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About Alyona Nickelsen
“It is time to start everything over!” said Alyona and she did it. New family, new country, new life, new Alyona...
Alyona was born and raised in Ukraine. Since childhood she has drawn for teachers and fellow students, published school newspapers, created posters, displays and entire art shows for various school events. "I guess I have always been an artist at heart. However, my art took a breather while I concentrated on completing my education and dealt with life’s various surprises", she says.
Her creative bent awoke again after moving to Southern California in 1999. “Before now, circumstances kept me from taking my art seriously. Now is the right time, thanks to my wonderful husband Tom for his support and patience. Everything that has been and will be created I dedicate to him!”
From the beginning Alyona’s favorite medium has been graphite and charcoal. However, colored pencils have now captured her inspiration and creativity. "I began to understand that a medium I had overlooked from childhood could do so much more than just sketch and produce a wondrous array of colors and tones. I discovered new systems and methods that changed my perceptions and molded the results into something more than I had previously thought possible", she says.
"A great influence on my work has been the talent of Hans Christian Andersen", Alyona says. "He could weave very innovative stories about the simple events in every day life and make them fascinating to listen to. I use the language of shapes and colors to do the same with my paintings. Capture the simple movement of a leaf caught in a breeze and, though it may happen the same exact way only once in all of nature’s complexity, it is saved for a lifetime when rendered by my pencils."
“People always ask me: Are you sure this is colored pencil?” Alyona’s paintings really don’t look like what you would expect from colored pencils. She applies numerous layers of color to give the drawing an oil painting effect. "Since colored pencils require long and tedious hours to achieve the exact effect desired it is critical to carefully and meticulously plan the process of creating each piece. Knowledge of the medium’s essences, constant improvement of skills and techniques, searching for new ways to use the medium and being open to experimentation are crucial keys for success. Hard work and passion brings results. I am enjoying my journey and looking forward to new challenges."
Alyona's work has been exhibited in many national and international shows, won numerous awards and has been displayed in many private and public collections throughout the United States. Alyona is a Signature Member of Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), Full Member of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club and Juried Member of International Guild of Realism.
Alyona devotes all of her time and energy by creating pieces that reflect her matchless views and sharing her passion with art lovers. Visit her website: www.BrushAndPencil.com
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Radiant color…painterly finishes…astonishing realism…with colored pencils! Achieve rich, luminous color and eye-popping ultra-realistic effects. Artists of every level will be inspired by the amazing new techniques created by Alyona Nickelsen, presented in Colored Pencil Painting Bible for the very first time.
Nickelsen’s innovations will delight readers and detailed you-can-do-it processes bring her striking results within reach for every artist. Take colored pencils beyond the ordinary with Colored Pencil Painting Bible!
Colored pencil painter Alyona Nickelsen reveals how to use the medium to push the limits of realistic portraiture.
Colored Pencil Painting Portraits provides straightforward solutions to the problems that artists face in creating lifelike images, and will prime readers on the intricacies of color, texture, shadow, and light as they interplay with the human form. In this truly comprehensive guide packed with step-by-step demonstrations, Nickelsen considers working from photo references versus live models; provides guidance on posing and lighting, as well as planning and composing a work; discusses tools, materials, and revolutionary layering techniques; and offers lessons on capturing gesture and expression and on rendering facial and body features of people of all age groups and skin tones.