Colored pencils haven’t quite received the recognition of their counterparts as a fine art material- and yet over the years, we’ve featured artists from all over the world who have surprised us with what can be achieved by these utensils from our elementary school sets. CHG Circa in Los Angeles sent a group of international artists a set of their own and invited them to refer back to their child imagination.
Australian artist Lionel Bawden creates amorphous sculptures utilizing hexagonal colored pencils as his primary building blocks. The pencils act as tiny units of color that Bawden arranges in diamond shapes that appear to melt, fluctuate and change. Metaphors for the body, these figures speak to intimate emotions. “Bawden’s sculptural works harness landscape as a stand-in for the body, personal themes of desire, longing and interconnection become abstracted in a generative process to create form,” his website explains. In the sculptures with multiple shapes next to one another, their body language, so to speak, becomes telling to the outside observer. Take a look at some images of the sculptures courtesy of Lionel Bawden after the jump.
Taiwanese artist Hui Chi Lee presents a peculiar image of the human figure. She crowds her drawings with masses of bodies lumped together and entangled in threads and strands of human hair. Full of energy, her images explore themes relating to materialism, human behaviors, and relationships in today’s society, made all the more dynamic when implemented in a larger than life scale. Working mainly in pen, graphite and colored pencil on paper, her choice to use non-traditional painting materials ties with her goal as an artist: simply to create imagery that will inspire a curiosity about the implications of her work.
South Carolina based artist Chris Nickels creates digital illustrations inspired by scenes from his surroundings and childhood spent in Athens, Georgia. Among his favorite memories are hiking and fishing in the river with his friends, which explains his affinity for nature. He is also a fan of old cameras and polaroid photography which he sometimes posts to his instagram account. His palette is reminiscent of his polaroid’s faded colors like light greens, earthy blues, yellows, and corals. Each work begins at the drawing stage using traditional materials like pen, ink, acrylic, and pencil before it is finished off digitally. Nickels calls Photoshop the “glue” that brings the piece together.
Jennifer Maestre incorporates brightly colored pencils to build complex sculptures inspired by the vulnerability of sea urchins. Her choice of materials include perfectly sharpened pencil tips, spent eraser ends, and blunt pencil ends. She cuts these ordinary art materials into small sections and drills holes through the sides, then runs a thread through the center sewing them together with a beading technique called the peyote stitch. She is able to create organic shapes with alluring textures that both draw the viewer in and remind us of the fragility of the ocean creatures she has so distinctively interpreted. See more after the jump!
No matter the materials used, Amber Ma can craft a whimsical, absorbing narrative. The New York City-based illustrator uses her experience under China’s one-child policy as an influence in her works. She’s worked in watercolors, Sumi ink, pen, and as evidenced above, colored pencil.