© Michael Nicholls

During my working life I managed to enjoy various forms of art and crafts (all self-taught): oil, acrylic and watercolour painting, marquetry, drawing and photography (which provides my subject matter). In respect of drawing, my favoured medium is carbon & graphite pencils.

When I retired (about 12 years ago) and wishing to try something different, I purchased a full set of colour pencils from a well-known manufacturer. With a soft spot for teddies and recalling a photograph taken during an 18hr power cut in Norfolk, “Bedtime Teddies” was born. I now look back at this drawing and wonder how I managed to achieve the level of detail I did. My second colour pencil drawing was of our granddaughter’s dog called “Benson”.

In 2023 I purchased another set of colour pencils, completing several smaller drawings. However, each appears to lack the level of sharpness and capture of texture I had previously achieved. My latest colour pencil offering “Feather On A Sandy Beach”, was destined not to be sharp in some areas, due to enduring several tide changes ending up a little worse for wear. Bird reference books suggest it to be from a juvenile Herring Gull.

My carbon & graphite drawing style is photorealism, which probably helped me to gain success in the early “Strokes of Genius” books, published in the USA. Entries were invited from anyone, anywhere in the world to email their work to the publishers. The chosen top 100 drawings would then form the next book. My “Teddies By Candlelight” was published in book 3, and “Oldway Mansion” in book 4. My latest carbon pencil drawing (yet to be submitted) is "The Last Supper", from my photo of the carving in St Mildreds Church, IOW.

Last year (2023) I submitted 5 miniature drawings to the RSM (these could not be greater than 6” x 4½” when framed). I was pleased to hear all 5 had been accepted by the judging committee, and all 5 then approved by the hanging committee.

Yet to achieve a colour pencil drawing award.