October 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

October 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the October 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog. 

Good Shepherd by Tanja Gant
26 x 21 inches
Caran d'Ache Luminance, Derwent, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Holbein colored pencils on Legion Lenox Cotton drawing paper.
(Artist's own photo)

Even before I met Shep I knew I had to acknowledge and honor his very fascinating and colorful personality, as well as incredible life experiences and achievements by creating a portrait of him in colored pencil. I intentionally chose vibrant, happy colors and a large format to match his persona. He is a dear family friend who has been the subject of a couple of my drawings, and I have plans to keep him my muse a while longer. He is an imposing figure who is dedicated to God, family and the welfare of others. I’m grateful to him for the opportunity to share his light with the world. “Good Shepherd” received the CPSA District Chapters Award for Exceptional Achievement in the 30th CPSA International Exhibition, where it was acquired by my wonderful, new patron.

About Tanja Gant:

Tanja Gant is a self-taught, award-winning pencil artist who was born and raised in Bosnia (former Yugoslavia) and resides in Texas. Tanja’s drawings are in permanent private and museum collections throughout the world.

See more at: www.tanjagant.com.

Making Waves by Joan Gelblat
15.25 x 12 inches
Prismacolor Premier and Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils on UART.
Artist's own photo.

Glass is a favorite still life subject of mine, and I am fascinated by reflections. Between the two they are a great source of creative possibilities. In “Making Waves” I wanted to showcase ordinary things shown in a different light, so to speak. I wanted a simple composition that highlighted the unique qualities of the interaction of the jar colors and their reflections.

For my setup and reference photos I experimented with various light angles and intensities on different reflective surfaces. When I used a piece of clear polyester film over a black base for the reflective surface, it created an unusual effect that I loved: the wavy reflections of the jars and the watery abstract quality of the light through the window hitting the glossy surface. This was done on black paper to highlight the dramatic contrasts and emphasize the unusual light effects in this simple composition.

About Joan Gelblat:

Joan Gelblat is a self-taught artist whose work has been recognized in many Local, national and international competitions. She is an award-winning, long-time member of The Colored Pencil Society of America, where she has achieved a 15-year CPSA Merit Award and a 5-year CPX Merit Award.

Thief of Secrets by Becky Eileen Eller
12 x 12 inches
Caran d'Ache Luminance, Museum, Prismacolor, Derwent Lightfast on Fabriano Cold Press paper mounted on Ampersand Claybord.
(Artists own concept/en pleine air).

A door, a gate, a treasure chest or trunk: Who knows what the ancient key unlocks? This elusive avian thief only knows that the key is a treasure in his eyes. Whatever it unlocks now contains secrets or treasures that will forever remain hidden!

The Western Scrub Jay is a large, loud bird with a huge personality, and one of my favorites. I loved watching them at our feeders when we lived in the Chihuahuan Desert in Texas. As far as I know, they never stole anything man-made or shiny. However, they are greedy and absolutely love corn and peanuts. This piece was inspired by observing their quirky personalities and greediness. They would arrive at the feeder in a brilliant flash of blue with plenty of loud, raucous cries, and then proceed to stuff their entire beak and craw full of peanuts or corn. Then they would disappear into the trees to hide these treasures, only to forget where they were hidden, leaving them for squirrels and other critters to find.

This is my first finished piece composed purely from my imagination, and it was so fun. It all started with the background. I was playing with acrylic inks using watercolor techniques just for fun, to see what I could create. It turned out so good that I decided I had to use it as the base for a drawing. I created the composition for the main subjects and applied a layer of white pastel ground over the background just in the areas where the bird, flower, ribbon and key are so that their colors would be brilliant and show up on top of the inks. This also added extra tooth for the pencil to stick to. I used 24k gold leaf for the moon, and a base of water-soluble pencil under regular CPs for the main subjects. The finished piece has lots of texture due to all the different techniques and layers.

About Becky Eileen Eller:

Becky Eileen depicts nature in vivid color and high contrast, which allows her to give the viewer a glimpse of the beauty she sees in the subjects she draws. The bright colors and her favorite subjects of cacti, succulents, wildflowers and animals are inspired by the American Southwest, a place she loves and has lived in for many years.

See more at: www.beckyeileen.com and facebook.com/BeckyEileenArtist.

These artworks were published in the October 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.

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