The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - November 2023

The Pencil Box - Featured Artists - November 2023

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!

Portrait of the Woman by Anna Nykiel
8x12 inches, colored pencil on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper

I was fascinated by the diversity of textures. Smooth hair, matte metal decorations, soft fabric, and delicate imperfections of the skin. It was a challenge because I mainly draw animals, and I don't feel confident creating portraits of people. When I finished, I knew it was worth trying. Now, with the drawing hanging on my wall, I often think about this woman. I wonder if she would like the portrait and if she would smile while looking at it. I would like her to know that her amazing appearance inspired me to draw this piece.


Ania Nykiel is an artist living in Wieluń, Poland. She has always enjoyed various forms of creative activities but does not have formal artistic training. She discovered colorful pencils three years ago during the pandemic. Currently, she works as an accountant and only draws in her free time.

Lauren by Deborah Buchholz
12"X8", colored pencil on Pastelmat

Have you ever seen a photograph that grabbed you? Something that kept drawing you back? My friend Glenda posted this gorgeous portrait of her granddaughter and I knew I had to draw it! I finally approached Glenda for permission to use it for a reference. The elements that kept bringing me back were how the light touched her hair and skin leaving shadows. Not until I started drawing her mouth did I realize how tricky and wonderful it was to capture her mysterious smile. And her beautiful red hair and freckles. This had everything I could ask for to challenge my skills. This is what makes it special to me.


Deborah was a Respiratory Therapist until 2 1/2 years ago when she hit her head falling on black ice and became disabled. This allowed her to spend time growing her skills. Her primary medium was graphite. When she was introduced to Bonny Snowdon Academy, she found her true joy in colored pencils.

Kookaburra Sitting In The Old Gum Tree by Katrina Dimond
8x10 inches, colored pencil on Grafix drafting film

The native Australian laughing Kookaburra makes a very familiar call sounding like raucous laughter which makes it an Aussie favourite with many children and adults alike trying to mimic it. When I came across a beautiful photo by a local photographer Kiri Handreck, I knew the markings and colours of the feathers would make it a wonderful subject to draw and she graciously gave me permission. I wanted to capture the native bush land colours which prompted the use of the green for the background in this piece.


Katrina resides in Australia in a small town in South west Victoria. She has always been creative however has only recently discovered coloured pencil art and favours animal realism.

Bruce by McKenzie Gutshall
6x8 inches, colored pencil on Fabriano Artistico

What better model for your first portrait than your own dog? We brought Bruce Wayne Gretzky home 8 years ago — one month after uprooting our lives and moving to a new city. He's been with us through 2 apartments, a house, and 2 furless babies (that he's reluctantly accepted). I look at him now and notice more white on his face than there was when this picture was taken, and I'm humbly reminded of how precious and fleeting our time is with our beloved companions. This piece was sentimental, a great technical learning experience, and will have a permanent place in our home.


McKenzie Gutshall is a designer and artist living in Central Ohio, USA. She began painting human portraits as a teenager, lost touch with art in young adulthood, and found a renewed calling drawing animals after picking up colored pencils in 2023.

These artworks are published in the NOVEMBER 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.


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