Featured Artist Lis Zadravec

Colored pencil artist Lis Zadravec captures treasured moments and the wonder of childhood in her stunning portfolio. Enjoy, and visit her website to see more.


colored pencil portrait of a young woman and bird

“If I Had Wings” colored pencil, 12″ x 12”


I have always loved to tell a story through portraiture, and often tell stories through girls and women. I choose my subject based on qualities of her character and add the surroundings from my own imagination and experiences.


colored pencil portrait of a young woman

“Little Wing” colored pencil, 20″ x 19”


In recent years I have added more animals into my work. I feel they make the stories richer and more magical.


colored pencil drawing of a parrot and pomegranate

“Indulgence” colored pencil, 8″ x 10”


I have a point of view in my work that is always the story of hopefulness. I think this is why I often choose younger subjects.


colored pencil drawing moment of childhood wonder

“Vihn’s World” colored pencil, 17.5″ x 13.5”


Life comes at us like tidal waves at times. When one event ends, another rolls right over us. When I was in my twenties, I once said that growing up was a big slap in the face. But I have learned that if we can retain the hope of youth, the belief that if I put my hand out a bird will land on it, magical ideas, then we can see the good in the storyline of our lives.


colored pencil wildlife drawing of a big cat

“Wonderment” colored pencil, 12″ x 14”


I have had a lifelong love affair with portraiture. Most artists who do find 19th-century portraiture the pinnacle of expertise in this genre. We love John Singer Sargent and William Adolphe Bouguereau.


colored pencil drawing of a woman with a cross at a church

“The Dangling Conversation” colored pencil, 25″ x 15”


I am also a fan of the staged work of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. The illustrations of NC Wyeth, Maxfield Parish and Norman Rockwell. The flash, the staged storytelling, the familiarity of great storybook illustration. I like to bring these elements into my pictures.


colored pencil drawing of a young girl and a bird

“Bird in Hand” colored pencil, 25″ x 19”


If they inspire, transport you or bring a hopeful outlook then I have achieved one of my goals.


colored pencil drawing of a cow with roses

“Jersey Rose” colored pencil, 17″ x 13”


My other goal is to do this all with colored pencils. I still work like the painter I was trained to be. Layering, color-mixing, even changing whole areas mid-painting or letting the piece evolve as I work. I am from the old-school, pre-photoshop era. Copying a photo would be sheer boredom and is not the process of creating a composition.


colored pencil portrait of a woman with a rooster

“I Had a Rooster” colored pencil, 19.5″ x 12”


As I strive for excellence in my work, I have come to believe there is nothing I could do in oils that I can’t do in colored pencils. And maybe better.


Lis Zadravec invites you to follow on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.



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