Welcome to a new series! We're profiling our favorite artists who work in pencil, beginning with Ambar Del Moral, whose colored pencil portraits and typography play fill us with wonder and a jolt of silly energy.
Del Moral answered our questions from her quarantine in Colorado about her artistic inspirations and process. We got her to talk about her favorite colored pencils--the sumptuous Caran d'Ache Supracolors. (No word yet though on just how she manages to capture the incredible texture of her subjects' hair.) Enjoy!
Where do you live?
I live in Brooklyn, currently quarantining in Colorado!
When did you first realize art was a thing you were drawn to?
Growing up, I never felt like I was good at much. I really struggled academically, I was bad at sports, and I was even terrible at video games. But art has never felt like a struggle, it has always been a safe space to have fun and explore.
You seem to be super in to colored pencil portraits of goofy and fun TV and movie characters lately. Why these subjects?
Making things is how I decompress, so I create things that bring me joy! I draw people that inspire me, or sometimes I draw characters that make me laugh! I don't take it too seriously; I just think to myself, that looks like fun, so I do it!
When choosing a portrait, I always try to challenge myself. I'll try a funny expression, tricky lighting or unusual colors.
What's your desert island color palette -- the colored pencils you've GOT to bring with you no matter what?
That's like making me choose a child. I would bring ALL OF THEM.
Do you have your Supracolors with you right now? What's your shortest pencil / most used color?
Yes! I ALWAYS have them with me. Currently, the shortest one is 053 hazel, it's my favorite for skin tones.
Why colored pencils? Is there a reason you like Supracolors in particular?
I hadn't used colored pencils since high school! I bought a few for fun when CWPE started carrying them, and I have been hooked ever since. I live in a tiny apartment, so I tend to stick to media that doesn't require much space.
I am obsessed with Supracolors because they are so rich and fun to layer. They're also water-soluble so you can cover large areas by adding water with a paintbrush, which is great because sometimes I get impatient!
Where can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much, Ambar!
Have an artist in mind (or are you an artist?) you think we should feature? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!