Below, the three artists featured in the August 2020 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the inspiration behind their artwork for our blog. Learn the story behind each of these lovely pieces of art.
Cooling Off by Craig Husband
11 x 16 inches
Faber Castell Polychromos on Stonehenge Paper
(Photo by Emmanuel Keller, used with permission)
Through my work I aim to capture the essence of realism by rendering light, reflection, shadow and texture. Following my first teaching role, I decided to pursue my passion for wildlife in the form of drawing. The initial aim was to hone my skills for the classroom, but this soon turned into the goal of becoming a recognized wildlife artist. Moving from abstract brush strokes and large installations to fine-detailed, time-consuming realism was no easy transition. I had neither the materials nor the understanding to begin with and spent lots of time reading, discussing techniques in online forums, and slowly building my skills base in a range of mediums.
In 2016, after a few successful drawings and many disasters, I came across this tiger while browsing for references. The composition struck me immediately; there was something about the color and pose which intrigued me. Huge reflections, blurred backgrounds and the intricate details of the fur; this was going to be a challenge.
If I’m honest, "challenge" was an understatement. At times it was all I could do to look at the work, let alone pick up a pencil and add to it. I kept thinking about what I would say if this was a student, “Practice makes perfect, you cannot improve unless you practice, don’t worry if you make mistakes…” and so on. In the end, it became a love/hate relationship. Some days I couldn’t stop working on it, and others I would simply put it in a drawer and leave it there (sometimes for months at a time) until my passion was reignited.
In the end, it took more than 180 hours over four years to complete, but perseverance paid off. Though I created many works in between, this one truly shows my progress as an artist and my transition to realism. I suppose that’s why it’s so special to me. It encapsulates all that I’ve learned and illustrates the progress made towards my artistic goals.
About Craig Husband:
Craig Husband is a secondary school art teacher from South Wales, UK. Following a degree in art practice (2013), he moved away from abstract works to focus on realism through drawing, driven by his passion for wildlife. He specializes in works on paper using colored pencil, graphite, pastel and charcoal.
See more at: https://www.facebook.com/CJHWildlifeArt/
Siena by Pauline Clay
24 x 15 inches
Colored pencil on sanded paper
(Artist's own photo)
While on a walking tour in Siena, Italy, I looked down a side street and saw this incredible scene where, because of the hills, the buildings looked almost abstract with the angles and textures being dominate rather than the individual structures. I loved all of the contrasts: the smooth lines of the shutters; the rippled texture of the clay tile roofs; and the unevenness of the brick walls, many of them crumbling. I wanted to capture those contrasts and textures, which felt timeless, without the modern-day distractions: all of the satellite dishes on the rooftops! I also really liked the limited color palette that was punctuated by the contrasting blue of some of the shutters and windows. I feel like this piece captures the uniqueness and beauty of the medieval brick buildings in this Tuscan city.
About Pauline Clay:
Pauline Clay has been working in colored pencil for about eight years. She loves the exacting detail that can be achieved with colored pencils and frequently uses photographs from her travels as her inspiration. She focuses primarily on nature in her artwork, but also enjoys the precision required when focusing on architecture.
See more at: https://www.paulineclay.com
Up High by Pearl de Chalain
13.75 x 17.75 inches
Derwent Lightfast colored pencils on Grafix DuraLar drafting film
(Photo by Isaac Ruiz, Adobestock, used with permission)
I am always drawn to anything colorful and full of fun, and the moment I noticed roosters during my search for more interesting subject matter, I was immediately sold. Although it was the colors that caught my attention, the more I searched for the perfect rooster the more I noticed that these birds have the most comical and quizzical expressions. Now I am so fascinated that my library of roosters (and other colorful birds) as subject matter is growing steadily.
However, with birds comes feathers, and the dilemma that I initially faced was how to portray them correctly and realistically. Over time I have developed several techniques to use on various media to portray feathers as best as possible. Up High was done on drafting film so the technique, using a Slice tool, is vastly different to that used on paper or PastelMat. I so enjoy the challenge of finding the right tool for the right job in whatever I’m drawing.
Mother Nature is wonderful and the more we can depict Her excellent choices in design, expression, and color, the more we can bring appreciation for Her hard work to everyone’s attention.
About Pearl de Chalain:
Born in Johannesburg, Pearl was raised by her grandmother who always encouraged her to draw (probably to keep her out of mischief) and kept her stocked with an endless supply of comics from which to copy, and so her drawing background began. Pearl loves the challenge of photorealism and the need to capture the essence of a subject.
Download the 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.