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!
Suki by Frances Walker
8.27x11.69 inches, coloured pencil on Arches Hot Pressed paper
Meet Suki, one of my two gorgeous kitties, and the first female cat I’ve had. She and her brother, Teddy, are both real cuties! Early in the morning, the summer swifts give a wonderful show of aerial acrobatics in front of the window, and Suki sits on her favourite perch on the scratch pole, mesmerised! Sometimes she even talks to them! I took the reference photo one sunny morning, with the air full of birds, and feel it captured her daily pose perfectly! In January 2022, after having seen other wonderful artists create beautiful photo realistic animal portraits using coloured pencils, and being an animal lover and cat owner, I knew I just had to try this myself. For such a long time, I have dreamed of using art to capture my beautiful cats, but didn’t have the skill to do so. I took a couple of courses, learnt an incredible amount from some wonderful artists, and have fallen in love with this coloured pencil medium. This is my third coloured pencil portrait, and my first on hot pressed paper. It was a real learning experience, especially regarding layering on this surface, and trying to replicate Suki’s super-soft fur. I confess, I almost gave up a couple of times at the beginning, and wanted to start over with DuraLar film, which I find more conducive to creating texture and fine detail. However, since this portrait was for me, and there was no pressure to achieve a good result for anyone else, I pushed through, thoroughly enjoyed the process of trial and error, and have learnt new techniques as a result. With this portrait, I realise I can achieve my dream, and I have to confess I’m thrilled with the result. This portrait is so special to me because it has given me the confidence to take on pet portrait commissions, and, more importantly, to do them justice.
About Frances Walker:
Frances is a self-taught British artist living in Barcelona. She started with watercolours in Dec. 2020 to readdress her work-life balance. In 2022, Frances discovered a love for both coloured pencil animal portraits, and mixed media art, and aims to turn these passions into a career before 2023.
Love is in the Hare by Karen O'Neill-Brown
16.5 x 11inches on Grafix Drafting Film
There's a tension between these beautiful Brown Hares. A sense of anticipation, of unpredictability. Are they meeting for the first time, or are they old friends? There is something magical about these lovely animals, thought to have been brought to Britain by the Romans. These gentle and docile animals are now protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and Hare Coursing is now illegal in the UK. Larger than rabbits with longer legs and black-tipped ears, they are a joy to see racing across the fields near my home. The expression 'Mad as a March Hare' is an English expression derived from the strange behaviour seen in Hares, particularly in March, when they behave in an unpredictable and seemingly eccentric manner. For example, they might be seen in madcap chases across the fields and engaging in furious boxing matches. It was thought that the protagonists were two males fighting over a female, but it is now believed to be a female hare fighting off an unwanted suitor. But will this couple fight, or is it love at first sight?
About Karen O'Neill-Brown:
Karen is an animal artist from Shropshire, UK. She started drawing in pen and ink and worked in that medium for many years, occasionally experimenting with other media which resulted in varying degrees of abysmal. She found colour daunting but having found coloured pencil artists on the internet, was inspired. She had found her perfect medium.
See more at: https://www.oneillanimalart.com
Wild blueberries by Nancy Barriault
4x7.5 inches, Strathmore Bristol paper
I took the reference photo during a visit to my childhood town (Baie-Comeau, Québec), where I still have family and usually visit with my kids and husband twice a year. The last few years was an exception, as we had to postpone our trip several times because of the pandemic. These little wild blueberries bring back so many memories to me! I also enjoyed drawing these little fruits. As I wanted the blueberries to stand out more in my drawing, I included all details of the fruits, branch and leaves while modifying the background so it would be more out of focus than on my reference photo.
About Nancy Barriault:
Nancy is a part-time artist, full-time patent agent, and mom of two who had abandoned her pencils for over 15 years. She renewed with her passion during the pandemic. She mainly draws still life and nature inspired images and is motivated by the challenge of a certain level of details.
Yorkshire Sheep by Terri Skinner
40x30cm, on Dark Green PastelMat
We encountered this sheep on one of our holidays in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales — one of my favourite places to visit in the UK. We love to walk in this area and often see these sheep which are bred to cope with harsh conditions during British winters high in the Dales. The sheep itself is drawn with just coloured pencil but I experimented with using a little pan pastel on the coloured background to give the impression of blurred vegetation behind. Spraying with fixative afterwards added to the textured effect with rather a pleasing result!
About Terri Skinner:
Terri is a hobby artist who enjoys dabbling in different media but particularly likes the detail that can be achieved with coloured pencils.
These artworks are published in the OCTOBER 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine.
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