Welcome to our chapter website! We invite you to participate in our exciting and vibrant group.

Visit our Member Galleries and Tips Books pages to see examples of our work.

Come to a meeting! You are welcome as a visitor at three meetings while you determine if you'd like to join.

Next Meeting Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020     Time: 11 am until 3 pm    
Where: Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004, third floor classroom. Free parking is available in the garage below the museum. Bring your lunch and any artwork you are working on or have recently completed.
What: March 14, 2020: Drawing from a still life. Bring a shoe or two to add to the setup - the weirder or more unique the better. Got a cowboy boot or spiky high heel? Pam Belcher will provide instruction and helpful hints on how to tackle drawing something like this. The focus is not to create a masterpiece, but to improve and practice our drawing skills. It's unbelievably fun to draw from life. One can feel the brain synapses firing...

Pencil Suggestion: Rather than working in color, as our time is limited, use graphite pencil. Bring a set of drawing pencils or just one on the softer size - at least a 2B. Pencils are rated by hard (H) and Soft (B). F and HB are in between the two scales. The higher the number the harder or softer it is. H pencils do not yield dark lines, are harder to erase, and can actually rip up the paper if too much pressure is applied. The darker pencils – 4B and up are nice and soft and can be quite messy, but are excellent at creating really dark darks. If you only have one pencil, an HB or 2B will work just fine.

Paper: Bring a sketchbook –at least an 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 if possible. A piece of paper on a hard surface also works. We may run out of table space, so lap drawing might be necessary.

Other useful supplies: A kneaded eraser is invaluable, eraser, paper stomp is optional for smearing, manual sharpener, drafting brush and/or bulb blower to remove pesky debris.

For those who are new at this, Pam Belcher will lead the session with some helpful hints on drawing from life. She will include sighting and talk about the magic of negative space. This is an example she did many years ago during the same exercise.

What's all the buzz about colored pencil and the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA)?

No longer a sketching tool, the colored pencil has come into its own. Viewers of works in this medium frequently proclaim, “I can’t believe it’s colored pencil!” The wax or oil based pencil can achieve the painterly effects of oil, airbrush, watercolor or pastel. Colored pencils come in sets of up to 120 different colors. The colors are applied in layers - as opposed to being mixed on a palette with a brush - and being transparent, allow the previous layers to show through. The working surface becomes the palette. It is not unusual to apply as many as 15 layers in the mixing process. This, not surprisingly, can take a long time. While some artists work more quickly than others, some spend over 100 hours on a piece. It is also not unusual for artists to combine colored pencils with other mediums such as watercolor, ink or pastel.


In addition to standard drawing techniques, colored pencil artists employ a variety of techniques to get the results they want such as:

Light Touch: Applying pencils lightly, allowing the texture of the paper to show through.
Burnishing: The forceful flattening of the paper by pencil or tool to create a smooth, solid layer of color.

Impressed Line: An indentation of lines into the paper using a variety of sharp tools.

Scraffito: The intentional scraping off of color from the surface of the paper.

Frottage: The rubbing of pigment over a raised surface to create interesting patterns.

Solvents: Dissolving the binder in the pencils, allowing the colors to run together. Water soluble colored pencils are used for similar effect.


Founded in 1990 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of colored pencil art and artists, the international CPSA is comprised of 26 district chapters across the US, and numerous artists worldwide. The Seattle District Chapter 207, founded in 1991, is a supportive network of artists who participate in informative meetings and other activities. We meet on the 2nd Saturdays of odd numbered months. The chapter sponsors regional shows and has hosted the CPSA International Exhibition three times.


To check on what's happening at the national level go to cpsa.org.

All images on this website are copyrighted property of the artist/s. Do not duplicate or use without written permission.