September 2019 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

September 2019 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the September 2019 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase submitted stories about their artwork for our blog. In their posts below, each artist shares their inspiration for their beautiful art.

Note to Self 2 
by Jeff George
8 x 6 inches
Colored pencil on Strathmore Bristol Vellum 300 Series. (Artist’s own photo.)

Second in the "Note to Self" series. Small colored pencil works with motivational content.

About Jeff George:

Jeff is a multi-award-winning fine artist, illustrator, and graphic designer whose works have appeared in numerous publications and websites. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he enjoys teaching, eating, and breathing.

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Five Sunflowers 
by John Stansfield
26 x 22 inches
Polychromos and Prismacolor on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Extra White HP. (Artist’s own photo.)

This is a bit of a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. It's something I've wanted to do for many years but never thought I could do it justice in any medium until I started using colored pencils. I found that colored pencils give me the detail and accuracy that I'd been looking for but couldn't really achieve with other mediums.

I wanted the flowers to be a little untidy or informal, not your usual arrangement. I wanted it to be similar in composition to his own sunflower paintings but not too close. The paint can was completely made up. I did the artwork for it in Photoshop and after much trial and error, I printed it out and stuck it to a paint can, photographed it many times and used this as a reference. The hardest thing was trying to make an accurate portrait of Van Gogh!

It took around 60 - 70 hours and I found it an emotional experience for many reasons, but I loved every minute of it. This artwork has made me realize that I am really just at the beginning of my journey with colored pencils.

About John Stansfield:

John has worked with many types of media over the years, including oils, acrylics, watercolor, and stained glass, to name a few, but has only been using colored pencils since August 2018. After a few failed attempts with CP, he tried again after being inspired by other CP artists, and this time he understood how to use CP and hasn't looked back.

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Nature's Kaleidoscope 
by Carmin Olson
24 x 19 inches
Colored pencil on Pastelmat. (Artist’s own photo.)

I took the reference photo for Natures Kaleidoscope in the Fall of 2018. As I was outside admiring the vibrant colors of the leaves on my Japanese Snowball Bush "Mariesii," I knew they would soon be turning brown and covered with snow with Michigans winter fast approaching. I wanted to capture this colorful last hoorah in a grand way and challenge myself so I used 52 colored pencils and applied many, many layers.

I started by bringing my photo into Photoshop, adjusted the hue, brightness, and contrast, and then cropped to complete my composition. What captured my attention and why I chose this photo for reference was the movement of the largest leaves as if they were marching.

After transferring to my favorite paper (Clairefontaine Pastelmat) I applied a layer of colored pencil and used Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner and a small paint brush to dissolve the colored pencil. From there, many layers were applied until I achieved deep rich colors.

This piece is very special to me for several reasons. It is the largest colored pencil piece I have created to-date (I actually stopped counting the hours invested after 90 because I was embarrassed it was taking me so long but I persevered). Also, I wanted to stretch myself by using as many colors as I could to achieve a very detailed, vibrant and interesting subject matter to catch the viewer's eye. Another reason for using so many bright deep colors is that I mostly draw animal portraits, therefore many colors in my sets haven't even been sharpened (blues, reds, neons), so this gave me a chance to break them in.

Working on "Nature's Kaleidoscope" filled my personal quota of doing something daily that moves me emotionally and spiritually.

About Carmin Olson:

Carmin resides in Saline, MI, a small town just outside of Ann Arbor ,home to the University of Michigan. Her love of creating started early like many artists with coloring books and crayons. She is very detail oriented (...too much) and is drawn to all things shiny, sparkly, furry, and of course, nature.

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These artworks were published in the September 2019 issue of COLOR Magazine.

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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