14 August 2016

The past couple of months have been very busy, too busy to take the time to write a blog but I’ll make sure I update you with all my news to date.

Wyndham Art Prize

It was very exciting to have ‘Halls Gap Sentry’ shortlisted for the Wyndham Art Prize, which is a very new exhibition, only in its second year. All finalists were on display at the Werribee Art Gallery for six weeks from mid March to early May.

'Halls Gap Sentry'

Ann Kullberg’s Hidden Treasures III

In June, Ann Kullberg’s Hidden Treasures Volume III was released, and I was thrilled to have ‘Halls Gap Sentry’ published amongst 260 of the best colour pencil artists from all over the world. This is the second time my work has been selected for Hidden Treasures. You can get your own copy at www.annkullberg.com

CP Hidden Treasures Volume III
June 2016

AUSCPA Colourbrations Exhibition

On the 30th June, the winners were announced for the Australian Society of Coloured Pencil Artists International Online AUSCPA Colourbrations Exhibition. I was excited to be one of almost 200 entries which is quite amazing as this was the debut exhibition with AUSCPA. It was also an extremely busy couple of months with curating the entries, together with all of the committee members, along with my usual secretarial duties. You can visit www.auscpa.org to see all the entries as well as the well deserving winners!


Artist’s Drawing & Inspiration Magazine

In July I was thrilled to have my THIRTEENTH publication in Artist’s Drawing & Inspiration Magazine Issue, with my name on the front cover! Inside is a five page insight article and five page demonstration step by step of ‘Halls Gap Sentry’. I was over the moon when I was first published on the front cover of Julie Toner’s Just A Little Unwell in 2013, and to have now obtained my thirteenth publication, I’m incredibly humbled and thankful. You can purchase Artist’s Drawing & Inspiration magazine at www.woodlandspublishing.com.au

Artist's Drawing & Inspiration Magazine, Issue 21
July 2016

Camberwell Art Show

In July, I was overwhelmed to discover that ‘Halls Gap Sentry’ received a Highly Commended award at one of the most prestigious art shows in Australia, the Camberwell Art Show. This is a very exciting time for colour pencil art as it’s beginning to stand up against the popular fine art mediums such as oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolour, and win!

Coloured Pencil Drawing Workshop at Monastery Hill

July was an exciting month as together with another colour pencil artist Karina Griffiths, ran a workshop focusing on colour pencil and how to create a fine art piece from start to finish. There was an incredible amount of planning and preparation involved long before the day even started, and the day itself was very long with a huge amount of information to get through. Our aim was to give students all the information they needed for every aspect of their art journey.

The day was an overall success with all our students taking away plenty of knowledge and experience, while giving us the valuable feedback we need to improve subsequent workshops. We also all made new friends who share the passion for coloured pencil!

I was very excited to undertake this challenge of developing and presenting a workshop with one of my favourite artists, who is also a dear friend. You can see Karina’s stunning works at www.karinasfineart.com

Keep your eyes open for upcoming workshops, the next booked for late October including both a follow-up and beginners workshop.

At the beginning of my journey in using coloured pencils, I completed my first coloured pencil portrait. I was happy with the drawing at the time but as I developed my skills and knowledge, I saw my evident lack of creating the correct tones for skin. I was not confident enough to try a portrait again until I had the right understanding of creating realistic skin tones. Recently I completed another portrait of my beautiful dad and as you can see, I think I have improved quite dramatically! If I was to offer any advice to anyone who wanted to learn how to draw or improve their skills, it would be to “Draw, draw, draw! And then draw some more”. With every drawing completed you learn and improve with your skills and technique. Trust me!


31 January 2016

This year begins a new era in my household. My youngest joins his older three siblings and starts his school life. It is a time of mixed sadness and excitement. I’m sad that my littlest boy and the baby of the family is starting the next chapter and excited that the time has come for me to spend more time doing what I love, creating art.

I plan to complete many more works than I have been able to previously and I have quite a few of my own reference photographs in mind to use. I have similar subjects in mind that you will have already seen as well as others that you have not. My goal is also to create a few works with a similar theme in mind, almost like a series of works. I’m very enthusiastic and motivated and look forward to seeing where it will lead.

In 2o15 I entered a few art shows and with a much larger amount of works being completed I plan to enter more. They are always enjoyable and offer an insight into different artists, styles, themes and popular subjects. I think shows are an important part of developing experience for myself as an emerging artist and help to promote my work.

Mid December 2015 saw an insight and tutorial article published with Artist’s Palette Magazine and for the first month of 2016 I have been honoured to have another publication in ‘Ann Kullberg’s Color 2015 – Color Magazine Collection Book’, which is twelve issues of Color Magazine from 2015 in book form. Included is my Spotlight article from the September 2015 issue. Any work or article I have published is incredibly encouraging to work harder. I consider it a privilege and look forward to sharing more with you!

AK's COLOR Magazine Book




21 December 2015

This month began began with organising my very first calendar consisting of twelve of my most popular works. I wanted to have a variety of subjects in both graphite and colour pencil. I created it using RedBubble and the quality is superb. If you would like to purchase a calendar just follow to link to my RedBubble shop.

Calendar 2016

Mid December came another publication with the Australian magazine ‘Artist Palette’ and consisting of a five page Insight article with fourteen images and also another five page step by step Demonstration article. It was especially fun writing the Demonstration as I had to really think what I was doing as I was drawing ‘Halls Gap Sentry’. It is always an honour to have my work published and this was an especially exciting publication as this was my first Australian magazine article and my first step by step Demonstration.

If you would  like a copy of the magazine, follow the link to Woodlands Publishing and order via the contact form (the article images attached are teasers only and two pages of a five page article).

Artist Palette Magazine Yearbook 2015
December 2015

Screenshot 2015-12-18 20.03.26

31 May 2015

Quite recently I completed my second large scale coloured pencil painting, which I titled ‘Kaleidoscope’. It all began when I happened to see a stunning photograph by a wonderful artist Shirley Davies, whom I’ve had the pleasure to get to know through Facebook – Shirley’s Pencil Art

One wonderful thing about this social media site is the many fantastic connections I’ve made with artists from all over the world, whether it be of a similar passion for colour or graphite pencil or simply the love of art.

Shirley announced through her Facebook page to other artists, a fun challenge she herself would take part in of producing a work in whichever medium chosen by the artist, using the photograph provided. The final piece could also be used in whatever way the artist chose including sale. There are other artists and photographers who are happy for artists to use their photographs to be used as a reference and others who do not. Copyright is something every artist should be aware of and respect and also to be very careful of. It’s always best to assume every photograph is copyrighted, until it can confirmed either way. Copyright can be very tricky and difficult to understand. I’ve erred on the side of caution and have always used reference photographs provided by clients for commissions, with permission from photographer friends and I am also beginning to take my own photographs to use as reference.

I wanted to paint a large scale drawing once again, which would be approximately 42.0 x 59.4cm/16.5 x 23.3 inches or size A2. As with ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ I used Canson 220gsm white paper. I used a grid to enlarge the reference with a under-drawing or in other words, a preliminary sketch made on the paper with a 2H graphite pencil. I often make these under drawings so light that I struggle to see them when I start the painting process with colour pencil!

With this painting I used Faber-Castell Polychromos oil based pencils as I really love the soft creamy texture and wide range of vivid colours, the leads are extremely break-resistant, they have maximum light-fastness and when using solvent, the colours blend extremely well for a painterly effect that I like to achieve.

I combined the Polychromos with Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils which I learned have the highest light-fast permanent colour of any other pencil. I purchased a tin of 36 pencils with some of my prize winning money and I absolutely love them. The colours are striking and alive, and although wax based combine with the polychromos pencils beautifully.

The process of bringing ‘Kaleidoscope’ alive took at least three months. I did complete a couple of commissions in between and working on the painting for only a couple of hours in the evenings was quite frustrating to say the least. Once my children were close to going to bed or already there, I could settle down to draw with my hot cuppa (and maybe even a slice of cheesecake) but sometimes I felt like I was just getting on roll and into the zone when I’d glace at the clock and see the time, knowing I’d be getting up only six hours later. My youngest child is currently at kindergarten two days per week so I’ve make sure I use some of that quiet time to draw although the housework might be forgotten on purpose sometimes.

Even so, this painting took quite a while to complete. I can admit that I am quite a perfectionist with my work and cannot help but to try and capture every single detail that I can see to the best of my ability. I want the viewer to be able to appreciate the painting in two separate ways, from both a distance and up close.

As an artist, my hope is that you the viewer, may see what captured my imagination when I first saw Shirley’s photograph. I was immediately drawn to the colours and shapes of the pebbles. I couldn’t help but see the movement of the water and how the continuous ebb and flow would change these colours and shapes. When I first began to paint I was thinking about the huge variety of colours I had laid out before me, that the pencils became a rainbow. Sometimes I need to concentrate and consider the possible titles for my work, other times they pop straight into my head immediately. This was the case with the title ‘Kaleidoscope’. My husband who meant well, explained the tube shaped toy containing mirrors and coloured glass where the reflections changed patterns. Whereas I knew the meaning of kaleidoscope also represented constantly changing patterns, the sequence of elements and composition of colour. To me, this portrayed exactly what I wanted this pencil painting to be and I believe has now become. I hope you think so too.

I would like to thank Shirley Davies for permission to use her beautiful photograph. I am very appreciative.

‘Kaleidoscope’ 2015 – Coloured Pencil on Paper 42.0 x 59.4cm $1800

3 December 2014

In the mail today I received my print copy of Ann Kullberg’s Hidden Treasures II, in which my landscape ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ is featured. I’ve been waiting with much excitement and anticipation to be able to flick through the pages and look at all the incredible coloured pencil paintings. Although I’ve already viewed a digital copy of the book, for me it’s just not the same as being able to hold it in my hands.

Honestly the book is wonderful and the drawings inside… wow, absolutely amazing! To be featured amongst such talent is both an honour and inspiration. When I first entered my drawing for inclusion in Ann Kullberg’s CP Treasures in which 90 of the best coloured pencil masterpieces are showcased, I was not expecting my own work to be successful. And I also did not think twice about being included in Ann Kullberg’s Hidden Treasures II (featuring 115 artworks which were not able to fit into CP Treasures), showcasing talented artworks by coloured pencil artists from all over the world.

To receive the email to inform me that I was successful in being included in Hidden Treasures II was quite a shock. I honestly felt that my drawing could not be good enough. Since ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ was only my second coloured drawing and my first landscape, I really knew nothing about the craft and skill of the colour pencil artist. When I drew the landscape, I worked the same as I would with graphite pencils and didn’t think too much about layering, burnishing, blending… So before I began I carefully matched the individual colours of each pencil with the colours in my reference photograph and then worked from the left to the right in very small sections as I usually do, going over what I had already completed. While I continued with the drawing I researched coloured pencil art, carefully studied the images created by the artists that I admired and realised there was so much more to just grabbing a coloured pencil and creating a masterpiece (not that I thought I could do that anyway!)

I’ve since learned so much and am continuing to do so. Although I still may not feel that my art is at the standard I want it to be (the problem with being a perfectionist), I am so thankful that others and those in the art world that I admire say otherwise. I suppose that the success that I’ve had in the last six months should be proof to myself that my artwork just may be good enough.

I now am aiming high for the future since that is the standard I’ve set for myself and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I absolutely love every minute that I draw and so I will continue to learn with every drawing, to have success and make mistakes, to be inspired and hopefully… inspire others to love the art they create!

CP Hidden Treasures Volume II