If it had been an oil painting I would have wiped it off the canvas after the first hour of struggle.  Instead, I continued, searching for the problems and experimenting with solution options.

Trumpet Parts No. 43 - Grasping for resolution

Leaving white paper worked well for the Oxalis Ink and Watercolor sketches.  Leaving the table white did not work well at all for Trumpet Parts No. 43.  I started off with a loose, dip pen sketch of the trumpet parts rather than the more careful contour-like sketch I usually begin with.  The choice of throwing in a window, two walls and a painting on the wall as a background turned out to be another decision that didn’t work.  To top it off, the throw of the second die sealed the fate of the misdirected sketch.  The first throw was a Two (Modified Triad) The second throw gave me a dominant color of Orange.  That left me with Orange plus Red and Yellow ….. all warm colors that fall along the top half of the value scale.

I’ve been using saturated colors when playing the Color Scheme Game, not venturing toward neutrals.  Trumpet Parts No.43 is a great example of the importance of neutrals!  Without them, in this case, there would be no darks at all except for the black ink.  I didn’t mix neutrals until my last attempt to “save” the painting, which obviously, I didn’t do.  What I learned during the four hour struggle was well worth it.  Tomorrow I will reconstruct a variation of this sketch based on what I learned from today’s efforts.  I will hold to the same color scheme and attempt to extend the value scale to include white and the darkest darks while maintaining the scheme of red, orange and yellow.

Sketchbook painting:  drawn first with dip pen and black ink, followed by watercolor and gouache …….. the images shown are the last two variations after many layers of washes, splatters and glazes.

Fortunately, Tom allows my trumpet parts to remain on the table during dinner.  I had moved the trumpet slightly to make room for a platter.  The light was right, the angle perfect, my eye level even with the three empty valve casings.  The trumpet balanced, silhouetted against an illuminated sky.

Trumpet Parts No. 32

Eating dinner was a challenge with such a fabulous abstraction in front of me.  By the time the plates were cleared, the moment was long gone.  This morning I attempted to recreate that moment.  I’ll try again, giving more emphasis to the open valve casings. I want strong contrast between background and trumpet while still indicating form in the darks.  The value scale is critical in the drawing I see in my mind.

Drawing:  Drawn first with fountain pen followed by Ciao Copic Markers.

My tax preparation is complete , I think.  Regardless of my level of organization, important details slip through the cracks.

Trumpet Part posing with Sculpture

The freedom I expected to feel hasn’t made its presence known yet.  Fortunately, I grabbed my sketchbook rather than work on something serious.  After completing this playful sketch of a trumpet part posing with Alexis’ abstract sculpture of a figure I started a more detailed contour drawing / painting of a trumpet part.  The drawing went well enough.  The watercolor washes left a lot to be desired.  Two disasters later, I created a third version by making a collage of the first two.  I’ll post it on Creative Color tomorrow morning. (Link to Post-It’s Only Paper)

Sketchbook Drawing:  Trumpet Parts No. 28, drawn first with ink followed by Ciao Copic Markers.  I kept to a middle range value scale.

I don’t dry dishes.

Dishes in the Drainer

I draw them instead.  The Ciao Copic Markers make it so easy to indicate values quickly to test the strength of the composition.  They are portable and fun.  Combine them with a fountain pen and you can sketch quickly without worrying about drying time … ignore the pun.

Drawn first with a fountain pen filled with a mix of red and black Noodler’s Inks, followed by Copic Markers for value.

Late at night before I drop into bed I enjoy ending the day with a contour drawing.  Ciao Copic Markers are great for quickly adding values to the contour drawing.

Rotary European Style Telephone

This phone has lived beside my bed for the last sixteen years.  It was one of those things I always wanted.  Okay… I’ve had enough of it now.  For the last five years it has been a nuisance and I am now done with it.

Drawing: Drawn first with Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen filled with a mix of green and black inks, followed by Ciao Copic Markers

The withered buddleia bush presents a stark silhouette against a background of snow.

Winter Withered Buddleia Bush

I hadn’t noticed the delicate, twisted shapes of the buddleia bush outside my window when the background was the grass of the backyard.  After the snowfall, the grass hid beneath a thin blanket of snow, turning the background from a middle value neutralized green into a light value, white backdrop for the dark value, dried blossoms and withered leaves.

Sketch: drawn first with fountain pen filled with a mix of red and black ink, followed by watercolor.

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.