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


Hello fellow DC 207ers!

I’m sure you’ve all been following the news regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 in Washington and more specifically, King County. For the average Joe and Jolene this is not going to be much of a problem. But for others it could be a big issue and some people have been expressing their concern.  


Among the latest advisories from the Public Health Department is that they suggest people in the high-risk categories not attend public gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next 3 weeks. We have a large number of members in the age category (60+), those with existing health issues and several that care for older family members. For this reason, and in an abundance of caution for our membership, we are cancelling our March 14th meeting.


But fear not! We will be back at it for our regular meeting on May 9th at BAM where we will get to learn about some interesting colored pencil applications and techniques! You will not want to miss out. See you all then!


Jan Fagan, President

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.

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