Daily Life Drawings


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Every now and again I will post this reminder. I no longer post to this blog on a regular basis.  Because there is so much useful information on this Creative Color blog, I am keeping it live on the internet and will link to it on occasion.  I now post to my blog on ExploreWithChrisCarter.com where you will find fabulous online courses, free videos and a plethora of great information about watercolor techniques, travel sketching, living a creative life and seeing the world as an artist.

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To view my art, visit ChrisCarterArt.com.

Poster Pull Puddle Two Backgound

Recently, I’ve added Mini courses to the online options.  These short classes, that also present a project for you to create, are available on both Skillshare and ExploreWithChrisCarter.

Anything specific you would like to know more about? … a technique? … a tool? packing light for travel?  Please let me know.

Happy sketching, drawing and painting!

Chris Carter

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As you have noticed, I’m not posting very often on this blog anymore.  My schedule and my focus have shifted.  I’m spending more time traveling, teaching and painting in the studio.

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Please remember that most of my blog posting will be done on my website blog rather than here or on my Third Time Around Blog.  Please subscribe to the website blog and/or the monthly newsletter if you want to continue to follow my adventures and musings.  Link to Website Blog …… Thanks!

Image: Dip Pens in Goya Tin, drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor washes, Color Scheme- Analogous with Split Complements.

A new way to explore when traveling…. or even at home…. Nine Squared Walk’n’Draw!

The results of the Walk'N'Draw

The results of the Walk’N’Draw

It was time for me to make up a new game to play.  I’m now working on Design and Temperature.  In Susan Abbott’s workshop earlier this year, she emphasized the order of priorities when painting….. First comes Shapes, then Values, then Temperature and lastly, Color.  With that in mind, I used the concept of my video “Twenty Steps” to create the new game I’ve titled Nine Squared.

Basic Materials to walk with

Basic Materials to walk with

Before the walk, I drew a grid of nine rectangles on nine sheets of watercolor paper.  All I needed to bring with me were the sheets of paper, a mechanical pencil, a waterbrush, a mini Altoid tin with warm and cool pigment (I only needed two pans, not all three that are shown above) and my leather folder that I use as an easy-to-hold drawing surface that doubles as a folder to carry the paper.

Pencil sketch not shown

Pencil sketch not shown

I begin the walk, taking Nine times Nine steps in any direction (Eighty one steps).  I stop, choose a composition, snap a photo and start my timer for nine minutes.  In those nine minutes I determine my shapes and repeat them in two more rectangles.  I leave one as the pencil drawing, paint the second as a value sketch in browns and the third as a temperature sketch in warm and cool pigment.

Like any of my games, I allow myself to break the rules on a regular basis.  I do not stop in the middle of a busy street just because I’ve reach step number eighty-one.  If there is a nice place to sit in the shade and I reach it at step seventy-three, I stop and sit down.  If I need twelve more steps to get to a nice shady spot, I take those extra steps.  The rules are simply a guide to force me to be more observant of every spot I pass through and to determine warms and cools to create stronger design.

Images:  small en plein air watercolor sketches in Mountain View, California

Lately I have been heading straight to the studio to work on my Orb and Energy paintings.  Occasionally, I took a break and sketched a few culinary herbs.  This morning, I felt the need to sketch from my bed while sipping coffee and to throw the die for a color scheme.  Being so distracted lately, my dresser has accumulated an odd collection of objects.

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Cluttered Dresser (4.25″ x 6.25″)

…. a bottle of lavender lotion to help me sleep at night, a small vial of patchouli oil, eye drops, ear buds, an insect repellent wristband ( works quite well!), a light bulb and a thin tape measure…..

This is where my painting energy has been going lately…..

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9 (21″ x 14″)

And….. not that I need to be involved with another blog! Oh no!…. I’m trying to cut back on my blog time…. But, I can’t resist the invitation from an old and dear friend to put our minds together to create a blog that explores both the working of the brain and the mysteries of the Universe.  I have wanted to tap into the world of artists who love science and this is the first step to finding that community!   Of course…. I will be posting many of my orb paintings on the new blog.  I’ll keep you posted.

Cluttered Dresser: drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor. Analogous with split complemens color scheme.

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9: Watercolor, layered and layered and layer even more… thrown, splattered, blown, etc.

The cicada I sketched didn’t last too long after I returned it to the wild.  The next day I found its wings in the driveway.

cicada-wings-ink-watercolor-drawing-chris-carter-artist-060713-webThe cicadae mating song can reach over 100 decibels, the loudest song known in the insect world.  “The adult male cicada possesses two ribbed membranes called tymbals, one on each side of its first abdominal segment. By contracting the tymbal muscle, the cicada buckles the membrane inward, producing a loud click. As the membrane snaps back, it clicks again. The two tymbals click alternately.”

Here is the ink drawing shown in the last post …. now painted using an analogous with one complement color scheme.

17 year cicada

17 year cicada

Finally, after far too long, I am offering online critiques and private lessons….. visit my website for information and sign up.

I hope, within the next month, I will be able to offer The Color Workshop as an online option.

Thanks for your patience.

Images:  Drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

One never knows how much time is left to paint those paintings and mix those fabulous colors.  Today is a good day to do as much as one can. Cicadas have six weeks if they’re lucky.  The newborn bird that fell from its nest didn’t have nearly that long.

17 year cicada - ink drawing

17 year cicada – ink drawing

Excerpt from today’s post on my website blog: (Please remember that I post more often on my website blog than I do on this blog….. more time for painting and drawing!)

A cool breeze tempted me out onto the front porch with my cup of coffee, a perfect way to start the day.  Beside a pot of Oxalis a seventeen year cicada lay on its back, the first I have seen on our property this year……. read more.

sketchbook drawing: 17 year cicada drawn first in ink with fountain pen….. to be followed later with watercolor.

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Joanie caught my fever for painting outdoors as well as my attraction to the infinite variety of shapes that pipes and faucets draw upon the landscape. She suggested we paint the faucet outside her laundry room.
I drew it on site and painted it when I returned to Mountain View. I used an analogous color scheme with slit complements indicated by the color scheme game.
Drawn first with ink followed by watercolor.

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