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 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!
The Flax King by Helen Theron
8.3 x 11.7 inches, colored pencil on drafting film
This piece represented my new life as an immigrant. The Tui, a bird native to New Zealand, that upon first glance could appear boring and drab, and on a second look is instead covered in vibrant colours and the promise of a beautiful song. The flax flowers in various states, from fresh buds to dying flowers and the flax plant itself (harakeke) representing family in Māori mythology. It was created as a gift for an amazing colleague, also an immigrant, and the first bird call that he heard upon arriving in New Zealand was the Tui. This piece was a “deviation from the norm” for me as I specialise and love working on Purebred dogs, however, working on this piece gave me time to reflect on the changes and losses in my life after moving to a new country as well as the incredible people that I gained to my whānau (family) by doing so.
About Helen Theron:
Helen Theron is a South African born artist, now living in New Zealand. Her inspiration comes from the perfection seen in the animal form in regards to their function. Helen has a special interest in how animals have shaped the history of mankind, in particular, the purebred dog.
Scotch Mule Ewe by Janna Hilferty
11x14 inches, colored pencil on Pastelmat
I was inspired to do a portrait of a sheep with face markings like this one after watching Clarkson’s Farm and falling in love with all the mischievous sheep. This photo by Eilidh Simmons was so beautiful with the various wool textures and markings that I knew I had to try it! I used a lot of Luminance raw umber tones from darkest to lightest to achieve the texture on the chest, and a variety of pencils with umber and ochre tones in the longer fleece. For the background I used a number of smoothing techniques to make the more textured sheep really pop off the page.
About Janna Hilferty:
Janna Hilferty is a colored pencil portrait artist located in Austin, Texas. She has been drawing from a young age, but since 2021 has drawn daily to hone her skill set. In 2022, she launched her custom portrait business, with a specialty in realistic pet portraits.
Rose-crowned Fruit Doves by Judy Egan
11 x 8.5 inches, colored pencil on Grafix 0.005 Drafting Film
Despite being so spectacularly coloured, Rose-crowned Fruit Doves are extremely difficult to see amongst the tropical and subtropical vegetation of Northern and Eastern Australia where they feed on native fruits. Often you can hear them but not see them! In some areas of Australia they are now listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss but fortunately, in Northern Australia populations are more secure. Because they are so shy and elusive and difficult to see, they are rarely portrayed in artwork. This piece was based on a fabulous photo taken by photographer, John Gruen, in combination with some of my own reference photos and using fresh plant reference material for the foreground. It was a delight to work on such a beautiful and colourful species!
About Judy Egan:
Judy is an artist living in tropical Northern Territory, Australia. With a background in botany and zoology, her artwork is mostly inspired by the natural world and is held in many private collections. She belongs to several national and international societies.
Snow Leopard by Justine Woosnam
14x11 inches, colored pencil on Fabriano Bristol smooth paper
I love all big cats and particularly snow leopards. The expression on this beautiful cat's face really caught my attention and I have tried to capture the softness in his fur. I always start with the eyes, as it is my favourite part to draw. I actually drew this for my friend's daughter who lives in Australia. Snow leopards are her favourite big cat and it was an honour to draw one for her. If given a choice, I would draw big cats all day. You will see a lot more of them on my Facebook art page. My hope is that I can inspire others and share the beauty of these amazing animals.
About Justine Woosnam:
Justine lives in beautiful New Zealand. She has drawn and loved animals her whole life. After working as a zoo keeper for 10 years, with a huge variety of many amazing animals, she has some wonderful memories. She tries to capture the beauty in every animal she draws.
These artworks are published in the MAY 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.
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