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!
Of Dog and Man by Annelies Vrinten
11.7 x 16.5 inches, colored pencil on Canson Illustration BO, Manga
This work is dedicated to the memory of my cousin, who unexpectedly passed away this year at the age of 51. When I was short of ideas what to create at the time, it was suggested to make a portrait of him as a gift to his wife and children. Since he had served in the navy and worked as a professional dog trainer and handler, I came up with this composition; in the dunes, the sea at his back and hugging his favorite dog. It took me about 35 hours to complete, and I enjoyed every single step. I felt it was an honor for the family to have requested me to make this piece and took my time completing it. It was like reading a good book, being engrossed in the story, and feeling a bit melancholic when you finish the last page.
Annelies Vrinten is 46 years old and lives close to the city of Rotterdam with her husband and cat. Since about 18 months, she has made the shift to working with colored pencils, mostly soft pastels. Despite being poor sighted, at 15%, she makes realistic portraits in a painteresque style.
Teddy Cuddles by Brenda Frame
8.5 x 8.25 inches, colored pencil on Pastelmat
Although made of fur fabric and stuffing, teddies become imbued with character, especially when they become a little worn in places with being loved and cuddled. Often dragged around by one arm, sat on, washed and hung up to dry on the washing line by their ears, they hold a special place in our hearts for many of us, reminding us of childhood pas. My golden teddy, Russ, was a present from my mum (sadly no longer with us), so he is quite dear to me. The other teddy, Tough Ted, is a replacement for another one which was hijacked by my youngest son many years ago, and it became his. I couldn’t resist the opportunity when I saw this Tough Ted on an online site, just shows, we’re never too old for a little stuffed bear.
Brenda Frame was born in Forres, Scotland. Studied at Textiles & Fashion at Winchester School of Music after a fine art foundation course in Lancashire. Was a textile designer in Rhodesia. Late worked in administration and hospitality. Discovered coloured pencils and taking this medium forward.
Kylo, the beautiful Boxer by Raluca Barbieru
8 x 11 inches, on Pastelmat
This drawing has a special meaning for me and I have put a lot of emotions into it. It is called Kylo, the beautiful Boxer or Kylo Ren, the boxer. Kylo Ren is my dog's full name. Almost two years ago my cat, Pufu, died and left me and my husband devastated. We loved him so much. After a few months we decided to adopt a boxer dog and I have found a very good kennel. Something very strong inside me told me that it has to be one of the puppies this kennel had at that time. After we choose Kylo we have found out why. Kylo was born in the exact same day that our Pufu died. I don't have words to describe how special this is. I think Kylo is a gift from Pufu. Kylo is very beautiful, intelligent, funny and playful dog with lots of positive energy. I feel so lucky having him. He inspires me to continue drawing and showed me how beautiful life is. Each day that passes, Kylo brings so much joy into our lives.
Raluca Barbieru is a Pet Portrait artist specialized in colored pencils. She is coming from Romania where she has studied Interior design. She is currently living in Germany with her husband where she has a day job and in her free time she draws her pets. Her dream is to become a professional artist.
Pickle and Mr T the Taco by Vanessa Harding
12x8 inches, colored pencil on Grafix Drafting Film
Pickle and Mr T the Taco have their own accounts on social media and a hilarious ’love/hate’ relationship which I’ve followed for some time. I was drawn to this particular photo and Pickle’s stunning eyes. The texture and colours within her fur were interesting to capture and required some use of the slice tool! I was also keen to see what I could do with the various textures of her toy- Mr T the Taco, ensuring that the portrait captured the materials accurately. Having previously drawn mainly dogs, I was really pleased with how this turned out.
Vanessa is a self-taught coloured pencil artist based in Hampshire, UK. Having retired early due to ill health in 2019, Vanessa turned to drawing as a means of therapy and quickly found a passion for drawing animals. This is developing further of late to human portraits.
Vanessa Harding Art
These artworks are published in the OCTOBER 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.
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