The three artists featured in the August 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase, Peter Williams, David Harder, and Ronna Williams share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog.
Eagle Huntress by Peter Williams
10.5 x 15.5 inches
Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils on Bristol board
(Photo from Unsplash.com)
I'm predominantly known as a wildlife artist, but I do like to create the occasional portrait or still life piece, too, always choosing a composition which suggests a story to the viewer. When I saw the reference photographs for "Eagle Huntress." I immediately realized they contained everything I enjoy drawing or painting: fur, feathers, fabric, and human features plus glorious color and lots of intricate detail. I love the shadows on the girl's face and the way she slightly leans back to counteract the weight of the huge eagle she is carrying.
I chose to work on the ultra smooth Bristol board because it does allow for extremely fine detail and ultra-realism. The downside is the difficulty in building layers that give the depth of color I prefer. I overcome this by blending the pigment on the paper's surface taking great care, using white spirit and small tortillons or cotton buds, before adding the next layer while still damp. Very time-consuming but worth the effort I think.
Researching the subject further, I found it fascinating. The Kazakh eagle hunters of Western Mongolia live in one of the most remote regions of one of the most remote countries in the world. For centuries they have used golden eagles to hunt prey during the bleak winter months, an extraordinary example of a relationship between humans and semi-wild animals. The hunters take female eaglets from the nest and train them to hunt foxes and rabbits. Then when the raptor reaches sexual maturity at the age of about six years, she is released back into the wild, thus there is no impact upon the wild population. She is left with the gift of a fresh carcass to help her begin her adaptation into life in the wilderness.
About Peter Williams:
Peter Williams has a strong interest in the natural world and uses art to express his passion for wildlife. He's also inspired by music, people, and places that have influenced him throughout his life. Having left home at a young age, his true education took place in the British army. Completely self-taught, Peter became a fulltime artist in 2002.
See more at: www.mightyfineart.co.uk
Jesse and James by David Harder
5 x 7 inches
Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencil on Strathmore paper
(Photo by Liesal Webb)
This is a picture of my stepson, Jesse, his mother and I wanted to give him a special and personal Christmas gift this year. Jesse has had his special favorite stuffed bear (James) since he was six years old. He has loved and cherished this bear from the time he was gifted it at Christmas four years before.
James has helped Jesse through some tough times, when he's scared, and when he's feeling down. To Jesse, James is more of a brother than a stuffed bear. Jesse has taken James everywhere possible with him. Christmas 2021 his mother and I were trying to come up with ideas for a gift for Jesse that he just wouldn't guess at. That's when we decided to do a picture of "Jesse and James." It is something he can cherish for years to come; and maybe even share with his own children someday!
Doing this picture was new and exciting; I have never really drawn people before in my art career. My specialty is drawing animals. I was pretty excited and nervous at drawing a person for the first time as a commission, especially a family member. I was certainly happy with the outcome of this piece of work and am hoping to continue pursuing new horizons in my art career.
About David Harder:
David's love of art began early on in school but really took off in high school. With his teacher's guidance he pursued art and enrolled in the College of Art and Design in Alberta where he received his diploma. After college, David's love of colored pencil as a medium started to grow and by 2000 he was producing illustrations throughout Canada.
See more at: www.pencilsupbydavid.com/
Field Trip, by Ronna Williams
10.625 x 8 inches
Colored pencil on Grafix .005 matte drafting film
(Photo by Laura Cohen)
My sister-in-law captured this adorable picture of my grand-nephew while he was enjoying a water park in Austin, Texas. I was intrigued and challenged by the water droplets and the reflection of his fluorescent shirt on his face. It took awhile to work up the courage to tackle this work, with all this detail. But after seeing beautiful work done by other colored pencil artists using drafting film on an Icarus board, I decided to give it a try. The heated surface helps the colors blend tremendously. Bright white highlights are boosted by applying them to both the front and back of the drafting film. Using a sheet of archival-quality black cardstock as a backing helps intensify the colors.
About Ronna Williams:
Ronna Williams retired from the corporate world in 2017 to pursue a second act as a colored pencil artist. She focuses on animal art, donating works to auctions benefiting wild animal conservation. Ronna is also active in the Cincinnati district chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
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