Winner of our 2014 Just Pencils category, here is our latest featured artistFeatured Artist Michelle Ripari

Name: Michelle Ripari
Website address:
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Here is some more about Michelle.

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

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and started drawing portraits in high school using graphite pencils, but did not seriously focus on my passion for art until only a few years ago. I never thought too much about taking on the challenge of colour pencil art. Then when I confirmed a commission of a pair of chickens, I thought there was no way I could draw them in graphite and I had to use colour pencils! I purchased a small set of Derwents and also used my children’s Faber-Castell’s. I was not completely happy with the finished portrait but I received a lot of positive and encouraging feedback that made me feel confident enough to use colour pencils again. My next project was ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ and that definitely confirmed my new found love for colour pencil art!

Lulu&Delilah-webWhat do you like about using coloured pencils in your artwork?

I have not had much experience using mediums other than pencil but with pencil I love being able to achieve fine detail, that a subject tells a story from a distance and also closer up. Yet, with colour pencils the subject really comes to life. In nature there is colour so it makes sense to use colour pencils! I enjoy laying down each colour and seeing the subject slowly come to life in front of my eyes.

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

Currently my favourite colour pencil brand is Faber-Castell Polychromos as I love how smooth they can be applied and that the fine details can be achieved. I also have Derwents and a set of Caran d’Ache Luminance which I haven’t even tried yet. I use Canson drawing paper at the moment but I haven’t actually tried any other surfaces yet. I also prefer to draw on medium to large size paper

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

As I’ve only begun my colour pencil journey, I feel that I don’t have a particular theme in my art yet. Before I began ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ I never thought I would enjoy landscapes either so I want to be open to attempting a variety of subjects and themes. Although I really love the bush and would like to like to focus on Australian landscapes and everyday people going about their business in everyday places.

Amelia2014webAwards and Publications

I received 2nd prize in Mixed Media for ‘Precious’ which was a graphite drawing of a newborn being cradled in a man’s hands, with the man’s arms covered in tattoos. I loved the detail of the hands, being wrinkled and worn compared to soft skin of the baby. This portrait now hangs in a hospital maternity ward.

I received a Best New Artist prize for ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ at my local Rotary Art Show. I also was to absolutely thrilled to win the ‘Just Pencils’ category in the ACPN Online Exhibition 2014!       

I also have been very honoured and excited to have ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ published this year in COLORED PENCIL Magazine, Ann Kullberg’s CP Hidden Treasures II and of course, the ACPN Calendar 2015.


Congratulations to Michelle for all her recent successes, it just goes to show that even if you are just starting on your artist journey, there are no limitations to how far you can go!

Please get along to Michelle’s website at:

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


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