Michigan Colored Pencil 2023

October 6 – 31, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7 at 2–4 pm

Color | Ink Studio & Gallery is pleased to present “Michigan Colored Pencil 2023”, a juried exhibition of colored pencil art by Michigan and northern Ohio artists sponsored by the Detroit chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America. The show opens on October 6 and runs through October 31.

Colored wax crayons have been used by artists for centuries, but modern wax and oil-based colored pencils were invented in the early 20th century. Subsequent development of new techniques and methods for working with them have made the colored pencil a versatile tool for creating the exciting fine art on display in this exhibition. Juror Amy Foster has made a wonderful selection of the best work from artists using this medium.

The public is invited to attend the Opening Reception on Saturday, October 7 from 2-4 pm. It’s free, and guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists in person and talk about the artwork. Light refreshments will be offered.

Visiting the Gallery

We encourage you to start your visit to the Gallery by exploring the virtual tour of the exhibition below. Click or tap on the arrows to walk through the Gallery, click and drag to look around, or scroll to zoom in and out. If you see a work you’re interested in purchasing, scroll down to find it in the listing of the works on display.


Award Winners

Juror Amy Foster selected the winners of several exhibition awards from the Detroit chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America. The winning artwork and Amy’s comments about each piece are listed below. Click on an image to view it larger.

1st Place – “The Premonition” – This is not only a beautifully rendered drawing with soft plays of cool blues and warm purples, it also shows the artist’s love of storytelling. Imaginatively creating a composition of interaction between the bird and the woman while hinting at a soft landscape and taking advantage of the full moon as a compositional tool. So much fun and original. Well done!

2nd Place – “Encased” – A wonderful example of asymmetry. By playing opposing forces throughout this drawing, our eyes could spend hours walking through this piece. The play of light vs. shadow, hard vs. soft edges, solid vs. fluid, opaque vs. transparent, busy vs. resting areas, and complementary colors is absolutely lovely.

3rd Place – “Leaves in Sunlight” – Such an intriguing square composition as we are now viewers standing on the back side of these sunlit leaves. It’s a whole new perspective. And now, along with the tight crop, we can finally appreciate each vein and softness of the stem with those tiny hairs that never seem to get noticed when we are looking at a plant from the other side. Beautiful translucency.

Honorable Mention – “East of Wetterhorn” – As one of the largest pieces in the show, the amount of detail in each square inch adds to the amazing sense of depth. As our eyes travel across each mountain range and dip into each valley, we understand how vast the area truly is. There is a sense of atmospheric perspective as the range in the distance begins to blend with the horizon line. And then the shadows of the clouds on the landscape remind us that this moment in time is ever-changing.

Merit Award – “Embedded” – Here we see beautiful composition through a tall and thin crop of a scene showing great depth. Through diagonal lines and triangles, the artist moves our eyes through this wonderful landscape. The use of bold colors at the top and bottom helps direct us to a wonderful focal point… those amazing knots in the wood.

Merit Award – “Lichen Cosmos” – There is so much texture and dimensionality in this piece. Between the bold use of complimentary colors in addition to a strong value range, it feels as if there is actually a third dimension. In fact, the illusion of 3-D on a 2-dimensional surface is so strong here that it looks like we could actually grab those orange pieces off the blue ground.

Merit Award – “Prince” – This drawing embodies soft and subtle. The fur is sensitively rendered to achieve depth without weight which is so difficult to do. We sense that we should be able to feel that soft fur of this pup if only the glass weren’t separating us.

Merit Award – “In the Studio” – Although it may be the smallest piece in the show, don’t pass by without taking a closer look at this drawing. The use of design elements in the background adds interest as a backdrop for the art tools. And the sheen of metal that was produced in this drawing is so intriguing.