Lessons


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.

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Coming up soon!  Both The Color Scheme Game Workshop and the Color Value Workshop is being offered back to back at the National Association for Women Artists in New York City on June 18th and 19th.  Call the N.A.W.A. office to register (212) 675-1616.  Space is limited to eight students.

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue

Since teaching the last workshop at N.A.W.A. I have had several personal breakthroughs with color, experimenting with more neutralized primaries and discovering gorgeous palettes.  I also attended a fabulous workshop with Don Andrews.  Again, I experienced several important breakthroughs regarding maintaining strong color when working with color value.  I’ll be sharing these breakthroughs at the upcoming workshops in New York City.

Herman's Roping Boots

Seashells, Westmoreland State Park, VA

Seashells, Westmoreland State Park, VA

Seashells No.3, Myrtle Beach, SC

Seashells No.3, Myrtle Beach, SC

Blue Crab Belly

Blue Crab Belly

Click here for more info and materials list.  Please Contact me if you have questions.

I’m coming up for air….. just for a moment….

Hat City Kitchen ... Listening to the Blues

Hat City Kitchen … Listening to the Blues

I’ve been happily lost in the world of live music, art exhibits, travel adventures and learning how to make my own online tutorials.

The Bad Hands - 4th Annual Blues Bash

The Bad Hands – 4th Annual Blues Bash

To top it off, it’s getting warmer and I’ll be back to drawing in my garden within weeks!

Happy Spring!

Paintings: drawn first in ink with dip pen followed by watercolor, painted during live performances.

Video: demonstration of creating a color wheel for the color scheme game using raw sienna, cadmium red deep and ultramarine blue as my primaries.

When teaching workshops focused on a variety of watercolor techniques, I present the students with a project that allows for experimentation and encourages a playful, curious attitude.

Abstraction From Traced Objects

Abstraction From Traced Objects

Why don’t I set up a lovely still life for the students to work from?  Because a still life requires drawing skills that many students have not yet acquired.  By the time the students are ready to add paint to their drawings, half the class is over and the students are already discouraged.  The poor results are blamed on watercolor being a difficult medium.

One cannot be either good nor bad at tracing objects.  By placing and tracing objects in a variety of positions on the paper, numerous overlapping shapes are created from which the students can easily extract an abstract design.  Within half an hour the students are still excited about painting and are ready to begin the adventure of playing with watercolor.

On January 14th I will present this exercise on the “Tools and Techniques” blog of my website.  This is just a sneak preview.

Sketchbook Image:  Watercolor  illustrating various watercolor techniques – Wash, glaze, splatter, adding salt, lifting, and wet in wet.

Color Scheme:  Extended Analogous with one complement

Last night while making cookie dough I created the samples for Exercise No. 1 on my website blog. Check it out!

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

Eggs in Cardboard Carton

The goal is to draw, draw, draw, without concern about the drawing being masterful.  This exercise will strengthen eye/hand coordination.  The foundation of a strong painting is strong drawing skills whether the work is realistic or abstract.

Sketchbook Drawing: Eggs in Cardboard Carton – drawn in three minutes with a fountain pen before breaking the eggs and adding them to the cookie dough batter.

Old York Cellars, En Plein Air Watercolor Painting

Old York Cellars, En Plein Air Watercolor Painting

My new website is now up and running ….. and along with it, a new blog that will focus on tools and techniques for both drawing and painting as well as weekly color exercises.

I will continue to post on this blog, with less frequency.  The feedback I receive from all of you who follow this blog inspires me to continue my journey deeper into the world of color and to create even better Color Workshops.  Thank you!

Please visit the website at ChrisCarterArt.com and let me know how you like it.  If you wish to sign up for the Website Blog on Tools and Techniques click on the ‘Blog” link at the top of the page and subscribe.  Please let me know if this is an easy process for you…. or not.

Painting:  Old York Cellars – En Plein Air Watercolor Painting.  I had forgotten about this little gem that I found when going through folders for image files to upload to the new galleries.

My favorite toy was a spinning top like the one pictured below.  Eventually, from too much use, I bent the rotating helical screw blade that turned the gears and caused the three discs to turn.

Spinning Top

When my daughters were born, I hunted everywhere to find such a top and could only find tops with four discs, not three.  They didn’t work to create the illusions of the secondary colors radiating out from the center as the top spun.  Fourteen years later I finally found the top in a specialty toy store and bought all that they had.

While glancing about to find what the subject of my next ‘Family Treasures’ drawing would be, I saw the spinning top.  In an instant I realized that I have learned a great deal over the past year having played The Color Scheme Game every morning of every day. I had always wondered why the orange, green and purple that appeared on the spinning top were so muted.  As I glanced at the yellow, blue and red on each of the discs I heard myself laughing aloud.  Hah!  Mystery solved!

What a joy it is to arrive at a point where the study, the exploration, the experimentation …. results in assimilated understanding and knowledge.  Try it….. you’ll like it …..

I thought my iphone would be able to capture the radiating secondary color mixes.  It did, but barely. I should have turned my phone in the other direction.  At least I learned how to upload a video to YouTube.  Link to Spinning Top Video.

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