How My Disabilities Helped Me Become a Professional Colored Pencil Artist

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 2 Comments

by Rosalind Batty

Colored pencil artwork by Rosalind Batty - Butterfly and flowers drawing in colored pencil.

The Beauty in Nature, 11.7" x 8.3"
I have a passion for butterflies and lavender.

I've always enjoyed art. From being young I could be found with a pencil and paper in my hand. I always wanted to create photo-realistic drawings, and spend many hours practicing my techniques.

I enjoyed lots of different crafts including card making, stamping, pottery, crochet, sewing and drawing, but as I got older, life got in the way. I met my husband and we decided to start a family. I had my first daughter in 2004, and that's where the problems started.

I suffered with a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, which made my pelvis unstable and caused unimaginable pain. Unfortunately it didn't just stop there. During my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies it developed into a Spontaneous Symphysiotomy, which is basically where the pelvis splits into 2. When it fused back together, my pelvis ended up twisted, which caused a whole heap of problems for the pelvis, hips and back.

My body decided it didn't want to work anymore, and basically broke down from that point. I sunk into a very dark hole that was depression, and couldn't see a purpose to my life anymore, I'd had to give up everything that I loved, and couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

I had good days, when I could actually get out of bed, but wasn't fit to do anything other than curl up in the chair, and bad days, where getting out of bed wasn't an option. Life seemed very bleak.

The Gathering of Crops, 18" x 13"
This piece reminds me of home.

One day I realized that I needed to do something, anything, to take back some control, and I got my sketch pad and pencils out and started to draw again. I could draw in bed on my bad days, or at the table when I felt well enough to get up. It was something I could pick up and put down when I needed to, without ruining it.

Slowly I regained some of my spirit, and realized that I did still have a purpose. I knew it was going to be a battle to get back to my former self, but knowing that I had art in my life, knew that I could do it.

I practiced every day, working on my techniques, and started to show my friends my work. They asked me if I worked in color and I didn't at that point because I didn't think I could achieve realistic work with them, but thought I would give them a try, and see how they worked.

I bought a cheap student set first, and got some nice results with them, but was surprised at how realistic my work looked. I realized that if I wanted to achieve great things, I needed to invest in some professional pencils, and started to research different brands of pencils.

One brand that really stood out for me was Faber Castell Polychromos, and I decided that they were the ones for me. I bought the set of 60 and went from there. I was amazed at the quality of them, and that in itself gave me the confidence to strive to achieve amazing things with them. My work went from strength to strength, and I felt that I would reach my dream of becoming a professional artist.

I worked hard and gained more confidence with every piece that I completed. I started entering them into different showcases, and also into magazine gallery submissions and was amazed that my work was actually being chosen.

Grapes on a Vine, 16" x 12"
This piece was inspired by the vineyards in France.

I have now been published in several coloured pencil magazines, and have also had my work chosen to be published in an upcoming coloured pencil book, which I am over the moon about.

I still have a long way to go until I am happy with my work, and I am my own worst enemy when it comes to critiquing my work, but I am happy with my progress and know that I have the determination to progress. I have started my own drawing group to help other artists improve their own drawing techniques and also make my own YouTube videos showing in real time how to create different techniques using colored pencils. I also accept commissions for drawings and have a large following all over the world

I suffer with 13 different chronic illnesses and am on a cocktail of different medications, just to help me get out of bed in the morning, but one thing that helps me focus is knowing that I can create beautiful artwork with colored pencils, and that I am helping other achieve their dreams of becoming artists too.

If I could give anyone suffering with a chronic illness one piece of advice, it would be to never give up on your dreams. You might have to adapt them slightly, but you can still achieve them.


About Rosalind

Rosalind has always been passionate about art, but decided to become serious about it just over 2 years, when Chronic Illness changed her life beyond recognition. She's now a published artist and teaches other people how to draw and improve their drawing techniques.

See more from Rosalind on her Facebook page:




The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - October 2017

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 2 Comments

October 2017 Featured Artists. Corresponding with the art gallery that is featured each month in Ann Kullberg's COLOR MagazineThe Pencil Box blog series will give artists a bit more space to share insight and inspiration about their colored pencil art. Make sure to check out links at the bottom of this post for our Facebook group partners - join in the fun and your artwork could be featured, too!

Quiet Reflections by Tess Lee Miller
8" x 12"
Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Pablos and Luminance, Prismacolor White and PanPastels on Fabriano HP watercolor paper 140lb.
Reference photo used with permission.

The subject, Tom Bailey, and I met in 1962 in Lamesa, Texas. He was a member of my Dad's congregation. Tom and an older brother of mine, Landre, became best friends. Even though my family moved away a year or so later, Tom never forgot Landre or our family. In 2010, I posted an announcement on Facebook of Landre passing away. Tom saw that post and reached out to me, reminding me of his and Landre's friendship from 1962.

We became friends and began exchanging stories and photographs. Tom posted the picture I used for "Quiet Reflections" as his profile picture in 2015. I immediately fell in love with it and asked his permission to do a portrait using his photo. It took me 2 years, but I finally completed it. In the first juried show I entered it into, it was awarded first place. What a great way, I thought, to thank a man who never forgot a young family who had influenced his young life in a positive way.

Thank you, Tom for allowing me to use your photograph. This will always be one of my favorite pieces, bringing to mind wonderful memories from so long ago.

About Tess

While Tess has created in various genres over the years, her first love has always been the art of portraiture. Prismacolor Premiums were her first choice of colored pencils but a few years ago she added the Faber Castell and Caran d’Ache brands using HP watercolor paper.

See more at:

Apple Blossom by Jennifer Lane
11" x 14"
Polychromos, Prismacolors, and Luminance Colored Pencils on Uart 500 paper.

This was my first piece on Uart sanded paper. Also this is the biggest piece so far. God blessed me with this talent and I have to share it with the world.

About Jennifer

Jennifer Lane of Memory Lane Fine Art has only been drawing for 3 years. Jennifer is a moderator on Colored Pencil Tips and Resources.

See more at:


The Mighty Hunter by Jo Goudie
10" x 8"
Polychromos on Pastelmat.

I have a cat who visits, he isn't mine but he seems to consider me as his. I must provide the required comfy seating place and whatever attention is demanded and in return I get the odd vole or shrew. He is a mighty hunter often catching baby rabbits and the odd bird and his gaze as he looks for his prey is what attracted me to do this portrait. I have many photos of his magnificence to work from as he loves to pose. He has become my muse.

About Jo

Since 2005 Jo Goudie has created animal and wildlife art working exclusively in coloured pencil. As a Gold Signature member of the UKCPS her work has been on show in galleries throughout the UK. She has also appeared in the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art.

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Anhinga - Love Knot by John Guiseppi
13" x 17"
Colored pencil on Fabriano Artistico 140# HP paper.

The Anhinga is not like most water birds, their feathers contain no oil.., as so making them not waterproof. After a dive, chasing fish and a snack, they will perch on rocks, stumps, trees and posts while drying their wings before flight. While doing this, they tend to move their heads and necks like a contortionists side to side, tucked under their wings, head and neck extended over their shoulders.., crazy looking movements for sure. It is said, "If the chat is a clown, the Anhinga would make its fortune as a contortionist." I happened upon this beautiful male one day recently, while out gathering photos for reference material at Circle B Bar Reserve, a nature preserve near my home in Central Florida. This particular pose reminded me of the Celtic love knot, that you may see in jewelry and rings, thus the title.
About John

John Guiseppi is an artist specializing in colored pencil. He's also a wildlife/nature photographer. Recently retired after 27 years in the electric power generation industry, John is able to spend more time on his art and photography work. He is married and has two adult children and two fur kids.

See more at:


These artworks were published in the October 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.


Posted in The Pencil Box

October 2017 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

The three artists featured in the October 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these interesting animal subjects.

by Ingrid Volland
20" x 20"
Image used with permission from dog owner
Castell Polychromos on Fabriano Artistico HP 300 grs

Julia was a commission I did in 2015. This dog had a rough start in life, but was finally adopted by a lovely lady in the Netherlands, where I met her. A happy ending to a sad story. Julia's eyes tell her story. I hope I did Julia justice by drawing her this way.

About Ingrid

Ingrid Volland is a dog portrait artist, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Early in her career she chose colored pencil as her means of expression because of the multitude of colors available, so right for the drawing of fur. Her love for dogs made it easy to decide what to draw.

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I've Got My Eye on You
by Isobel Buckley
12" x 8"
Prismacolor pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.
Own Reference Photo

I have a particular passion for big cats and I love visiting the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in the UK. It is an amazing place with a whole variety of big cats, and I have been lucky enough to go on several guided tours that allow you to get up close to these magnificent animals. It is an experience I will never forget. This piece is based on observations and photos I took during my last visit. I was particularly drawn to this lion because of the expression on his face. I decided to do a close up to really capture his soulful look and create a striking visual impact through attention to detail and color intensity. I like to breathe life into my work to draw in the observer to become part of the story. This piece was one of several that I exhibited as part of the Exhibition of Wildlife Art 2017.

About Isobel

Isobel is a UK realistic wildlife and pet portrait artist with a passion for colored pencils. She has a fine arts degree and is a qualified teacher. She enjoys exhibiting her work, has won several competitions and was a finalist in the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2015.

See more at


Mr. Hare No. 2
by Onnie Burford-Roe
11" x 8.5"
Polychromos and Prismacolor
Image used with permission

I have lived in the Devon countryside for most of my 71 years, and in all that time I had never caught a glimpse of a hare. So when I eventually saw one for the first time one day last year in a hay field near my home, I was completely mesmerized. My two Springer Spaniels must have been mesmerized too, as they didn't even attempt to chase him when he darted off across the field between the hay bales!

From that day I knew I just had to start drawing these fascinating and mystical creatures. It's such a pleasure and very refreshing for me to draw something so different in between my normal artwork of pet portrait commissions.

This is Mr. Hare No.2, and he definitely won't be my last hare drawing - I'm hooked!

About Onnie:

Onnie has been doing pencil drawings of all sorts of animals since she was a child, but now specializes in colored pencil pet portraits. She lives in the village of Stoke Gabriel in Devon, UK with her husband, two dotty Springer Spaniels and five chickens!

See more at


These artworks were published in the October 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the 40 page digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

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Back in High School at 43

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Bleuie Acosta | 8 Comments

One of my fondest memories of high school was staring out the classroom window and drawing the things I saw outside. Our room was on the third floor and we had a good view of the distant mountain as well as the urban scenery nearby. Of course, I occasionally got reprimanded whenever I’m caught drawing during class hours. What can I do? I have a very short attention span! Can’t focus in class unless my hands are doing something else. I have very good grades though, even if most the time my mind is wandering off to a different world during classes (grin).

(above) Lapis na Makulay CP art workshop. September 9, 2017.

Fast forward and now more than two decades later, I’m back at my old high school but not as student, this time around I’ll be a teacher for a day. I was invited by the alumni president and former classmate, Mr. Jeffrey Copiaco, to conduct a colored pencil workshop in our beloved school, Roosevelt College Cainta (high school department). We talked about this when he attended my workshop last year and thus, Lapis na Makulay CP art workshop was conceived and planned.

The place has changed a lot and I almost lost my way in the corridors but, eventually, I was able to figure out where the library is—right where it was before. This is where the workshop will be held. The library used to be my favorite hangout. There was no internet back then, I used to scour books from shelf to shelf. No, I’m not doing any class related research, I frequent the library because I like to feed my mind with all sorts of infromation about arts, science, history, and anything that caught my fancy. There’s a time when I’m so obsessed with scientist and philosphers that I spent much time in the library reading about them and drawing their portraits. I have a sketchpad full of them! Well, those were the days, now back to the workshop.

Mary Claire and Hazel during the sphere drawing activity.

More than 30 students from grades 7 to 12 attended and were very eager to learn the art of colored pencil. I started off by teaching them how to draw a sphere, the students were fascinated how light and shadows can give three dimensional from to a two dimensional shape. After that I guided them into a simple drawing project so that they can apply the basic lessons they’ve learned. I must say that I am very pleased with how well the students fared, some of them even exceeded my expectations and have a promising future ahead of them. Well done kids and keep up the good work!

It’s not easy to handle a large class, good thing I had with me three of my advanced students from my previous workshops; Jovie Salvacion, Jerald Biglang-Awa, and Jovile Canlas. I brought them along not only to assist but also to train them how to conduct a colored pencil workshop hoping someday they will be able to help spread the art of colored pencil here in the Philippines. They did pretty well, had a good rapport with the students and assisted those who needed help during the activities.

Jean Claroniño, a promising young artist.

It was an exhausting but very enjoyable day. It’s nice to see familiar places and faces, reminisce about the days, and get a chance to share my passion to young budding artists. My gratitude to the RCC alumni officers and volunteers who facilitated the event and also to Mrs. Edelisa Sapo. Our hearts our glad with your all out support and our tummies filled with the great food you shared with us. Thank you!

About Bleuie:

Bleuie Acosta is the Managing Editor of Ann Kullberg’s COLOR magazine. He has a great passion for colored pencil and a fervent desire to help budding artists. He conduct CP workshops in the Philippines keeping in line with Ann’s tag line, “We Teach. We Inspire. You Shine.”

Colored Pencil Art Winning Recognition in New England

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

by Deborah Friedman

Two awards in eight days? It’s always wonderful to exhibit one’s artwork and get public exposure and feedback, and this past June my proverbial cup runneth over. I’m an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, but that doesn’t guarantee acceptance into their shows. After not getting in last year, I almost didn’t enter this year. I’m so glad I did. Not only was my piece, Angle of Repose, accepted into the 106th Annual Juried Exhibition, it was awarded Second Place (right after Best In Show)! There were two jurors for the show and awards selection. One of them, Emilia Dubicki, commented about Angle of Repose.

"A square surrounding a circle with circles, ovals and the curve of the jawbone within make for a meticulous composition with a beautiful palette. The use of colored pencils to execute this drawing adds to its subtle but strong quality: hard objects being rendered with a soft medium."

I always appreciate getting feedback about my work, but this is the first time, for me, that the colored pencil medium was singled out as an enhancement to the image. It’s also interesting to hear how other artists interpret my work. 

This show is a very competitive one, accepting all mediums including Sculpture, Photography, Printmaking, Acrylics, Oils, Graphics and Watercolors. (Best in Show was a somewhat abstract watercolor). It takes place at the Mystic Museum of Art in Mystic, Connecticut. I encourage more colored pencil artists to enter next year. They are always looking for new artists to enter, and as I mentioned above, you can’t get in if you don’t enter.

Heartline, another more recent drawing I’ve done, was accepted into the Attleboro Arts Museum’s National Juried Show, LINE. Their exhibitions are so interesting, as there are so many ways to interpret “line.” I had work accepted into their exhibition, a piece titled Out of the Blue, several years ago. I hope you can imagine how varied the pieces of art can be. Again, many media were on display in this year’s show. There were over 1,000 entries from 23 states in the US, and 100 pieces were selected for exhibition. The juror, Kelly Bennett, of the Artists Fellowships Program Office for the Massachusetts Arts Cultural Council, then awarded six Juror’s awards. It was an honor to be among the six artists selected for awards.

Their annual juried exhibition next year has the theme “Three.” I hope more artists will think about entering. There are so many ways to interpret that concept. I know I already have two entries that fit the bill! 

Sometimes I tire of all the work involved in entering shows; seeing that my artwork meets the specified requirements, getting it there and back safely, the expense, and other details. But it’s gratifying to be included on display with artists and especially to have colored pencil works get out there with all the other media. Someone new might really connect with your work, and perhaps you’ll get an award! Let’s get more colored pencil art into shows and help solidify its status.


Deborah transitioned to Colored Pencil as a medium when her children were young. She has a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and has worked in graphite, pastel, oils and acrylics. Deborah has exhibited and published nationally and internationally. For more information please visit:

Artists Helping Artists

Posted on September 08, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

Sunil Joshi recently shared with me a new sketch he completed with Caran D'ache graphite pencils. Before he began, he enlisted the help of world renowned graphite artist Tanja Gant for advice on the grades of pencils needed and what type of sharpener would be best.

Tanja, originally from Bosnia, was able to help Sunil, who lives in Bangalor, India with a little help from the power of social media. Pretty amazing, huh? Artists helping each other all over the world and creating amazing things together. What helps one CP artist helps all CP artists!

Here's Sunil's finished work. Below is also an excerpt written by Sunil that shares a bit of the story behind this image. 

A view from the balcony
Size: 42 cm x 30 cm
Pencils used: Caren D'ache HB, B3, B7 

"He would stand there for hours looking below at the road or at the buildings opposite. His posture too would always be the same - leaning forward balancing upper body on both elbows which would be rested on the railings, alternating body weight from one leg to the other. After reaching home from the office, he would quickly change into a half-sleeved vest and cotton shorts, have his tea and go to his favourite place, the balcony.

He was in normal health till 2007. The photo which I used as a reference for this sketch was captured, without his knowledge, on December 3rd, 2007 when he was standing at the balcony, looking at the building opposite and speaking to me. He never saw the photo and this sketch too he will never be seeing."

Read more on Facebook here.


September 2017 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 0 Comments

The three artists featured in the September 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine  Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these interesting subjects.

by Natell Ann Webb
14" x 9.5"
Own photo reference
Derwent Artist, Polychromos, Prismacolor & Signo Gel Pen on 110gsm Cartridge

This piece has a has very special place in my heart. Sadie was a much loved family member for nearly 14 years. Gentle natured, loving, and a great soccer player, she loved life and lived it to the full. The reference picture was taken just a a couple of weeks prior to her passing. She was such a beautiful soul and I think this picture captures that perfectly.

About Natell

An Illustrator and Graphic Designer by trade, Natell worked in Advertising and Television for over 15 years. After taking a break from Advertising to raise her family, Natell continued to paint and sew in her spare time, but has only recently returned to her love of illustration and colored pencils.

See more at


Nature's Child
by Barbara Dahlstedt
13” x 8”
Prismacolor and Neocolor II, on Fawn Stonehenge.
Own Reference Photos

The interesting thing about this portrait is that I created it from two different photos. I took a picture of a young lady at the Renaissance Festival during Spring Break. I loved her costume and pose, but her face wasn't quite what I was looking for. So, just before school ended this year, I took a photo of one of my students in the very same pose. It was the perfect fit! Although my Photoshop skills could be better, I was able to cut and paste the images together to make it work.This piece is my donation for the Colored Pencil Society of America's Art Auction at the 2017 convention in Rockville, Maryland.

About Barbara

Barbara Dahlstedt has been a high school art teacher in Glendale, Arizona, for 25 years. She joined the Colored Pencil Society of America five years ago and is currently co-president of the Phoenix Chapter of the CPSA.

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by Nirupama Nathan
6” x 9.25”
Caran d'Ache Luminance on Canson Ingres
Copyright free, Creative Commons, or Public Domain

The objects portrayed in Ethereal make a perfect blend of art, culture and heritage in terms of meditative thoughts, peace and imagery in the daily routine of an average Indian.

This ordinary portraiture of common things at home combined to offer an atmosphere, at once, of something surreal and divine. The very theme provided an extreme challenge to my desire to put across an aura of the present, past and the future. The items included in the artwork, namely the incense, the smoke, the ornate metal pots virtually represent Prayer in an Indian household at stipulated times of the day. These are representative of metaphysics that guide and govern India’s religious or mythical beliefs on a mass basis.

Ethereal also presented a wonderful opportunity to work on new elements and the nuances of shade and colour. From rendering shine to the hard surfaces on the pots to the rising of soft smoke from a burning incense, this piece brought together a combination of diametrically opposite states of matter.

About Nirupama

Nirupama is a scientist-turned-artist from Mumbai, India. Her artworks aim to capture beauty, intricacy and emotion and derive inspiration from the world around her. She is a self-taught artist and her works heavily focus on detailed photo-realism, intricate illustrations and human portraits. Her other interests include photography, cooking and teaching.

See more at


These artworks were published in the September 2017 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the 40 page digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

Posted in showcase

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