Pencil Artist

Artist Statement

“I am fascinated by the simplicity of a pencil. It is one of the most basic of tools, and yet it can be used to create images of great complexity and depth. To take that which is simple and basic, and to create with it something moving and inspiring is a personally enriching experience. To me, this creative process is a reflection of life. We all possess very basic tools, and what can be created with these tools is incredibly complex, moving and full of potential.”

- Kelli Swan

Artist Biography

Kelli Swan specializes in the beautiful and striking effect of black and white graphite pencil drawing. Her detailed illustrations depicting a variety of themes have won many awards in prestigious juried art shows. In addition, her drawings have been widely published. Kelli’s artwork resides in collections in Europe, the UAE and the United States. She received her BFA with Summa Cum Laude honors from the University of Akron in Ohio.

Using a variety of pencils, Kelli creates depth and movement through the use of perspective, rich tonality and a number of rendering techniques. She begins with research and photograph studies of her subject(s). Next, she explores various creative approaches with a series of rough sketches. These sketches are refined and ultimately lead to a final line-composition. Then, the final rendering begins. It can require 100 hours or more to complete a large pencil drawing.

Kelli draws her inspiration from a life-long love of animals and nature. After years spent riding and showing horses in the discipline of dressage, Kelli now enjoys the more leisurely time spent with her adopted Doberman Pinscher dogs.

Kelli owns and operates Cygnet Graphics, the company through which she publishes and sells her work. Her drawings feature the pen name “cygnet” as part of the signature. The word “cygnet” refers to a young swan, and Kelli prefers to see herself as forever young at heart. Thus the incorporation of Cygnet into her business and drawings.

Kelli’s interests include reading, hiking with her dogs, swimming, meditation and peaceful times with friends. Her favorite blessing on this earth is quite time spent in the presence of nature.