From time to time love to bring to you and support some of our local coloured pencil artists, last year this artist won our “People’s Choice Award” in our ACPN online exhibition, so i have much pleasure in bringing you a bit more about Karina, and who has a active member in our online group.

Karina Griffiths

All images copyright of the featured artist and may not be reproduced without written permission. © 2010-2015 All rights reserved.

Name: Karina Griffiths
Website address: &
Location: Melbourne, Victoria Australia

Please tell us a little about how you got started in coloured pencil art.

Karina Griffiths  My mum was my inspiration, the most beautiful china painter, and she sat night after night in the kitchen, delicately applying layer after layer of paint in between firing. And now, sadly, with my mum long gone, I am doing the same…..till early morning, layer upon layer of pencils. I have been a drawer for my entire life, in particular I have always loved Graphite. My art teacher Mrs.Turner at Sacred Heart College Geelong, took me under her wing. She saw a desire, a passion and a talent. She got me started with ‘real’ art classes- Life Drawing. Being a Catholic girls school, this was quite a frowned upon thing, but Mrs.Turner went to the principle and got permission and off we went to life drawing classes! I have never ever looked back. I left school and went to Art College, but I have had many distractions in life from my art. In the past decade, the internet and facebook have become a beloved source of learning and inspiration for me. I joined Paintings I Love when it first started up 6 years ago, and was mesmorized by a coloured pencil artist, Brian Scott. I watched as his masterpieces of drama and beauty unfolded week by week. It is because of Brian that I ventured into coloured pencils. He answered a few questions that had me stumped, such as how he got such a beautiful blended background, and what paper and type of pencils, and from then on I have been addicted to the magic of coloured pencils. Oh how I love them!  It has only been the past year and a half that I have been able to focus on the art as more of a vocation, and I hope to always be able to create and share my art.


karina_fm_pic4What do you like about using coloured pencils in your artwork?

I do enjoy oils, but the coloured pencils allow me to ‘keep it neat’, they’re not toxic, which is important with my little one running around, I can use other mediums with them if I choose, and I can indulge in detail and layers, something that portrait work seems to provide in abundance. I adore people and animals, and their faces, and joyfully find uniqueness and beauty in every face I see, and have the honour to paint.   In particular, and happy for you to call me a loony, I LOVE the feeling of the coloured pencils, Prismacolors, under my fingers after a work is finished. They’re buttery, creamy, and blissful to my touch! Pencils are also extremely responsive and reliable- where your hands go, they go, every thought to a line and every layer to a new colour. I love the detail that you can achieve with patience, and the funny reactions that you always get when people know they’re coloured pencils. “what, like kids crayons?” one person once asked me……I am so excited by the current shift towards a greater acceptance and education of coloured pencils as an archival, enduring and competent medium. And we have the world’s best coloured pencils artists right here in Australia to inspire us!


Do you have any favourite brands or surface to work on? If so please tell us about it.

Karina GriffithsI absolutely adore Prismacolor pencils (which have gorgeous flesh tones) and I do use Faber-Castell Polychromos but only for fine details which they do to perfection. I haven’t had the financial pleasure of being able to purchase any other sets, but I go all gooey over Caran D’ache Luminance pencils , and would like a set of those one day! I started off with some Derwent artists coloured pencils, and thought they were good until the day I got a Prismacolor in my hand, then I literally oooo’d and ahhh’d the whole time I did my first work with them. The difference was remarkable. Paper is another thing that has been a process of learning and what I could afford. I started with a Derwent cartridge pad, which holds pencils and layers very adequately, but the Canson paper Mi-Teintes (smooth side) has been my favourite. It’s spongy yet incredibly strong, and holds many layers along with solvent and gouache, and comes in a lovely variety of colours. Fabriano Artistico and Bristol have also been a favourite, they’re very smooth and reliable. I have always wanted to try Strathmore paper, and I’m quite excited as I believe I will be receiving some as my prize for ‘People’s Choice’ with the 2014 ACPN exhibition! Can’t wait! I have a very ‘heavy hand’ when it comes to my drawing style, I’m not neat, and I tend to use lots of blacks and bold colours, solvent and layers. I need tough paper…….my style.


Do you have any particular themes or subjects in your art? What are they and why ?

Karina GriffithsI have to say I am a portrait girl. I adore looking at landscapes, but have no desire to paint or draw them. The uniqueness of animal and people’s faces and bodies is a constant source of intrigue and fascination, age lines, smiles, eyebrows, people’s hair, the flush to their faces, the different lines and curves to their structures, the fur and it’s intricacy, the different layers to it, how it moves and falls………there is an unlimited amount of beauty in portraiture….an unlimited buffet of stories and tales behind the faces, and sense of exclusivity that you feel with the subject when you draw them…an invisible connection.   I feel it with every portrait I do, whether the subject is alive or not. It is quite a privilege, to be a witness to moments in people’s lives, to connect with a soul. I don’t think I could ever tire of the human or animal form.

Please tell us about your awards

karina_fm_pic2Australian Coloured Pencil Network 2014 online exhibition
‘Just Another Day In The Paddock’   (the absolute highlight of my art journey to date! )

Bayside Art Show 2014
‘Just Another Day In The Paddock’

Yakkerboo Art Show 2014
‘I Don’t Want To’

Bayside Art Show 2013
‘Sleeping Beauty’

Casey Art Show 2013
‘My Best Friend’

Published and Featured in the Australian Coloured Pencil Network 2015 calendar– ‘Majestic’

Published and FeaturedAnn Kullberg Colored Pencil Magazine’s 15th annual THEME show – EYES, 5 works selected and published

Karina Griffiths

Thankyou so much Karina, for being one of our Featured Artists and sharing your story. Please get along to Karina websites at: Website address: &

All images copyright of the featured artist and may not be reproduced without written permission. © 2010-2015 All rights reserved.

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