May 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

May 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists below, featured in the May 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase, share their beautiful artwork and the inspiration behind it here in our blog. 

Eventide Grace

Eventide Grace by Carol Doran
15 x 11 inches
Colored pencil on Pastelmat
(Photo from Pixabay and author's own photo)

One of our favorite pastimes is to get away from urban life and get out into the Countryside. We were walking along the river at one of our local wetland reserves, photographing the sunset and birds. A family of mink were hunting along the river bank and at that time half a dozen hot air balloons passed over when we spotted a barn owl hovering over a nearby field. We were too late to photograph the owl as it had already stopped by the time we adjusted our cameras, but we got lots of pictures of the sunset and the balloons.

I wanted to re-create that moment in an artwork. I omitted the balloons and sourced a photograph of an owl from Pixabay. It was a magical sight.

About Carol Doran:

 Carol Doran

A self-taught artist living in the UK, Carol began pursuing colored pencil art in 2013 at the age of 56. Her work is inspired by the beauty of the natural world and she tries to reflect that in her subjects. She has exhibited both locally and nationally. Her work has been featured and published in international and local publications.

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Pacific Tree Frog  

Pacific Tree Frog by Brenda Matsen
8 x 10 inches
Colored pencil on Pastelmat
(Artist's own photo)

I have always enjoyed observing and learning about animals in their natural environment. I like taking pictures of animals and drawing them, too. I found this little Pacific Tree Frog in our garden on a warm summer's day. He looked so peaceful sunning himself on a large zucchini plant. I did not have my camera with me but fortunately he waited in his sunny spot for me to go get it. When I got back it was a little tricky to find him as he was so small and blended in well with his surroundings.

These frogs are especially interesting as they can change between dark and light based on air temperature and humidity. This is thanks to their involuntary defense mechanism to camouflage themselves from predators. They are known as “chorus frogs” and their “ribbit” has been made famous by movies as the standard sound we attribute to frogs. Despite their name they spend the majority of their time on the ground, not in trees.

This piece was done on Pastelmat. I chose this surface for a few reasons. I have limited experience using greens and I wanted to be able to use multiple layers and the option to use OMS. Pastelmat allows for both. I also liked the color of the Buttercup Pastelmat to help capture the warmth of the sunshine throughout. I typically use a variety of colored pencil brands but for this I decided to predominantly work with Polychoromos. As I neared the end of this piece I included a few Prismacolors for colors I could not find in the Polychromos range.

About Brenda Matsen:

Brenda Matsen 

Brenda is a Canadian artist returning to art in 2018. Growing up on a farm fostered a passion for drawing animals and people. With her husband’s encouragement, she found her way back to art, after almost 35 years away from it. Brenda enjoys the challenge of creating realistic images and enjoys taking her own reference photos and working from them.

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Keep Up 

Keep Up, by Janie Pirie
24 x 20 inches
Faber-Castell Polychromos & Prismacolor colored pencils on Fabriano Artistico
(Friend's photo)

This photo, and a few others, all taken on safari many years ago, were gifted to me for reference with the hope that I may get the time to scale them up and make pictures. They were all fabulous pictures of the animals, encountered whilst on holiday. I particularly liked this one. I met this person on a dating website but it was a very brief encounter. However, he wished me well and said I could keep and use the photos.

Whilst I loved the mother and baby elephant I didn't like the background because it was too "busy" with trees, so I made up the background and softened it in order to make the elephants much closer, as if they were walking straight toward me. The creases and folds in the adult elephant were a real challenge. Many shades of gray were used. Although very small, it was the eyes that needed to "work" for me. There is so much kindness and protection glowing from them; typical of a new mother.

About Janie Pirie:

Janie Pirie 

Janie Pirie spent many years illustrating children's books and short stories in women's magazines before a chance encounter with some red currants in her garden took her down the (garden) path of botanical illustration. She has two RHS gold medals for her work portraying soft fruit and top fruit. She also loves creating human and animal portraits.

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

May 2022 cover

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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