Studio News for May 2024

Studio News for May 2024

Time for the studio news for May 2024. Let’s get right to it.

Studio News for May 2024

Special News

CP Magic! News
CP Magic June 2024

The June issue published June 1 and is a superb issue.

It’s also a special issue dedicated to landscape art.

Susan Wattles is the featured artist and her landscapes are superb. She uses some special techniques, which she describes in the interview and demonstrates in the tutorial.

All the articles have something to do with landscape art from taking pictures to choosing subjects. Whether you currently draw landscapes or not, this is a great and very informative issue.

Current Works in Progress

I didn’t get much drawing time in for May. At least, not on finished pieces. My goal for the month was 23 hours and despite my lack of work, I ended up with a little over 24 hours. That surprised me.

Most of my drawing time was spent on October in the Flint Hills. I made some progress, as you can see here, but not as much as I was hoping to.

OCTOBER IN THE FLINT HILLS, 7 x 9 on Pastelmat White

The drawing has stalled now that the sky is mostly done and I’ve started on the landscape. This sky is much better than the first one, but the landscape is once again befuddling me.

Color Swatches and Sketching

So if I didn’t get much work done on finishing pieces, what did I do?

Lot’s of color swatching and even more sketching. Why sketching?

I recently finished reading a series of novels by Bruce Hammack. The lead character is a former highway patrolman and sheriff, who now holds a private investigator’s license. But

I had a couple of art-related epiphanies while reading these novels.

The first realization is that I haven’t defined a center of interest for October in the Flint Hills, and that I’m trying to put everything in the photograph into the drawing. How many times have I told readers and students that the first rule of any drawing is a strong center of interest, and that the second rule is leaving out everything that doesn’t support the center of interest?

The second realization comes directly from the books. The lead character is a landscape artist, and he always prefaced painting with sketching. When he found a scene that spoke to him, he sketched it from several different angles. I’m assuming he also moved things around, left some things out and emphasized other things.

I decided to give that a try. I set the colored pencil work aside, and concentrated on sketching the scene. I’m moving things around, leaving some things out, and emphasizing other things in graphite. Hopefully, this work will lead me to a composition that has a strong center of interest and that still conveys the sense of place in the scene I want to draw.

A Larger Format Landscape

I did do something that may be more optimistic than realistic. I got out my large clip drawing board and mounted a full sheet of white Pastelmat to it. Why, you ask? Because I have in mind an idea to do a large landscape in colored pencil, and doing this makes me feel like I’ve done something toward that.

No, there are no marks on the paper, yet. I haven’t even chosen a subject.

But I’m hopeful!

Looking to the Future

ACEO Group

I’m not sure what to make of this, but after all the excitement about an ACEO group on this blog, the announcement of the new ACEO email group has fallen totally flat. No one has joined that group since I launched the group in April.

Has the fervor for an ACEO group fallen flat, or were my links not working? I have no way of knowing.

So I’m making a second announcement of the Colored Pencil ACEOs with Carrie group. Do you want to be a part of it? Join the group here. Even if you already subscribe to the newsletter or any of my other lists, if you want the latest news on this new group, I encourage you to sign up today. That’s where future announcements will be made and conversations will be conducted.

And if no one signs up, well then I’ll consider the project on hold for a while.

That’s the Studio News for May 2024

It’s been a quiet month in the studio for me. I hope your month has been more productive than mine!

Sign up for Carrie’s free weekly newsletter and be among the first to know when she publishes new articles.


  1. Hi Carrie,

    In regards to the ACEO topic, I signed up immediately. I’m sure that there must have been others as the interest mentioned in your
    comments section awhile back seemed to indicate that. I’m wondering if it is or was a “link” issue as you mentioned above?
    I signed up once again in this week’s Studio News, so let’s see what happens.

    I sure hope that the information from the other interested parties gets through to you as I’m sure that they are as excited about
    diving into an ACEO project as I am, soon. I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully others will take the time to resubmit their names to the project.

    Also, I like the progress that you are making on your recent undertaking. It looks great!
    With the nicer weather upon us, I think that a lot of us are spending more time outdoors and is reason for our lack of “artistic output” during these times. For what it’s worth, I too have been simply doing some color swatching with some new Derwent and Staedtler pencils that I have recently purchased. It’s about all I can afford to focus on presently with all of the outdoor chores that need attending to.

    1. Kim,

      Thank you for the encouragement.

      There is, indeed, a problem with the form. Nearly 70 people have signed up, but have not been added to the official group. So I’m trouble shooting today.

      Thank you also for the encouragement on the drawing. I have worked on it twice this week, but not made much progress. I know part of the problem is a mild depression, but I have reason to believe that was medication related, since I’m feeling a little more upbeat without the medication.

  2. Gail Jones

    Hi Carrie, I have tried to sign up each time for the ACEO project and I think the link hasn’t worked and I either was not aware that it wasn’t working, or I let you know at the time. But I do think there was a lot going on at the time it first came out. Easy for stuff to fall between the cracks. The link is not working now. It says “invalid link” when you click on it. So people may be struggling to figure out how to let you know their interest.

  3. Gail Jones

    Another comment here. Without knowing that you did not have a point of interest, for Flint Hills, I assumed it was going to be your sky. I already love your sky and clouds here! The color and beauty are coming together and I am just already saying WOW! You are one of the best artists I know of when it comes to skies and clouds and storms etc.! In fact, on a separate note I wish you would consider doing some more tutorials, maybe on skies? Would love to see someone like you do a sunset or sunrise tutorial for Ann Kulberg. Hope I haven’t offended or sounded too pushy. You are such a great artist, Carrie.

    1. Gail,

      It’s interesting that you said this. I caught myself wondering recently whether I should focus more on skyscapes than on landscapes. I like the sky, too. So what if I made this a panorama style landscape with just enough land to ground the sky?

      I haven’t done any cutting yet, but hearing you say essentially the same thing has me considering it again.

      As for tutorials…. That’s a thought. I haven’t published a tutorial in years, mostly due to lack of time and motivation. Now you’ve got me thinking….


    I found and corrected the problem with the sign up form for Colored Pencil ACEOs with Carrie. All those who have already signed up are now in the group! Thank you to all of you.

    If you wish to sign up now, I’ve simplified the sign up process somewhat, so it will be easier (and faster) to sign up now.

    Thank you to every one for your interest in this special project. I’ll start sending out emails to group members soon.

  5. Patricia E Wilson

    Interesting article. I always like what you have to say. Also, will look up that author that you mentioned as sounds like my kind of reading. Thanks so much.

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