Color Schemes

In early January I traveled to Asheville with my friend, Pete Lutz, to shoot a few trial art demo videos.  I totally froze in front of the camera, couldn’t even say my name comfortably.  Pete sent me the footage a few days ago and I couldn’t stop laughing.  Here are a few of the many bloopers……

Since then I purchased an ipad and I’m making my own little clips.  After the photo shoots in Asheville I realized I needed to become comfortable in the company of a camera.  Thanks, Pete!  You helped to make the giant leap into art video demos.  As soon as I edit the rest of the footage I’ll post the best of what we filmed in January.

Earlier today I posted a drawing on the Creative Color Blog of the anchovies tin prior to opening and using the anchovies in the dressing for a Kale Caesar Salad.  The salad was yummy!

Semi Triad Color Scheme

Though its fun to step into the world of fantasy colors, the earlier version using a primary triad color scheme of yellow red and blue fanned my creative fire more than the semi-triad of yellow-green, blue-green and red-violet, a combination I usually adore when painting botanicals.  I might have had more fun if I had included what is left of the garlic bulb.  Maybe I’ll try another version in the morning. (Link to the next morning’s drawing post)

Sketchbook Drawing: Empty Anchovies Tin, drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Whaleman’s Sepia followed by watercolor, a few lines with a white gel pen and another few lines with the fountain pen.

Since Elementary School when they were first introduced to me, I have been a fan of Venn Diagrams. It is not unusual for me to see my surroundings fall into the overlapping intersections of Venn Diagram circles.  On the occasion when I can’t help but share my observation, the response is often a blank stare. Oh well ….

Kokeshi Geisha Dolls and Glass Inkwell

The wooden dolls, Kokeshi dolls made in Japan, were given to me by a childhood friend, Melvin Jameson.  He moved to the mid-west with his family when I was in the third or fourth grade.  My parents and I visited them while on a road trip.  It was during that visit that Melvin gave me these dolls.

I wanted a third object to break the background into a more interesting shape.  One of my glass inkwells served the purpose.  When the sketchbook drawing was complete I was faced with the problem of labeling it as part of the Family treasures Series or as part of the Glass Inkwell Series.  I find the labeling of anything to be a problem.

As the intersecting circles of Venn diagrams took form in my head I realized that the drawing could be part of both series.

Sketchbook Drawing:  Family Treasures No. 37 and Glass Inwells No. 7, Japanese Kokeshi Dolls and Glass Inkwell. Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink followed by watrcolor washes.  Color Scheme: Split Complements (Yellow-Orange, Blue, Violet) Dominant Color is Yellow-Orange.

Another sleepless night.

Lily Drinking Cup Holder

My brain wouldn’t shut down after teaching the Color Scheme Workshop at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Bedminster, New Jersey.  My five students were wonderful.  They worked hard and didn’t complain at all.

Thanks to the great feedback from the students, I can cut an hour from the color wheel and value painting exercises so that we can get on to playing the game sooner.  There is so much information to cram into a half-day workshop!  A five hour workshop has now been scheduled for February 26th, 2013.  The extra hour is still not quite enough, but it will help.  I’m looking forward to teaching a three day workshop!  If anyone is interested, please let me know.

Sketchbook drawing:  drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink followed by watercolor washes. Color Scheme: Double Complementary.  Yellow and Violet, Blue and Orange.

It’s time to register for The Color Scheme Game Workshop at The Center for Contemporary Art!

Date: September 12, 2012, 10 am til 2 pm.  All you need to bring is three tubes of any yellow, any blue and any red watercolor paint.  I will provide everything else!  A pencil and sketchbook is always recommended, of course, but not an essential this time around.

Color Scheme Game Workshop Materials

Here is a link to the course description and registration: The Color Scheme Game Workshop

My magic bag is filled with paper, palettes, brushes, vintage dip pen nib holders, nibs, vintage fountain pens, mechanical pencils, a variety of colored inks, ink vial holders, handmade sketchbooks, color chart templates, Color Scheme Game Rules and cards as well as plenty of dice.

An eight page coptic bound sketchbook made from Rives BFK paper, a twelve-sided die, a set of Color Scheme Game Cards, along with print outs of all rules to The Color Scheme Game as well as The Extended Color Scheme Game will be sent home with each of the students.  In addition, a package of templates to use at home to make and use your own color wheels will also be part of the take home loot!

Join us for the fun on September 12th.  If you can’t make it then, you might want to schedule your own Color Scheme Game Party Night or arrange for a workshop in your area.

I am beginning to send out notices to garden clubs, arts stores,art associations, libraries and environmental centers to schedule demonstrations and/or workshops.  If you have any locations in mind, please let me know.


Trying to resist eating the Rainier Cherries, The Northern Cherries and the Black Seedless Grapes that lay upon the table, modeling for my morning sketch, was the first major challenge of the day.  There is no tastier cherry than a Rainier Cherry!

Rainier Cherries, Northern Cherries, Seedless Black Grapes

The fact that the black grapes were seedless was the icing on the cake.  Rarely, in my part of the world, are they available.


Sketchbook painting:  Drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme:  I think I would call this an extended analogous color scheme.  The only color missing is green.  That makes it an extreme extension of analogous colors.  That’s the problem with labeling the color scheme of a painting so that a dialogue is possible.

My father’s last adventure before dementia made trips too difficult was a trip to South America.  He and Jane were air lifted from Machu Picchu by helicopter after the mudslides in late January of 2010.

Family Treasures No. 26, Coffee Cups from Peru

The peculiar texture of the chartreuse background is, I believe, due to mold in the paper.  It is difficult, if not impossible to see the mold spores.  They make themselves obvious by absorbing the pigment differently from the unaffected fibers of the paper.  Unfortunately, I have a great deal of paper that came from Betty’s basement mixed in with my own paper.  Betty’s basement was flooded about a decade ago after a hurricane.  Somehow, it seems fitting that I used a piece of watercolor paper affected by an overflowing river in North Plainfield, New Jersey to paint souvenirs from a trip that included rescue from a mudslide and flood in South America.

Family Treasures No. 26, Coffee Cups from Peru – drawn first in pencil, followed by ink drawn with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

Color Scheme:  Analogous with One Complement.  Dominant Color: Yellow-Green

Colors:  Green, Yellow-Green, Yellow and Red-Violet)

Next Page »