December 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

December 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the December 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase – Mario Basinger, Kathryn Hansen, and Sharon Cromer – share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog. 


Indian Bike by Mario Basinger
13 x 23 inches
Prismacolor Pencils on Strathmore 400 Series Artagain light toned paper. 
(Artist's own photo.)

During a trip to Tennessee, I discovered a bike show going on, and this bike there stood out to me. Knowing nothing about motorcycles and with many questions to ask, I loved the looks and working mechanics of it, and had to draw it after looking it over for an hour.

I tried to capture every detail (nuts, bolts, spokes,) to exact detail down to making sure the spokes were layered (front and behind each other) properly for correct build of the bike. For the reflection in the gas tank, I added a mountain scene with birds flying. Love adding my own little hidden messages.

The background was done with Prismacolor Black and it took about 60 hours to complete. It is still unframed and placed flat in a drawer. Having mechanical engineering schooling back in the 90's, I still love the mechanics of how this bike was built and how I tried to capture all the detail of its beauty.

About Mario Basinger:

Mario has been drawing since he could pick up a pencil. He started drawing on lined paper that his mom bought for school back in the 1970's, and began working in color pencil in 1997, and CP is now his favorite medium. In addition to his regular work, Mario teaches art and photography to kids who show talent that needs that extra encouragement teaching with many different mediums.

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Egrets, I've Had a Few by Kathryn Hansen
13.5 x 20 inches
Watercolor and colored pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum
(Photo by Mark Jeffs; used with permission)

While hiking around Lake Casitas in Ojai California with my friend we heard birds calling out loudly in the trees so we went to investigate. To our surprise they were egrets way up in the trees, with huge nests!! I never knew this about egrets, I always assumed they made nests on the ground. That experience always stayed with me, so when I came upon Maria's photo I just knew I had to draw that egret as it brought back so many wonderful memories of that day!.

When I started laying out this piece, on a whim I decided to put down a base of watercolor first as I was curious to see if it would help me draw any faster. I didn't use watercolor paper as it was such a last second decision to try this method but the Strathmore Bristol Vellum held up really well. In the end it didn't make the drawing process go any faster at all...I still labored over it just as much as I do with every piece I draw but I found that I really liked working from that middle tone. Since that time I've experimented with almost every piece I've drawn, using either different pencils or trying a new substrate. But no matter what I do, my drawings still take me hundreds of hours to complete! I guess there's no getting around just putting in the hours!!

About Kathryn Hansen:

Kathryn Hansen’s drawings are focused around her passion and devotion to animals and nature. In addition to her art training at the University of Stevens Point in Wisconsin, earning a BFA in Studio Arts, she went on to study illustration at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and fine art at the Associates of Arts in Sherman Oaks, CA

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Raydeen's Contagious Smile by Sharon Cromer
11 x 17 inches
Polychromos and Luminance Colored Pencils, Strathmore Smooth 300 series
(Artist's own photo)

I met Raydeen approximately 20 years ago and knew at that moment I just had to draw him some day. Over the years, even though there have been some rough spots, he has never lost his infectious smile. I would run into him at various places, and it reignited the longing to draw him.

I bought Ann Kullberg's book, Colored Pencil Portraits, Step by Step, in 2000. I spent hours studying her drawings and techniques and dreamed of the day I could accomplish a piece of art similar to hers. With that as my goal, I started doing a few portraits over the years. It wasn't until 2018 that I really got serious about accomplishing my goal. I am still learning and with each piece I have done, I have tried to set my personal bar a little higher.

About Sharon Cromer:
Sharon Cromer was born in Dallas, Texas and moved to rural North Texas in 1986.  Recently retired, she is spending her time pursuing her passion of colored pencils.  She loves to portray animals and people. She donates a lot of her artwork to Animal Rescue Groups. She believes God blessed her with this gift therefore sharing it with others.

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These artworks were published in the December 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine.

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.

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