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.

For some, the words play and perspective would never be uttered in the same breath.

My early childhood pattern blocks, a stack of three

My fascination with perspective  may be a surprise to those who are used to seeing my flowing lines of ink and dashes, splats and splatters of watercolor that suggest musicians and dancers.  I’m stoking up the embers of earlier interests, going back as far as I can remember.  My interest isn’t as much in drawing objects correctly using perspective as it is creating the great shapes and planes around the objects, the result of the intersections of lines connecting the objects to vanishing points.  The objects exist only to validate the existence of the intersecting planes.

I’m curious to see how this rekindled love of geometry will find its way into my other work.  Right now, I’m blissfully happy playing with planes, the byproduct of perspective lines.

Sketchbook painting: Pattern Blocks From My Childhood, drawn first in pencil, followed by watercolor.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of these blocks.

Morning is a great time to flex the creativity muscles.  The annoying “don’t do it that way” attitude is not yet awake.

Primary Triad Color Scheme

As usual, I over-complicated the basic rules for the Color Scheme Game.  The end result is that I have a fabulous, all-level Painting Game that includes (at the choice of the player) basic elements of art: Line, Shape, Value, Color, Texture and Space.  The game may be played with either cards, dice or both.  Coming from a serious game-playing family, creating a game to be played alone or in groups to learn or overcome barriers in painting is a simple and fun solution.  It is the perfect foundation for the workshops I will offer starting in the spring of this year.

For me, playing a game is a much more pleasurable way to break old habits and explore new territory.

Sketchbook painting: Drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink, followed by washes of watercolor using a limited palette of cadmium Yellow, Scarlet Lake and French Ultramarine Blue.  I added a bit of white acrylic at the end to bring back a white in the paintbrush where I felt it was needed.

To see a sample painting sketch of today’s Secondary Triad Color Scheme visit my Creative Color Blog.

Painting with unmixed hues based only on value has shifted the gears in my brain.

Morning Paintings from Front Porch

I can’t help but think of the Fauve Painters when painting these small examples of using unmixed paint straight from the tubes, no white.  The valuable lesson for me is how strong the little sketches are when transformed to grayscale.

To see closer views of the paintings go to Creative Color, Lesson Two Examples.

Between unpacking boxes to transform what looks like a warehouse back into our home / studio, I painted new color wheels in oil to begin a series of color/value lessons on the CreativeColor Blog.  It will be a few days before they are dry enough to turn upside down onto the scanner.

Trumpet Part, color and gray scale mode

With twelve pages left to go in the red sketchbook with wood pulp paper, I decided to combine my commitment to 100 sketches of trumpet parts with the task of creating examples for the lessons I’ll be presenting on the other blog. The focus of this lesson series is choosing color by value rather than by hue.  The easiest way I know to make the point of how tricky it can be to determine the value of a color is to use a computer to transform a color image into a gray scale mode.  Sometimes the values are what you expect them to be; other times they are drastically different.

trumpet parts, color and gray scale mode

It has been a challenging several weeks.  My studio is almost functional again.  The new furnace is in, thanks to Luke and the hand truck we borrowed from the prop shop.  Tom is connecting the water and gas lines.  We should have heat before the next cold spell.  We’ve not closed yet on my father’s house, but that should happen soon.  I had a fabulous day celebrating a belated birthday with Nicole at our favorite garden center, Terrain, just outside Philadelphia.  I’m heading back to The Grisly Pear in New York City tomorrow night to paint at the Blues Jam.  Life is good.

Drawn first with Roller Pen filled with Black Swan in English Rose Noodler’s Ink, followed by washes of watercolor.  Color sketches scanned and transformed to Gray Scale using Gimp Software.

Maria’s Dad sent photos of his progress.  He is doing a fabulous job on the Butterfly and Coneflower jacket yoke.

Center Butterfly Completed

Two Butterflies Completed

Three Butterflies and one Coneflower completed

Three Butterflies and Three Coneflowers completed

The sky is a bit challenging.  We are discussing a clarification of cloud delineation that will work well with the butterflies and coneflowers.  A gradual transition of light to dark blue is difficult in needlepoint.  Any suggestions for graduation of value and color without cloud patterns?

I’m a week late submitting this painting for last week’s Daily Paintworks Challenge.  Tax prep and life in general kept getting in the way.

Sugar Bowl that was a Tea Pot

The challenge is to paint a white object on a patterned cloth using only primary and secondary colors plus white (red, yellow, blue, orange, green purple).  The spout of the tea pot was giving me a great deal of trouble.  Finally, I decided to eliminate it and, along with the spout, I eliminated the handle, turning it into a sugar bowl.

To my surprise, photographing the painting was almost as challenging as painting it.  The colors were totally off regardless of what lighting I used.  The digital camera would not read the yellows in the painting.  The best result came from taking the painting onto the front porch this morning.  It is cloudy and…… of course …… snowing again in spite of the 70 degree weather on Friday.

If you would like to view more of the challenge entries visit The Color of White Challenge.

Thank you for viewing my work and reading my blog.

Painting:  5″ x 5″ oil on wood panel.

Link to Etsy store for purchase.

Inspired by the Carol Marine’s ten minute challenge I tried it again with my Valentine’s Day chocolates.

Three Twenty Minute Studies

The timer went off at ten minutes.  I spent another five to ten minutes on each of the 5″ x 5″ studies.

With far more to learn about painting metallic wrap over chocolate spheres I started another, larger (9″x 9″) painting.  My plan was to spend no more than three hours on the painting.  Hah!  Those little gold twists on the ends drove me crazy.

Four Stages of 9" x 9" oil on board

First I sketched in the chocolate using a thin wash of yellow ochre.  Next, I blocked in both candies and the wrapper tails.  The bottom right image shows the progress at the three-hour mark.  I like the simplicity of the tails and the wraps around the balls.

Completed painting of Godiva Chocolate Gems

My goal was to maintain the simplicity while creating a greater illusion of form and a strong sense of light striking the candy.  Simplicity is never easy.

I am a week late in painting last Saturday’s Daily Paintworks Challenge.

Ten-Minute Challenge, Oil on Birch Panels

The challenge is to choose a subject and to paint several 10-minute paintings of the subject.  I chose a game piece and a wooden pattern block from my early childhood.  After an exhausting eighty minutes of painting, only ten-minutes per square I took a break for dinner and then painted another, larger version of the same subject.

One Hour Painting, 10" x 10" oil on wood panel

The ten-minute paintings were done on two, 9″ square wood panels.  The second, one-hour painting, was done on a 10″ square wood panel.

I will definitely repeat this exercise.  I look forward to doing it outdoors as soon as the weather breaks.

I need a break from painting and drawing trees.


Watercolor Brushes and Pepper Grinder


I’m feeling rusty with watercolor.  Jumping back and forth between oil and watercolor is always a challenge, but I feel I come out a bit stronger each time I flex my creative muscles by switching, adjusting and trying something new.  The color is brighter.  I’m happy about that.