Artist Denise Howard taught me about a whole new art form—colored pencils. I thought of colored pencils, like regular pencils, as a medium you might use for a sketch, a chart, or perhaps an architectural rendering, and I thought of them as making rather pale, ineffectual lines. I didn't realize that colored pencils are being used to make fine art, nor that they can produce deep rich color and tantalizing textures.
|The Intimate Stargazer Lily|
Grab from Denise's website
|Detail of Tree of Character|
Moss, lichen and hollow give this old tree a lot of character
|Detail of And the World Faded Away|
An accordion player in Siena Italy who played complex classical music.
Perhaps it is more accurate to say that being organized and systematic is what integrates the programmer with the professional artist. For instance, instead of searching through her huge collection of colored pencils for the exact shade she wants, she saves time by referring to a chart of her own design that shows each shade by the number on the pencil.
Not only did Denise develop her drawing skill to a professional level with remarkable speed, but right away she joined the Colored Pencil societies in both the U.S. and Great Britain, and at present serves as President (and webmaster, temporarily) of the San Francisco chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America. She has already won several awards and had three of her drawings published in periodicals featuring art made by colored and graphite pencils.
Denise's website is up-to-date because it is integrated into her art practice."Part of the fun for me when I finish a drawing is to put a photo of it up on my website," she said. To her, the point of making art is to create something that resonates with people. Each work on her website is accompanied by a brief comment and information about the materials she used. She also offers some of her drawings as prints on note cards, which would make a really classy gift. Most of her work is available in prints of different sizes. This is a link to her website:
I grabbed some photos from Denise's website to show the range of subjects she has tackled.
|Parsons at the Beach|
A commissioned double portrait using a scene from a movie
|Eugene's Time to Rest|
Denise's father, aged 82, at the end of a day's work on the farm
|Standing Out in the Snow|
Denise's father's tractor is always at the ready.
|Denise Howard in her studio|
|A portion of Denise's supply of colored-pencils|
|Denise's colored pencil chart with succulents|
|Low-water, California-native garden|