August 2018 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

August 2018 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the August 2018 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.


Beautiful Jess by Jane Robinson
12 x 9 inches
Caran D'Ache coloured pencils and a small amount of acrylic paint. The artwork has been drawn on tinted Daler Rowney Ingres Paper.

I work as an animal portrait artist and enjoy running my page The Passionate Eye on Facebook where I get the opportunity to showcase each commission as I complete it, sometimes showing the artwork in the stages of its development and chatting about progress with my faithful followers. Every New Year I run a competition for the followers of The Passionate Eye to give them the chance to win a portrait of their pet as many people say that they would love to have one done but not all can afford the luxury.

This year, rather than just pick numbers out a hat as I usually do when selecting a winner, I asked people to enter one strong and clear photo of their pet which would make me just long to do it's portrait. The photo could be wacky or quirky, a classic study or one which just simply spoke volumes about the personality of their special companion.

I had nearly three hundred entries including all kinds of animals from horses to llamas. Some of the images were just not clear enough to consider and many of the photos came with heart rending stories about the loss of that pet or how it had saved its owner from depression…. making a final choice of the winner promised to be agonising. However, the photo of Jess had me in the first second of looking into her honest eyes. Everything about this beautiful dog's face speaks of love and loyalty to me, of wisdom and sadness and kindness.

I shortlisted the photo of Jess with about thirty others but I knew from the start that her photo would win. I just felt a leap in my heart the second my eyes fell upon it.

The best bit of running a competition like this one is always when you tell the owner of the pet that they have won and the young lady was delighted, saying she had never won anything in her life before. Drawing Jess has been a wonderful journey for me. Every piece of artwork I produce teaches me something new.

About Jane:

Jane Miller Robinson is an animal portrait artist living rural Herefordshire, UK. She has a degree in Three Dimensional Design from Loughborough College of Art & Design. Jane loves to concentrate on fine details in her portraiture and also enjoys surrealism in private work. She lives with her husband, two children and three naughty dogs.

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Tea Party by Gretchen Parker
11 x 19 inches
Prismacolor Premier on Grafix Drafting Film (GDF)

Our daughter and I have a small collection of whimsical ceramic pieces. The cats are sugar and creamer, the dog and chair are salt and pepper shakers. The teapot was a gift from a friend and the girl with the parasol is a planter my grandmother surprised me with when I had scarlet fever at age 10.

I have had these pieces on my mind for a painting for many years. Finally, three years ago I did the photo shoot but just never could find the time to do the painting. This is the year it finally happened! It feels good to get it out of my head for others to actually see!

Working on GDF allows me to build up the rich values easily and quickly. To create the texture of the tablecloth I use the technique of frottage. Frottage is sometimes called a rubbing. To create the texture of the tablecloth, I worked on the back of the film by putting a textured cloth napkin under the film. Using the side of my pencil and a medium pressure the film accurately creates a reproduction of the fabric texture. I added shading and detail of the cloth on the front of the film.

To get the whitest white dots of the sparkly highlights on the ceramic surfaces I wet the tip of a watercolor pencil and tapped it on to the surface of the film.

Black on GDF will develop a wax bloom creating a hazy appearance over the dark hue. It is easily controlled by buffing the pigment with a tissue. I never use a fixative on film because it may melt the wax in the Prismas and cause the pigment to run.

About Gretchen:

Gretchen is a retired neurodevelopmental pediatric occupational therapist with a specialty in hippotherapy (horseback riding thderapy) As she neared retirement she finally had time to hone her lifelong passion for drawing. When Gretchen found Ann Kullberg's first portrait book her love affair with CP was born! Gretchen is also one of 13 SOAR Colored Pencil Workshop Instructors.

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Hatsukoi - First Love by Ranjini Venkatachari
24 x 18 inches
Luminance, Derwents, Koh-I-noor Polycolor & Prismacolors on Ampersand Pastelbord

Origami has been one of the biggest creative muse when it comes to my work. My new series called Virtual Reality, incorporates scenarios and landscapes composed of paper and origami set in a narrative.Narrative is how all of us see the world and how we connect with each other. We put together stories in our heads for situations in our lives. We try to fill in the blanks. And when we see a work of art for the first time, we often tend to look for a narrative trying to establish a connection.

In this series I intend to communicate with the viewer via visual clues - color, design, symbolism, title etc. The story and the art itself will change depending on who is looking at it. One of the best feelings in life for most people is falling in love. And it is very special to be someone's first love. My first narrative piece in this series is called "Hatsukoi-First Love." Tulips are symbols of perfect love and the red tulips are most strongly associated with true love.The hummingbird signifies eternity or continuity with a prime message of "the sweetest nectar is within!"

Here's a dedication for my first love- my art and everyone who has been an immense support in making me who I am today. Special thanks to Ann Kullberg for acting as my Japanese thesaurus in picking this beautiful word to describe my thoughts.

About  Ranjini:

Ranjini is a colored pencil artist who has working with this medium for more than 12 years. She draws inspiration from her rich cultural heritage.Her colored pencil art has been juried and won awards in National and International shows across the US & UK. Her works have been published in several magazines.She is a 5 year signature member of CPSA.

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These artworks were published in the August 2018 issue of COLOR Magazine.

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