Completed Works from the 2015 Colored Pencil Magazine Monthly Challenge


Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and looking forward to the new year! This year was about goals for me, and in particular with colored pencil. After seeing other artists’ work with the medium I decided to try my hand at it. Much like anything, the more you practice the better you get at it. When I came across the Colored Pencil Magazine Monthly Art Challenge, I thought I would join and see how it would go. Looking at some of the previous year’s work from the participants it looked like the challenges allowed for tackling a variety of different texture, subject matter and colored schemes. I really wanted to push myself to try different things and also seeing the variety of skill levels of the participants, I thought this would be an excellent learning opportunity.

About the Competition
Every month a new photo is posted and the participants have a month to create a version whole, in part, or inspired by the photo, and post it to the Flickr group for the challenge by the deadline. All age ranges and skill levels can enter within the junior, beginner and advanced categories, and a winner is chosen in each category along with honorable mentions. Winners receive gift cards for Jerry’s Artarama, and of course the honor of being selected! 🙂

My Journey
A couple of months into the challenges I decided that I was going to make a commitment to doing every monthly challenge for the year. Being part of the competition felt like being in a college class again and the other participants seemed very positive and encouraging with each other. Over the past year I drew subject matters and textures I had never tried before, tried new types of paper, techniques and even types of colored pencils. I pushed myself to improve with every piece and was even lucky enough to get honorable mentions for my “Rust & Stuff” and “White Peacock” pieces!

Above all, I have to say that the greatest unexpected gift I got from doing this challenge was becoming part of the community and making some new friends! Because I feel it’s important to take time to say thank you I wanted to say a big THANK YOU! to the following people:

Sally Robertson and Colored Pencil Magazine: Thank you for creating the magazine and this challenge! Also thank you for your words of encouragement and sharing my work on social media! It has made me feel like part of the community even so we are in different parts of the world!

Yasmin Melean, Anique Azam, Elke Hokist, Pringle Poirot, Jenny Luan Frye, and Carolyn Chua: We are quite the international group! Thank you for your friendship and consistent words of encouragement. I have learned from you all and enjoy our conversations about this wonderful medium. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful works!

If you would like to see larger versions of all of my works from this year’s challenge below, click here.

If you are interested in joining next year’s monthly challenges visit for more info.


Barb Sotiropoulos

Barb Sotiropoulos

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

2 Responses

  1. Great job getting the drawings done. I’ve wanted to participate in this, but I am just not fast enough or life gets in the way and the drawings didn’t get done on time. I’m still working on the October one. Love that photo. I’ve been working with colored pencil for years, it’s my favorite. I’m glad to see you’ve picked up the medium. Great work! 🙂

    1. Thanks Lisa! It definitely takes up a lot of free time. I’m really loving it though! I feel like I rushed some of them to meet the deadline in the past year but this year I might take a different approach in the interest of a better quality drawing 🙂

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Hey, I'm Barb!

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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