June 2020 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

June 2020 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the June 2020 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories behind their artwork with you here in our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these beautiful works of art.


Living In An Alternate Reality by Bonnie Sheckter
23-1/8 x 18-5/8 inches
Prismacolor Premier Pencils on matte Duralar
(Artist's own photo)

In this drawing I’ve tried to introduce a narrative, creating a portrait of a man who by nature of his ethnicity and sad, scowling countenance suggests a tale to be told. Taking him out of the context in which he was photographed and establishing him in an "alternate reality" of my own determination, my goal was to effect a setting that would allow for a simple, intimate moment with a man caught unawares. We can’t know his story, but we can perhaps ponder, empathize, and reflect.

For my reference photos, I am constantly prowling around the city of Toronto, camera in hand, looking to collect candid images of a diverse selection of people with compelling and provocative facial expressions. This man is one of several dozens in my collection that has made it to my drawing board. I also often take to back streets and alleyways to find interesting shots that I can use as backdrops for my subjects, like the background depicted here; dilapidated, scrappy brick walls are some of my favorite and recurring motifs. This drawing is one of a series I have been working on, embracing the wide spectrum of Toronto’s cultural diversity. It is my passion to capture in my drawings the nuances of contemplative, enigmatic expressions on the faces of these people I encounter.

This man was a delightful subject to render. I loved the opportunity to draw such a myriad of textures for which colored pencil is so ideal; the craggy, lined face, the very three-dimensional puffy blue jacket, the gorgeous woven, patterned scarf. As for the background, I found drawing the battered, chipped wall very challenging because it was white painted brick. At a loss at first for how to draw a white pitted surface, after a bit of experimentation, I finally ended up using Rosy Beige and Jade Green burnished with white to create the textural tonal values, and an electric eraser to bring out the white highlights.

About Bonnie Sheckter:

An award-winning Canadian artist and former printmaker, Bonnie Sheckter has been working in colored pencil for 20 years. A recent loss of vision in one eye and a diagnosis of macular degeneration has given her the impetus to devote herself full time to drawing, creating artwork which gives testament to our humanity and empathy towards one another.

See more at: www.bonniesheckter.com



Amore e Psicheby Julie Henderson
8.27 x 11.69 inches 
Prismacolor pencils on Clairefontaine Sienna PastelMat
(Photo by Daniele D'Andreti, Unsplash, with permission)

I was searching for something unusual for the February monthly theme of love in the UKCPS Facebook group, and on Unsplash came across a wonderful photograph by Daniele D'Andreti of a statue in the Louvre by Antonio Canova. It was such an unusual perspective and the dramatic lighting from the windows really caught my imagination. The photograph was of the entire statue and I zoomed right in on the center of the piece, intending to emphasize the intimacy and drama of the moment. I chose the Sienna PastelMat because I wanted the warmth of the mat to glow through the otherwise cold colors. I really enjoyed working with a Iimited palette and using an unusual mix of colors: Jade Green with Parma Violet and Imperial Violet and a couple of the lovely soft Prismacolor greys. I have always been slightly obsessed with sculpture, and so admire those artists who can take a piece of marble and breathe life into it. I've never actually been to the Louvre so I've never seen this wonderful statue "in the flesh." Doing so is now at the top of my bucket list.

About Julie Henderson:

Julie Henderson is from Scotland but has lived for the last 22 years in Italy, teaching English. Although she has always loved to draw, it was less than two years ago that she was inspired to try colored pencils after seeing the work of a colored pencil artist on the Isle of Arran. She hasn't looked back!

See more at: www.facebook.com/juliehend67/



Summer Solstice by Cynthia Knox
8-1/2 x 10-3/4 inches
Prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore Smooth Bristol Series 300 paper
Photo from Shutterstock, with permission

I was looking for a still life photo that would challenge my drawing skills with its textures. When I came upon this one, not only did it do that but it reminded me of lazy summer days with freshly picked daisies and roadside fruit stands. It immediately became my reference photo and the project artwork for an upcoming workshop. I truly enjoyed working on it and will find a special place for "Summer Solstice" in my home.

About Cynthia Knox:

Cynthia Knox, CPSA is an award-winning artist who specializes in works of traditional realism. She has authored 15 art-instructional books and teaches workshops in the U.S., internationally, and on cruises. She also teaches classes online with Bluprint.com and is a commissioned portrait artist.

See more at: www.cynthiaknox.com


These artworks were published in the June 2020 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the 40 page 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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