August 10, 2014 – One more sketchbook can be placed on the Completed Sketchbook Shelf. The sketchbook was made for me by a dear friend in March of 1991. It took five months before I dared to make a mark in such a treasured gift. It has only thirty-two pages, yet it took me twenty-three years to fill those pages. Fortunately, I finally realize that this today, and each and every today, is the perfect day to use special things: special paper, brush, pen, sketchbook, ink and paint. Today is the perfect day to eat the expensive dark chocolate, to drink the special bottle of wine, to nourish my skin with the costly lotion and to cut a bouquet of the most glorious blooms in the garden. Growing up, the good china remained hidden away in a cupboard except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would have loved to eat on that china more often.
As I scanned the last two paintings in the sketchbook, I accidentally scanned them as grayscale rather than color. Accidents usually happen at just the right time. The scans illustrate how color can be tricky when it comes to creating strong, compositional shapes when viewed from a distance. The second painting, Zinnias, appears to be stronger due to its bolder, brighter colors. However, it is the weaker painting. The negative shapes, leaf shapes and petal shapes are all basically the same value even though the hue are dramatically different. All of the shapes merge into one larger shape. The value range is extremely limited, flattening any illusion of space that might have been created by a greater range of value. Extra Zinnia Seedlings in an Enamel Basin has very little full-intensity color. The colors are strong, but slightly neutralized. The strength of this painting is the extended range of values (Five distinct Values). The eye moves through the painting, experiencing each of the unique shapes as it explores the space. Another important observation is that the lighter value shapes alternate with the darker value shapes creating rhythm and movement. Though there are observable value differences in the shapes in Zinnias, there’s not enough difference in value between adjacent shapes to prevent the flattening of spacial depth.
I have wanted to include more about Color Value in the Color Workshop. The current Color Workshop is either 2 1/2 days or 3 days. It needs to be one day longer so that an entire day can be dedicated to Color Value, determining the value of hues at full saturation. The other possibility is to create either a one-day or a two-day separate workshop just for Color Value. I would like feedback to determine whether to lengthen the current workshop or to create a separate Color Value workshop. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
I think I’ll eat a few of the delicious fresh figs in my fridge. They might be spoiled by tomorrow. Right now, they are divinely delicious!
Sketchbook en plein air drawings: drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor.