The Pathway, A 3D Journey

The Pathway, A 3D Journey

by Linda H Clark

When I was in art school — waaay back in 1969-1971 — I studied fashion illustration and graphic design. I could almost always be found with a sketchbook in hand, telling a story in simple illustrations with adorable little children or tall, lanky, often shapeless, women.

Fast-forward fifty years to the 21st century — my artistic style still gravitates toward drawing illustrations of whimsical, stylized, figures, and telling stories — now with my trusty colored pencils. Basically, I’m an illustrator at heart. These days I usually describe my artistic style as … “playfully whimsical with hints of realism.”

The Pathway - 3D Mixed Media

My current series is inspired by women in the Bible (with a bit of whimsy of course). The first artwork in this series is “The Pathway”— a 3D, whimsically styled artwork inspired by the “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John.

The women represent … in order Left to Right
I AM the
The Bread of Life (John 6:35)
The Light of the World (John 8:12)
The Gate (or Door) (John 10:9)
The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
The Resurrection and The Life (John 11:25)
The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6)
True Vine (John 15:5)

“My artistic style still gravitates toward drawing illustrations of whimsical, stylized, figures, and telling stories.”

1. Clothing design and colors were based on each individual verse (based on researched symbolism and color theory), and inspired by For Example: The Light of The World was designed to resemble the sky and rays of the sun to represent sunlight, optimism, freedom, and happiness.
2. The women are standing behind a low, stone boundary wall, which represents strength and resiliency.
3. The dove, sitting on the boundary wall, represents the Holy Spirit.
4. The greenery represents the Apostles and other followers of Jesus (representing life, growth, praise, and a new beginning).
5. The road/path behind the women is The Path To Salvation.

I knew before I began that I wanted to make this a mixed media piece. The idea to turn it into a 3D artwork didn’t come to me until later in the planning process and the 3D effect seemed to be a perfect fit for my whimsical style.

Everything in the foreground was created using Prismacolors, Stabilo ALL Aquarellable white (to help achieve textures on fabric and rocks), Tombow ABT Markers, and the Icarus Board for some blending. The women were individually created on Strathmore Colored Pencil paper. The stone boundary wall was made using Bee Stipple paper because of its slightly bumpy texture. Various art paper scraps on hand were used for the greenery.

The background drawing was completed by using PanPastel and colored pencil on both sides of Team Plastics .005 two-sided drafting film, placed over black foam core.

Everything in the foreground was drawn, cut out individually, and then glued together. I tried several different methods before finally discovering the method that best worked for me. The drafting film background was attached to a large sheet of black foam core. Three 2.5”x18.5” strips of black foam core were glued on the lower part of the drafting film background. Various thicknesses of 7”x 3/4” popsicle sticks were attached behind each of the figures to provide strength. The popsicle sticks were then strategically placed between the different layers of foam core, so the figures would appear to be standing. The stone boundary wall, with greenery, was then glued over the figures and foam core. A variety of small felt spacers were attached behind the women, and to some of the greenery, so they wouldn’t sit directly on the surface behind them.

“So if at first you don’t succeed — DEFINITELY try, try again!”

It was a little stressful and time-consuming getting every figure placed “just so” so they didn’t cause unwanted shadows on the others when photos were taken. I must admit that the 3D process gave me more than a few headaches, but it really was a work of love, and I’m considering doing another one!

The work-in-progress photos below provide a better view of the dimension in this artwork.

Work In Progress side view

Work In Progress top view

Dimension: 14.5 x 18.5 x 1.75 inches
The seven women, the dove, greenery, and stone boundary wall are from my imagination
The background buildings are inspired by a Shutterstock photo (used with permission).

In January 2022, I was so excited and honored to receive an email from The Colored Pencil Society of America letting me know that “The Pathway” was selected as one of the fifty-six pieces juried into the 2022 CPSA Explore This! 18 online exhibition!! This was my 6th submission and my 1st acceptance into an Explore This! if at first you don’t succeed — DEFINITELY try, try again!


Linda H Clark is an award-winning artist who describes her artistic style as "playfully whimsical with hints of realism." With a background in illustration and design, she has developed an interesting perspective with which to create her fun and whimsical artworks. Linda's creative artistic style typically evokes emotional sentiments and memories -- sometimes thought provoking; always positive, cheerful, uplifting, and lighthearted. Linda is the creator of The Creative Color Place on Facebook.

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Comments (5)

Absolutely beautiful, meaningful piece! Thank you for sharing the story, and congratulations on your much deserved acceptance!

Susan R Donze - May 06, 2022

Linda what a beautiful article about a beautiful painting by a beautiful person! Congratulations!

Charlotte Hastings - May 06, 2022

I love Linda’s style. It can be deceptively simple. The subtle playfulness in her images hide her sophisticated approach and strategic design, and we (the charmed and delighted art viewers) are all the better for it.

Don White - May 06, 2022

Love the artwork, and the story. Congratulations

Susie Buma - May 06, 2022

I Love Linda’s whimsicle ability to tell a story with her amazing colored pencil work!!! Thank you for showing us your process, Linda!!! 🥰

Tammy - May 06, 2022

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