April 2024 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

April 2024 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the April 2024 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog. 


The Royals by Karen O'Neill-Brown
12 x 5.5 inches
Polychromos, Luminance, Pablo colored pencils on Pastelmat. Photo from Adobe Stock.

The majesty of these beautiful cats drew me (forgive the pun) to this picture, and I had to add them to my collection of big cats. The lioness sits beside her mate with dignity and pride, while her handsome partner wears an almost smug expression. And why wouldn't he look so pleased with himself? After all, he is in his prime, has his girl, and all is right in his world. Or is it? .

We may think of lions as being safe in their environment, but they are, in fact, on the vulnerable list. This begs the question: How long might it be before they are on the critically endangered list? Or even extinct?

It is too easy to take for granted these wonderful animals, as well as every other creature with whom we share our planet. But despite the strength and power these beasts represent, without our help, they may one day be little more than folktales, like the dodo and the Tasmanian tiger. We have to protect them and ensure they don’t just end up being pretty pictures on a wall or stuffed exhibits in a museum. I hope, with my work, to maintain awareness of the fragility of life on our planet and our obligation towards the creatures living on it.

About Karen O’Neill-Brown:

Karen is an animal artist from the UK. She initially worked in ink and stuck with monochrome for years before discovering colored pencil artists on the internet. Thus, she found her perfect medium and now works mainly in colored pencil creating realistic portraits of animals and has been published in various UK and international art publications.

See more at facebook.com/oneillanimalart/

Happy Place by Brennen Stotts
8 x 10 inches
Prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore toned gray. Artist's own photo.

This drawing is the second in a series where I try to capture the beauty of autumn in the Rockies of Colorado. I've recently moved to this beautiful state, and have been captivated by much of the scenery here. The first of the series is from a photo I took the previous year, prior to moving, on a trip to the same area. This is when I felt inspired to do this series and take on the challenge of these landscape drawings.

This scene is from a road trip I took in October 2023 throughout my new state, in which I spent a week hiking the mountains and gathering as many picturesque landscape shots as I could. Narrowing down my references was difficult, as the beauty is so abundant, but I chose a few favorites for this series that I wanted to include, starting with this piece. I chose this reference to start with largely because of the composition, but I also have a particular fondness for this spot from the lovely time I spent resting here where I ate and enjoyed the view on a beautiful, serene morning.

I love the challenge of capturing all the complex textures in landscapes. From the water to the sky to the trees, there are so many different techniques I find myself using, and I’m always trying to find new ways to achieve certain textures or values. Each drawing is such a learning experience, and that might be my favorite part.

About Brennen Stotts:


Brennen Stotts is a practicing tattoo artist out of Fort Collins, CO, and enjoys drawing and being outside in his free time. Since he’s been old enough to hold a pencil, he has had an aptitude for drawing, and it’s something that’s always been a part of his life. Brennen takes inspiration from nature, preferring organic subject matter in his work.

See more at www.instagram.com/brennenstotts/


My Little Rays of Sunshine by Alan Watters
8.25 x 10.6 inches
Prismacolor Polychromos colored pencils on gray Pastelmat. Artist's own photo.

Every picture tells a story.

I’ve wanted to do this drawing for a very long time now and have finally managed to squeeze it in between pet and people portrait commissions. The reference photograph was taken by me with my old Zenit E camera more than 40 years ago. In August 1983 I was posted to Germany, but before we left Scotland my wife and three kids (ages 2, 4, and 6 at the time) went from our home in Fife to Dunkeld in Perthshire Scotland for a quick holiday. This day it was sunny and hot and we were walking along the path beside the River Tay. Just as we were about to pass under an old toll bridge I noticed a beam of light coming down the steps between the bridge and the old toll house. I stopped to see how well that single snapshot had turned out. When friends saw the photo they persuaded me to enter it into a local photography competition, and it won the Photographs of Children category as well as Best Image Overall. I do hope therefore that my drawing does it some justice. And I must add that the “kids” have always been quick to point out that, although it may not look like it in the shot, they were all wearing shorts at the time!

Liann, Laura and Michael are all adults, but it would be wonderful to get them all back together one day to recreate that picture on those same steps (weather permitting and with clothes on, of course).

About Alan Watters:

Alan grew up in Scotland but after a working life as an engineer, then a draughtsman, and then a corporate communications manager, he retired seven years ago. He then started supporting adults with learning disabilities part-time, which gave him some free time to get back to what he loved doing when he was a teenager: drawing. Six years ago he drew a friend’s dog and then suddenly found himself in great demand for pet and people portraits.

See more at: www.alansfineart.com/.

These artworks were published in the April 2024 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the digital version of the magazine for just $4.99, 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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