Featured Artist Lis Zadravec

Artist Lis Zadravec creates beautiful renderings of literary heroines using colored pencils. To see more of her narrative portraiture, please visit her website.

 

“Snow Magic” Colored Pencil and Ink on Paper, 10” x 16” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Snow Magic” Colored Pencil and Ink on Paper, 10” x 16”

 

In life, who we become is a formula of potential against adversity. It is my life story. It is yours. It is my fascination.

 

“Looking Back” Colored Pencil on Paper, 10” x 9.5” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Looking Back” Colored Pencil on Paper, 10” x 9.5”

 

In my narrative portraits, it is what someone looked like as a child, before the moment you knew the story or at a place of decision. I call them my Girl Heroes because becoming the woman I was meant to be against all odds is the story I know best.

 

“Percipience” Colored Pencil and Ink on Paper, 20” x 17” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Percipience” Colored Pencil and Ink on Paper, 20” x 17”

 

Telling it through literary or historic figures, I show what is heroic in us. My models themselves have stories to tell. So it is not only what would Beatrix Potter have looked like as a child, if she could come to life and reminisce, but the model has the wizened look of a girl who already knows much, perhaps because of her own health struggles.

 

“The Conversion” Colored Pencil on Paper, 19” x 25” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Conversion” Colored Pencil on Paper, 19” x 25”

 

My selkie is discovering to which land she belongs as a metaphor for a young woman of color coming of age in the climate of today.

 

“In Girlhood’s Brief Respite” Colored Pencil and Pastel on Paper, 14” x 18” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“In Girlhood’s Brief Respite” Colored Pencil and Pastel on Paper, 14” x 18”

 

In another a girl is leaving childhood behind, like Fern forgetting about Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web.

 

“The Keeper Class Tenders” Colored Pencil Ink and Gouache on Paper, 20” x 22” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Keeper Class Tenders” Colored Pencil Ink and Gouache on Paper, 20” x 22”

 

And then there are my lighthouse girls, not only a strange profession, but a desolate place for a young girl of yesterdays. No wonder they hopped in boats and became the Grace Darling and Ida Lewis heroines they were.

 

“Forfarshire” Colored Pencil and Gouache on Illustration Board, 17” x 13.5” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Forfarshire” Colored Pencil and Gouache on Illustration Board, 17” x 13.5”

 

It could be my writer family genes or maybe my Washington, DC upbringing that impels me to approach my artwork like a writer creating characters.

 

“Fascinations” Colored Pencil Ink and Gouache on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Fascinations” Colored Pencil Ink and Gouache on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

 

Capturing moments in a style inspired by the great illustrations and artwork in books many of us pored over as children. Juxtaposing old with new, I render them realistically but in the modern century media of colored pencils.

 

“Lovies at the Gate” Colored Pencil, Ink and Gouache on Paper, 18” x 25” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Lovies at the Gate” Colored Pencil, Ink and Gouache on Paper, 18” x 25”

 

I believe there is nothing that this pigment in its precision pointed stick, can’t do or that oil paint could do better. My competitive nature is out to prove that. I am not particular though. I will mix media, add ink, gouache, graphite. The end is more important than the means.

 

“Tammy-Princess-Moviestar” Colored Pencil on Paper, 15” x 15” by artist Lis Zadravec. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Tammy-Princess-Moviestar” Colored Pencil on Paper, 15” x 15”

 

I still approach my work like a painter. Layering in the old-school oil painterly way. Never striving for photorealism, I love to see the artist’s hand in work. Like that perfect, genius brushstroke, you will see all of my pencil marks, if possible. I want to inspire. Not only with what a media can do, but what a person can do.

 

Artist Lis Zadravec invites you to follow her on Facebook.

 

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Comments

  1. I love your work Lis!! This sentence you wrote really caught my attention: …my artwork is like a writer creating characters. That’s exactly how it seems, and is such a unique approach to subject matter!! Great work!!! 😀

    • And yet isn’t that what we do… One look at the cat’s eyes on the cover page of your site, tells me you totally know a portrait is all about telling someone’s story. Sometimes I make them up from history or literature, A story as I am making up over the long hours of drawing or sometimes it is about the subject. Sometimes I am just creating, just like I pretty much make everything up in my pictures. I almost love it when people ask if I work from photos. there either isn’t one I can point to that I used or I want to give them about 14 or 15 that I pulled elements from. I have that kind of an imagination!
      -Lis

  2. Your use of ink with other media is interesting to me. I did not know it was ever used with colored pencil, gouache, pastel. Very excellent work.

  3. Beautiful. I love, not only your artwork, but the stories behind them, the connection to heroines real and fictional.

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