September 2018 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

September 2018 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the September 2018 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. Read below about their inspiration for each of these interesting animal subjects.

Proud as a...well...Crane by Ronna Williams
9 x 12 inches
Prismacolor Premiere and Verithin pencils, white highlights using white gouache, on Grafix DuraLar drafting film. (Own photo reference.)

This East African Crowned Crane is one of the fascinating residents of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. I have been enamored by the glow of the golden crest. I finally took a good enough photograph of this endangered bird to use as a reference photo. Painting this crane with all the details in the feathers, I learned to see so much more about it.

The observation has increased my enjoyment of all the animals at our fantastic zoo. There is an almost infinite number of possible art subjects at the zoo. It would take a lifetime to paint them all. I have also completed drawings of a snow leopard and red panda. I hope to someday take a good enough photograph of the zoo's most famous resident, Fiona the hippo, to capture in colored pencil.

About Ronna:

After a 45-year IT career, Ronna returned to her high school major of art upon retirement. She picked up colored pencils by trying an adult coloring book but quickly tired of coloring other peoples' pictures. Ann Kullberg's portrait workshop sealed the deal to kick off a "second act" post-retirement hobby which may someday be a new career.



Music by Elena Adam
14 x 11 inches
Prismacolor pencils and black ink on Strathmore mixed media paper. (Original design/concept, drawn from life, en pleine air.)

This is a portrait of my friend's daughter, Michelle, who is a very talented guitarist at age 15. I never saw her in person, since she lives in a different country, but her videos where she plays guitar gave me the idea of this portrait. When the portrait was ready – I did it as a present for her birthday –I sent it to Michelle in Israel. The portrait was well-protected inside the package. But when it arrived it was damaged so badly on both sides. But the drawing inside was safe. I think it was absolute magic, from the beginning to the moment she got it. This portrait is one of the series of three: "Music,” "Fire,” and "Lady of Mars.”

About Elena Adam:

Elena Adam was born in the former Soviet Union and graduated from Moscow State University as a journalist. She moved to US in 2001 and became a member of Michigan Women's Society of Painters and Sculptors, and a member of the Artists' Society of Dearborn, MI. She is a self-taught artist and works in colored pencil, ink, watercolor, and oils.

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Stripe by Martine Venis
8.7 x 8.7 inches
Colored pencils on drafting film. The background is done on a separate sheet and is digitally airbrushed. (Photo from

I saw this reference and simply had to draw it! These majestic animals, I simply love them so much. I can watch them in the zoo over and over, time and time again (if they don't hide). They are beautiful and have so much power! So I chose to draw this one on drafting film, a surface that's great for all the little details because it's very smooth. And second, I chose it because the colors are so very bright on drafting film. The background is a separate layer that's placed behind the drawing itself to create depth in the total artwork. I filmed the whole process and thought, "Why not share it with others?" So finally I made a Udemy course of it, so everyone can learn to draw this one now!

About Martine Venis:

Martine Venis-Heethaar is an artist from the Netherlands. She attended art school and specialized in oils. She likes to work in oils but simply fell in love with colored pencils. She teaches classes and workshops in colored pencils. She has a YouTube channel and teaches online on Udemy.

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These artworks were published in the September 2018 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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