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!
Hanging In There by Diane Simmons
18 x 11 inches, colored pencil on Pastelmat board
I have always relied on other people’s photos as reference for my art, whether it was a personal photo from a client or a professional wildlife photo. Lately, I have been looking for opportunities to take my own photos for reference. I was at a hotel in Texas, and a wildlife rescue group was there with this adorable sloth. The sloth was the highlight of the wildlife exhibit and he was surrounded by a crowd. Just as I went over to snap his photo, he looked right at me, and I knew I finally captured the perfect reference photo. The biggest challenge in creating this piece was creating the wildlife background as the real photo was in a hotel lobby. Fortunately, because sloths move so slow, they are the perfect wildlife model!
Diane Simmons combines her classical art training from UCLA with her new found love of colored pencils. She loves to capture animal personalities and has returned to her first love of doing human portraits. She resides in the Dallas, Fort Worth area with her husband.
Spooked by Jill Price
23x18 inches, colored pencil on Drafting Film
I was in Pilanesberg National Park, which is in the North West Province of South Africa, I was sitting in a hide called Makorwane watching the zebras drink water, when all of a sudden the Zebras took off, they were being chased by a lioness, hence the name” spooked” I took a few photos which I put together to create this drawing. They are actually of the same two zebras just of different angles. These zebras are called the plains zebra. My art teacher, Bonny Snowdon is the inspiration for this drawing, she was teaching us about bumping up the saturation which is what I did and this is the result. It took me 2 weeks to complete, and many layers of coloured pencils on the drafting film. I used oranges, pinks, blues, including delft blue, which I love, greens, and many other colours. It was a strange experience drawing zebras in totally different colours, but I love the result.
Jill Price was born in South Africa. She has always been interested in all art mediums, from pencil drawings, to oils, pastels and now coloured pencils. She never had any formal training except for a year in high school. She focuses mainly on wild life and pet portraits.
People Watching by Judith Wysocki
14 by 11 inches, colored pencil on Pastelmat
Lions are my favorite subject to draw. I love my art to do 3 things: have humor, show action, and tell a story. Drawing each bit of fur and using many colors for the eyes are what brings life and excitement to each big cat. This is my fourth lion colored pencil piece. Another is currently on my easel ready to begin. The relationship between lions, a lioness, and their cubs are so touching to watch their personalities come forward. When I saw this photograph, I knew I had to try and capture that twinkle in his eyes. His expression and posture showed what he thought as he watched the crowds of noisy children at the zoo... "I'm SO glad my cubs are grown".
At the age of 71, after not drawing for 48 years, Judith discovered colored pencils and a passion for drawing animals, something she had never done before. Five years later, she continues to learn and has recently found drawing portraits as exciting as animals as her art journey continues.
Homage To My Beloved Grandmother by Laurie Sénacq
8.3x11.7 inches, colored pencil on Strathmore Bristol 300 series A4
This is a portrait of Maïté Villard, my beloved grandmother. She started drawing at 85, created stunning pastels, and garnered local newspaper coverage. Her balcony view inspired the portrait's pan pastel background. She is proof that it is never too late to start drawing. I had the chance to participate in an exhibition with her. My father wanted to commission me her portrait for Mother's Day. Unfortunately, COVID took her away from us. So I have offered this portrait to my dad for Father's Day.
Laurie Sénacq, a pencil portrait artist from Alès, France, began drawing at 13. In 2018, she discovered colored pencils, transitioning to a full-time artist and selling her portraits in 2022. Today, she shares her techniques through teaching.
These artworks are published in the SEPTEMBER 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.
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