Name: Robyn McNeil
Website address:
Location: Tasmania, Australia







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

My kit has always consisted of coloured pencils and from time to time I would use them to work out colour and composition for an oil or watercolour painting.   I felt like a change for awhile so searched the internet to see if coloured pencils were used in serious work.  To my surprise I found the world is full of coloured pencil artists whose work in the medium is of the highest quality.  This has added another exciting dimension to my art.

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

I have been working in Oil and watercolour only using graphite and coloured pencil for preliminary sketching for many years but have now become quite engrossed in clolur pencil as a major meduim for my work.  I love the fact that it is immediate, it’s translucency and the layering technique.  As my work leans towards realism, the detailing process is much easier to achieve with sharp coloured pencils.  It’s a slow process but the end result is very satisfying.

Which are your favourite pencils and supports/surfaces to work on?

I have tried out a few brands of coloured pencils but I now favour Primsacolour as it has a beautiful covering capacity when layering and very true to the colours I am searching for.  Faber-Castell watercolour pencils are beautiful to use but I haven’t worked in these for some time as I have been concentating on the dry method.  Derwent pencils are also in my kit and whichever brand I start with is the one I finish the work with.  My favourite graphite pencils are Faber-Castell.  At the moment I use Canson 250 g/ms illustration paper (smooth) or Canson 220 drawing paper (rough).  It depends on the subject and the texture i am trying to achieve.

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

If I am moved by a subject then I like to paint it.  Most of my work lately has been of the natural world which I am surrounded by.  Living in an isolated area of Tasmania with an abundance of natural subjects including birds and wildlife all around my home, (bush at the back and a view of the lake at the front), the choice is unlimited in this area.  Apart from that I do like to paint buildings with character and flowers.

Please tell us about any Awards or Exhibitions  you have been featured in.

After retiring from work and travelling around the country in my motor home I am still going through the resettling period so haven’t entered in awards or exhibitions since coming home to Tasmania.  In the past I have been involved in competitions at country shows when living in Queensland and gained numerous awards at these events.  One that stands out is winning a landscape competition which was against oil paintings, acrylic and watercolours and my work was in graphite so it was a surprise.  In 1998 I had a solo exhibition at Pontville, Tasmania in aid of the Red Cross with a percentage of sales going to them.  The event was only on for a few hours from 11.00am to 5.00pm and I sold 15 paintings out of 35 I had hanging.  Needless to say both the Red Cross and I were very happy.  Quite awhile ago two of my miniature paintings were selected by the Miniature Art Society for an exhibition in France.

Thankyou so much Robyn for sharing with us an insight into your coloured pencil work, please make sure you visit Robyn’s website at: and if your a ACPN member please say Hi and connect with Robyn on our forums.

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