May 2020 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

May 2020 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

Below, the three artists featured in the May 2020 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories behind their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these beautiful colored pencil artworks. 

The Art of Being Koi by Pamela Clements
16 x 21 inches
Prismacolor and Verithin pencils on Stonehenge warm white. Artist’s own photo.

Late winter in Indiana is not exactly colorful, so when I visited my sister, who lives downstate, the late afternoon sun on her outside koi pond seemed like a beacon of color surrounded by winter's grayed neutrals. I made two trips to specifically photograph the golden sunlight on fallen leaves and swimming koi while giving her neighbors a heads-up to the brazen stranger with a camera in her front yard. One of my favorite subjects to draw is leaves, so I was grateful my sister forgot to clean out her koi pond allowing the sunlight to come in and highlight those beautiful orange leaves so intense as to camouflage a bright orange koi, which is not an easy feat. I love the shapes and partial shapes of leaves as a background for the graceful swimming koi and the peaceful floating bubbles in the solitude of winter. The orange is a warmth, welcome, and beautifully alive.

About Pamela Clements:

Pamela Clements devotes her time to pursuing natural still life artworks in colored pencil after a career in graphic design and teaching elementary art for grades k-8. Pamela adds these experiences to her first love of drawing with expanding art skills, knowledge, and perception, and strives to create a serenity of nature vision in her artworks.

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The Lady of the Woods by Spencer Phillips
16.53 x 11.69 inches
Derwent Lightfast on mounting board. Photo from Unsplash.

I have long admired the classical portraits of the Masters and wanted to try creating something with a similar feel, so I found a fabulous reference picture which represented the sort of classical pose and lighting I wanted. The model's enigmatic look also appealed and the detail around the face was nice and sharp.

The original photo was full of very dark values in the clothing. Much as I liked it, I wanted to push the classical look further, so I added vivid, draping velour fabric with folds and satin linings. I chose ultramarine for these elements because the color has such a rich history in the world of art due to its great expense before synthesized alternatives were found.

So I altered the fabric colors, added the draping folds, and changed the book color all to match harmoniously, and finally changed jewelry to something that I felt matched the overall look I was after: a portrait with a classical look and an air of mystery around it.

About Spencer Phillips:

Spencer had no history in art, but had always wanted to create. He bought a set of 72 pencils in 2018 and swiftly become one of the fastest color pencil collectors in the West. He is at his happiest with a collection of pencils in one hand, a coffee in the other, and talking animatedly to whatever work in progress lays on his drawing table.

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Paula & Emil by Ami Schütz
16.54 x 23.6 inches
Polychromos, Derwent Lightfast, and Caran d-Ache Luminance on Hahnemühle Nostalgie. Photo used with client’s permission.

Paula and Emil are the second commission I completed for a lovely lady in Germany. The composition is my own, made from two different reference photos. I always spend a lot of time finding the best composition before starting a new piece. In my opinion a drawing can only be as good as its composition.

This is a big piece, which took me about 60 hours. Working for so long on one piece always means that I build up a special relationship with it: I knew every single hair, every detail and even the character of these two dog as if they were my own pets. Once finished, it was hard to send them away. But I knew that for my client this artwork was an unique and precious memory which would made her so incredibly happy. This is always so touching and I can't imagine a better job!

About Ami Schütz:

Ami Schütz is an award-winning pet and wildlife artist from Germany. It's her passion to bring the soul and character of animals to life with colored pencils or graphite.

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These artworks were published in the May 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.

Comments (1)

Truly stunning artworks!

Susan Lecerf - Apr 27, 2020

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