July 2017 Featured Artists. Corresponding with the art gallery that is featured each month in Ann Kullberg's COLOR Magazine, The 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 links at the bottom of this post for our Facebook group partners - join in the fun and your artwork could be featured, too!
Every face tells a story. Although I don't know my subject matter personally, I was captivated by her eyes and the story they might tell. I often spend hours searching for the perfect subject matter to find something that speaks to me. When I finally found a face that moved me, I knew that she had to be my muse for this particular drawing.
In the original photo reference, there was almost a sadness in her expression. I made adjustments, including adding the flowers, for my interpretation of the photo. I wanted to reflect warmth and a glimmer of mystery about who this girl might be. As I worked to render this drawing I found myself becoming more curious about her. The drawing took on a life of its own, and what started for me as a girl with a sadness in her eyes, turned into a portrait of a beautiful woman gazing confidently back at the viewer.
Barb Sotiropoulos is an award-winning Canadian colored pencil and mixed media artist. Creating bold, vibrant wildlife and portrait art is her passion. She is currently the monthly Q&A columnist for COLORED PENCIL Magazine and a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
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Blissful Blue by Donna Mulley
35 x 50cm
Bernese Mountain Dog - (AKC Champion) CH Foxfire's Blue Northern or "Blue" Faber Castell & Caran D'Ache pencils on Pale Blue Pastelmat.
Being a self-confessed crazy dog lady, owned and leaned on by pair of beautiful Bernese of my own, I know first hand how much these beautiful dogs adore the snow. Unfortunately our corner of the UK rarely gets more than a light dusting, but when we do have snow my boy Ted is in absolute heaven. After eating as much of it as he can, he'll settle down for ages just inhaling the frosty air and letting the snow fall all around him.
When I came across Blue's reference photo I knew instantly that, just like Ted, he truly was a dog in his absolute element and I really hoped that I'd be able to capture that deep contentment in his portrait.
Bernese Mountain Dog Blue is described as a sweet, handsome, mellow boy. His owner and breeder kept him from her first, and only, home-raised litter and, being a lover of crisp winter weather herself, named him Foxfire's Blue Northern after the western US winter storms, a fast moving cold front characterized by dark blue-black sky.
Blue has enjoyed a successful show career, he's an AKC Champion, but he's now approaching nine years old and his health isn’t as robust as it once was, he's been diagnosed with cervical instability or Wobblers syndrome and is gradually losing his coordination but this heart-dog and dream of a Bernese is loved and cared for and still happy to spend his time just chillin’ in the snow.
An empty nest provided time, dogs provided inspiration and a friend provided the encouragement to invest in a selection of good quality pencils and "Practice, practice, practice”. I guess I’ve been practicing ever since. Each project is practice for the next and each dog a new character to capture.
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This painting was a commission by a therapist, who wanted a mandala for her consulting room to add some harmony and joy. She left the design and color choices to me. I didn't know her room, but she told me that one wall is lilac. Thus I included this color in my piece.
With this piece I want to show the growth process beneath the surface in a symbolic way. For me it is always a marvel that a beautiful, fragrant rose in all its delicateness and elegance can evolve out of its stem. When looking closely at flowers, we discover symmetrical and harmonious designs which underlie each individually shaped plant. We know that on a deeper level very tiny elementary particles, which are invisible to the naked eye, work together in creating the visible matter. To show a bit of this invisible creativity, order and intelligence, which enable the beautiful growth and evolving in nature, was what I aimed for.
One possibility to perceive this mandala could be to see elementary particles in the innermost circle and hints of natural structures in the outer circle. Between the circles there is a dynamic exchange of information, enabling well-ordered growth. The connection of the areas in and around the circles could indicate the interplay between earth, light and cosmos.
Colored pencils are Angela Matuschka's favorite artistic tools. She loves them for their uncomplicated handling and yet very versatile possibilities. For some time she has been running her own classes on working with colored pencils. Imagination, beauty and harmony are important themes for her art.
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Sherry has drawn all her life and over the years has dabbled in various mediums - oils, acrylics, watercolors and graphite. She discovered artist quality colored pencils in 2014 and realized these were her favorite medium! She lives with her husband and their three ragdoll cats in Kreamer, Pennsylvania.
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