The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - February 2019

The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - February 2019

Corresponding with the art gallery that is featured each month in Ann Kullberg's COLOR MagazineThe Pencil Box blog series will give artists a bit more space to share insight and inspiration about their colored pencil art. Make sure to check out FB group links at the bottom of this post. Call for entry is posted every month in participating Facebook groups - join in the fun and your artwork could be featured, too!

Pepsi by Susan Murray
8 x 11 inches, PanPastel underpainting, Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils on Clairefontaine Pastelmat paper. Photo reference with permission from owner.

Pepsi sadly passed over the rainbow bridge not long after I started this commission. So I obviously wanted to do the best I could for Pepsi's owners. In their words he was a grumpy cat, but so loved. Firstly I concentrated on his eyes to try and achieve that "I'm content, but come any nearer and things could become dangerous!" look. I think the eyes capture so much of the subject's character whether it be human or animal. I then turned to the short fur on his head and face. It is so important with short fur to get the direction right as that and shadow placement is what builds up the contours/features. The fur on his chest, again direction is important but trying to achieve the fluffiness was a bit of a struggle, but I kept going adding so many layers until I ended up with something I was happy with and looked fluffy.
I hoped I had done Pepsi justice, but the lovely letter Pepsi's owners wrote me brought a tear to my eye and put a smile on my face.

About Susan:

Susan rediscovered her love for art 2 years ago after a viewing of a colored pencil YouTube video. She did a couple of dog portraits for a friend's wedding anniversary, this progressed to an Animal Art by Law workshop which was the catalyst to setting up her own Facebook page.

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Hooch by Kat Busby
9" x 12", Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache Luminance on Arches Aquarelle, hot pressed, 300gm-140lb. 

Hooch, a Shar Pei, was a special commission for me as it was my first memorial drawing. I was presented with several reference photos but this one  captured the essence of the dog especially his character and beauty. His bandana was an enhancing addition which I felt added to the uniqueness of the drawing. I was thrilled that my client appreciated the work and that it will serve as a reminder of a wonderful companion. My primary approach to a drawing is to fully capture the eyes, these are of utmost importance, the owner knows these eyes, they have to be perfect and when the owner looks at the art they should feel that they are, once again, looking into the eyes of a dear friend. From there on the drawing develops via many layers of color which create a rich depth. Concentrating on the highlights and the shadows is what brings the drawing to life.

About Kat:

Kat uses coloured pencils, mostly Faber-Castell and Caran d’Ache Luminance, to create stunningly realistic drawings from photographs. Kat draws for clients in the U.K but has been commissioned to create work for clients internationally. Her ultra realism creations are mostly commissions but she still enjoys creating art for pleasure.

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Gonna Catch You by Lorri Dixon
9 x12 inches, Prismacolor on Pastelmat.
Photo Reference:  David Ash

This is the second piece of artwork that I've created without following any kind of tutorial or guide.  My very first attempt, on my own, was a kingfisher done in the summer - after I'd gone through about six colored pencil tutorials from fabulous instructors.  

In November, I attended a SOAR workshop and learned to create a cat using Pastelmat, Gamsol, and a Slice ceramic knife - all of which I'd never tried before.  I then wondered if I could apply the same techniques and create a tiger that I'd seen posted by David Ash (one of the terrific photographers who freely share photos with artists).  The tiger is special to me because, as David noted when he provided it, "these are dark days for wildlife," in particular after China's decision to reverse their law making use of tiger parts.

By utilizing the same techniques as those I used in the workshop, I was delighted in being able to create a semblance of this tiger!  However, I didn't actually think my artwork was worthy enough for a Pencil Box submission because I'm so new to the art world.  But, because of the encouragement by fabulous artists in the colored pencil Facebook groups that I belong to, I decided to enter!  I'm delighted that I did! While it's mind-blowing to be showcased along with the actual stellar artists, I'm incredibly honored and grateful that my artwork was chosen to be featured in such an awesome magazine!  

About Lorri:

Lorri Dixon started her journey in colored pencils and all things art related quite recently. In fact, it was May of 2018 when she began diligently working through various tutorials and trying her hand at a few of her own pieces. Looking forward to where she goes with this!

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Fox Cub Adventure by Janine Wilkins
A3, Canson heavyweight paper

I follow a family of foxes that has a den at the bottom of my garden. The first time I saw their offspring this spring was a joy and I was able to photograph them exploring from afar. They were unaware of my presence which made it all the more special to see them innocently playing. I chose this cub to draw as the afternoon sun shone on its fur bringing out the oranges and yellow of its coat. The grass trodden down from where they lay sunbathing near the den entrance. A range of colored pencils and blending techniques enabled me to portray the warmth and texture of the fox cub’s features and fur coat.

About Janine:

Janine loves wildlife and is passionate about drawing animals in colored pencil. She continues to look for ways to improve on her techniques by challenging herself to draw more characteristic animal poses that tell a story or reflect an atmosphere of the habitat in which the animal lives.

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


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