Carrie L. Lewis, Artist

Why I Teach Colored Pencil

In this short article, I explain why I teach colored pencil drawing.

How I Learned to Make Art

When I first began making art way back in the 1960s, there was no such thing as the internet. At least not for public use. I learned how to paint by painting every paint-by-number kit that featured a horse.

Why I Teach Colored Pencil
An early painting, a paint by number kit with the horses painted my own colors and with a new background.

After working my way through all known kits and painting them the way they were supposed to be painted, I started doing them again. This time, I also started making changes. Small at first, then bigger.

A different color here or there.

A changed leg position.

Maybe a change to the background.

One day, my mother suggested I try making my own drawing and painting that instead of looking for another paint-by-number. A window opened on a whole new world. I’ve been drawing and painting ever since.

I could have gone to art school had I wanted to. But by the time I graduated high school, I already knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

I wanted to draw horses to look as life-like as I could make them. I wanted to paint portraits.

Since abstract art was all the rage at the time, I was more or less on my own. I learned how to draw and paint by trial and error.

When I picked up colored pencils a few years later, it was the same process.

Why I Teach Colored Pencil

A lot of what I learned about drawing and painting has come by trial and error. I can’t tell you how many paintings I started over because something didn’t work or because I made poor choices. I don’t regret those obstacles. Every single one contributed to the artist I am today.

But those obstacles become even more useful if they can be used to help others avoid the same mistakes and pitfalls.

Or reach their artistic goals more quickly and without the detours I experienced.

If even one new artist succeeds because of something they learned here, then all my work—including the mistakes—has been worth it.

From the beginning, my blog posts, tutorials, and one-to-one classes have been designed to provide to you what I wish I’d had years ago. What was it? Personalized instruction on the subject and style of my choice offered by someone whose work I admired and wanted to emulate.

That’s my goal for you, too, as well as a way of hopefully avoiding some of the time-consuming trial-and-error learning I experienced.

And that’s why I teach.

About Carrie L. Lewis: Carrie has been painting and drawing for over 50 years. She sold her first horse portrait at the age of seventeen and has been creating beautifully detailed portraits of horses for clients all over the United States ever since. In the late 1990s, Carrie began doing more colored pencil work, which is now her primary medium. Her favorite subjects are still horses, but she now also draws landscapes. She is a current member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, and publishes the monthly e-zine for colored pencil artists, CP Magic!

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