May Artist of the Month: Solène Pasquier

May Artist of the Month: Solène Pasquier

We talked to the artist, Solène Pasquier, to find out her secret to creating her dazzling hyper-realistic artworks using colored pencils and EverBlend markers. Here, she gave you lots of tips and techniques to make your own great art. We loved interviewing her and can’t wait to share her unique perspective on making art and insightful advice for beginners!

- Hi, Solène! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Solène Pasquier, I am a 23-year-old French artist who currently lives in the United Kingdom. I am a full-time realism artist.

I’ve always done art since I was little. What made me want to create art seriously was my mother, who used to create beautiful paintings that inspired me. Other than making traditional art I also enjoy creating makeup looks. 

- What is your main media and why?

Color pencils and markers are my main media. I started learning how to properly use colored pencils in 2013. I fell in love with the process of layering when working with them. A trick that I use to make my works stand out more is by starting all my artworks with a marker base before applying color pencils; that way the color pencil layer sits nicely on top without much blending needed!

- How long ago did you start drawing? What’s your story behind it?

I've been drawing since I was a little girl. My mother used to paint a lot when I was younger which was a huge inspiration. We were living in Shanghai at the time and I've always felt so inspired by her pieces based on those surroundings. I was lucky enough to travel the world with my parents throughout my life. Whatever places we went to, I've felt so inspired by the culture and the views. I drew lots of landscapes and city views before my style changed to realism.

- How did you start drawing in a realistic style?

What made me want to start drawing in this style was when I first saw Marcello Barenghi’s YouTube video of his hyper-realistic lemon artwork. I was so amazed by his skill and attention to detail that it inspired me to start more realistic works. I've always paid attention to details in all my past pieces, but the second I saw realism artworks I knew this was going to be my style of work.

- What is your favorite animal to draw?

Definitely frogs! I actually drew my first frog for my mother since she loves frogs. I really enjoy drawing them as they've got quite a unique texture and are just fun to draw! I've drawn them a lot, which the more I practice the better they get. My latest frog piece is definitely the most realistic piece I've ever done.

- What was the hardest and the easiest thing for you as a self-taught artist?

As a self-taught artist, I struggled when I first started taking art seriously as I wasn't quite sure what my style was, to begin with. One of the most difficult things I dealt with was seeing my own progress, I felt like I was creating every week with no improvement. So I decided to draw the exact same piece from a year ago and compare it to the old one. That definitely helped me see my improvement and is still a method I use to this day! I definitely recommend doing that.

- What is your favorite part of the creative process?

My absolute favorite is blending everything together and adding highlights and shadows.

Blending everything together after working on so many marker and pencil layers is super satisfying as you see your piece get smoother. When you add highlights or shadows that’s when you see your piece come to life!

- What advice can you give to beginner artists?

My number one advice is to NEVER give up and do not compare your art to other artists, everyone has their own style! 

If you feel like you're not making any improvements as mentioned before, draw your old pieces again and compare them to those old ones. This technique will help you lots and show you where you’ve improved! I also recommend practicing blending with your mediums before you actually start a piece—it will make a huge difference in your artworks. Sketch continuously in a sketchbook. Do this everywhere you go. This will allow you to draw easily, have strong motor skills, and make good observational drawings.

- Tell us a little secret about how to draw better

The key to drawing better is to always practice. You can only get better! Also, pay attention to details, and take your time when creating art—don't rush any pieces. Drawing is a skill that requires only a little knowledge and a lot of practice. Know the basics. This involves familiarizing yourself with all the forms of art and becoming confident with your preferred mediums.

- How often do you use Arteza?

I use Arteza on all the pieces I make. I absolutely love the markers, pencils, and the grey-toned paper. All the products I have tried from Arteza are wonderful, they're easy to use, such good quality, not to mention the beautiful packaging.

- Favorite Arteza product and why?

My absolute favorite is the EverBlend markers! You probably guessed it by their name but they blend so well together and make great first layers before applying Arteza's colored pencils. The colors are so vibrant and they're so easy to use. I 100% recommend them! I've used them on all my pieces ever since I first got them.

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