The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - July 2020

The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - July 2020

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!

Max by Claire Needham
11 x 14 inches, Strathmore 500 Bristol Vellum

This work is part of a series I am creating about my family in lockdown. This is a portrait of my 7-year-old son, Max. He is a beautiful, funny and clever boy who also happens to be autistic. Most of the time he is in his own world, following his own agenda, never stopping, always on the move. I have caught him in a rare moment of stillness and contemplation, however in his side-ward gaze and slightest of smirks I can still see his mind working overtime plotting his next move. This was a labor of love, taking around 25 hours to complete. I have tried to maintain a softness in his features and create a warm glow while also capturing his likeness and complex character.

About Claire:

Claire is a portrait artist living in Fife, Scotland, specializing in drawing portraits of people, pets and wildlife.

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Sleepy Dormouse Jacqueline South
20cm x 20cm, smooth Bristol paper

Sleepy Dormouse was a fantastic picture to draw, getting into all those leaves and textures and then this little snugly figure in the middle! My love for detail and accuracy made this composition perfect, lots to do, layer by layer. Mice are so very sweet, and I wanted to create something that didn't repel those who think mice are not worth having around! A cute little dormouse has to make you smile! This illustration is a combination of several photographs sourced from a lovely lady in a dormouse group. She was really pleased with the result and even helped me tweak the nose a little to ensure it was exactly right! This is the fourth in a set of mouse illustrations which I have produced in a new series of English Nature images, all in colored pencil.

About Jacqueline:

Jacqueline South was encouraged at a very early age to experiment with different mediums, developing a variety of styles from dot pictures to pastel paintings. She loves fine detail, using pencils, pastels and watercolors in her work, taking on commissions and selling her pictures around the world.

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Tortoise Texture by Nicola Holdsworth
16x11 inches, Arches NOT watercolor paper

Some Asian tortoises, which I came across at a zoo, were the inspiration for this picture. The tortoises were fascinating animals — slow and ponderous, with a stunning variety of patterns and textures on their body and shells. One of them even seemed to be smiling! Their color was predominantly brown, but I added blues, pinks and purples to invite the viewer to pause and consider the patterns from a fresh perspective. I so enjoyed the creative journey making this picture took me on; from my visit to the zoo with sketchpad and camera, to the finished picture and all I've learned along the way about this beautiful, yet endangered, species.

About Nicola:

Nicola is an artist located in beautiful North Yorkshire. She combines her work as an artist with teaching. As a child, Nicola was first inspired to pick up a paintbrush by her love of horses and still takes inspiration for her work from her love of animals..

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Horseplay by Helen Bailey
13" x 23" Cresent suede matboard

This mustang stallion named Champ is standing alone in the Salt River in Arizona. It is unusual so see him alone because he is usually with his band of mares. You can see the marks on his body from all the fights with other stallions to keep his mares. He is a well-known and well-loved stallion in this part of Arizona. His playing in the water in the form of splashing really appealed to me and his mares are probably close by but out of sight of the camera. He keeps them close in order to protect them at the first threat of danger.

About Helen:

Helen Bailey has been an artist all her life but only made it a lucrative business once she retired from the corporate world. Animals, especially horses, have been her main focus since she studied colored pencil from other colored pencil artists like Linda Lucas Hardy, a terrific teacher and friend. 

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These artworks are published in the JULY 2020 issue of COLOR Magazine.


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