Artist Statement

portrait of Yelena Shabrova, the fine artistIt’s the everyday splendor of the world we live in that inspires me to draw my horses, landscapes, and flowers using mostly colored pencils and erasers.

Working in colored pencil has been my passion for over 10 years. This wonderful medium allows me to draw practically anywhere, in any intervals of time, and requires almost for setup or cleaning.

Photos and sketches serve me as a reference, and sometimes I use plenty of them for a single piece. I work with many layers of color all over the paper, adding and blending strokes wherever I feel they are necessary until the whole piece is almost done.

I never aim for photorealistic look and prefer to capture the inner beauty of my subjects rather than meticulous details of their appearance. Sometimes I only add suggestions of a few details which can say a lot about the character of a horse or the mood of a landscape.

Usually I develop my drawings from light to dark, starting with lighter and brighter colors that later peek through darker colors and give them vibrancy and life. When colors of bigger areas are well defined, I turn to details. That’s where a fine point of the colored pencil comes really handy.

It’s easier to start working in colored pencil than to stop, but when I feel that the drawing is breathing, I don’t add anything to it.

With pastel pencil, I rarely go further then the main subject and suggestions of the background. There is something very attractive to me in this approach where detailed and loose areas coexist without clashing. I prefer colored paper for pastel pencil that allows color lines and shapes to dance against the background.

Black ink that can tell the story with lines, dots and areas of pure black is yet another favorite of mine. Working with pen and ink leaves no room for mistakes, but surprisingly it gives me a sense of liberation.

I also work in China marker and oil pastel which have their own unique qualities. But no matter what medium is used, the creative process itself and numerous opportunities to catch fleeting beauty that keep me fascinated.