. 89, Complementary Color Scheme

I’m going to try a few more experiments on this sketchbook drawing, but want to post the original version of it before I attack with more line drawing of pea plants and maybe a bit of gouache to tame the ink bleed.

The paper in my sketchbook is extremely absorbent.  I thought I had mixed plenty of the blue-violet mix for the background of the upper rectangle.  I hadn’t.  I ran out before I could complete the top left corner.  Not wanting a hard line, I quickly mixed what I thought might be close …. no time to test ….. have to keep the puddle moving.  I was a bit too blue and too saturated.

In spite of its problems, I had a great time both drawing and painting this combination of trumpet parts and the plants outside my back door.

Trumpet Parts No. 89 Revised

Later ….. I did add more ink and watercolor, but I didn’t add gouache to cover the bleed.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first with Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen followed by watercolor.  The color scheme and dominant color was determined by the throw of my twelve-sided die.  Complementary Color Scheme (Violet and Yellow)

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