The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - November 2020

The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - November 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!

Red Vixen by Elaine Fraser
7.5 x 11 inches Grafix 0.005 double sided drafting film

About 2 years ago I started painting again after not touching a brush for over 30 years. Earlier this year I was looking for something painting related on the Internet and came across a coloured pencil drawing. Up to that point I had no idea what could be achieved with pencils and the more I looked around the more I was blown away and wanted to try it for myself. I bought a set of Polychromos and some drafting film and initially did a couple of pet portraits for people I knew and then I was hooked. I wanted to try a wildlife drawing and found this reference taken by Menno Schaefer on Wildlife Reference Photos and I knew straight away I wanted to draw it. I loved the way the light hit the fox's fur and wanted to challenge myself and see if I could translate that onto paper. Drawing is so different to painting where you can achieve light and shadow with a couple of brush strokes but I found with pencils I had to plan how to get the effects I wanted. I used my Tombow eraser quite a lot to lift out highlights where they were needed and deepened shadowy areas until I was happy with the result. I loved doing this drawing and I enjoy the discipline of following a reference photo. When I paint I never really know at the beginning where the painting will lead me so it's a nice change to have a visual image of where I should be heading. .

About Elaine Fraser:

Elaine is a self-taught artist living and working in the Cairngorm National Park in the Scottish Highlands. She would like to build a portfolio of wildlife drawings that include birds and animals from her local area.

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Snow Queen by Karen O'Neill-Brown
A3 size on Grafix Drafting Film

The Ghost of the Mountain so called because of her reclusive and shy nature, she is seldom actually seen in the wild. All animals are special to me, but there is something about this particular cat, living out her solitary life high in the cold, barren mountains of Central and Southern Asia that captures my imagination. I wanted to try to capture the thickness and softness of her fur and the subtle colour changes throughout. This took an age, but under that icy blue gaze, the eyes being the first part I draw, I had to try to get the richness of her coat right. I hope I succeeded.

Like so many other big cats the Snow Leopard has been hunted not only for its beautiful pelt but also for body parts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The leopard is also seen as a threat to local farmers where it might post a threat to their livestock. Global Warming is also believed to be contributing to their decline as the average temperature of their range rises and other species such as tigers and wild dogs begin to encroach on their territory, thus increasing competition for food. They have been hunted to a point where they are now under threat of extinction. But there are groups who are working hard to try to ensure the Leopard's survival.

But an interesting fact about the Snow Leopard, apart from the fact that its enormously bushy tail can be half the animal's length and is used to help keep the cold at bay, but it is the only big cat that cannot roar. Maybe that is another reason why it is called The Ghost of the Mountain—you won't hear her coming!.

About Karen O'Neill-Brown:

Karen sold her first pen and ink drawing of a tiger many years ago. Lacking the confidence to use colour, Karen stuck with ink until a YouTube video brought coloured pencils to her attention. Now hooked, she devotes herself to detailed realistic drawings of wildlife and pets in coloured pencil..

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Observing by Silvia Frei
9x11 inches, Fabriano Artistico hot pressed satined paper

This little doggy has such a special expression. She's always watchful and the owner’s best friend and such a lovely girl. I wanted to make her owner a wonderful memory and I wanted to capture this unique and spirited look. Those beautiful eyes, those fluffy ears and soft coat was really a challenge. It took me a lot of time to put in all the details and vibrant colours. I added much more layers of colour than usual. However, at least I think it is one of the best drawings I've ever done. It looks exactly the way I wanted to look like and it really improved my skill level. Therefore, this drawing is something special to me.

About Silvia Frei:

Silvia Frei is a professional animal portrait artist from southern Germany. She draws lifelike and detailed pet commissions and wildlife portraits in pastel and colored pencils.

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Drawing Paint by Marie Curran
16.5" x 12"on Saunders Waterford HP

A few years ago I inherited all of my Dad's old art materials, he had been a graphic designer and artist all his life. When looking for objects for a still life drawing I turned my attention to these items, some quite vintage now. “Drawing Paint” is one of a small series I did on this theme. The white ceramic palettes in this drawing allow for subtle shading and are a good contrast to the watercolour paints which give the opportunity to use a wide range of strong colours. I enjoyed choosing, mixing and arranging the colours and objects, in different lighting, until I got a composition I was happy with. It was important to me to pick colours that I could recreate using the lightfast pencils I have, as I always make sure my work is as permanent as possible. I was trying to depict watercolour paint in the pans and how it dries and settles on the palettes. Although I do watercolours from time to time, I mostly use them now to create the background colour for pastel or pencil drawings, allowing me to choose the colour, tone or graduation of colour I want to work on.

About Marie Curran:

Marie studied Design at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland where she lives. She has done many pet portraits and other commissions for many years and enjoys drawing any animals but cats most of all, big and small—despite the whiskers!.

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


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