Artist Spotlight: Kendra Ferreira

Burnishing the pencil into 800 grit sanded paper with an IPC deerfoot brush
Kendra Ferreira is one of those artists who has both a spectacular eye for detail and a style that recreates her subject in a painterly way -- very hard to do with colored pencil.  But Kendra pulls it off with a high degree of technical skill and talent, and is noted for her colored pencil work, often mistaken for paintings.

When Kendra first picked up colored pencil, she was in college.  Naturally, she gravitated towards the medium with a strong background in drawing and graphic design, and a BFA in printmaking.  But, at the time, she was working primarily dry, attempting to get an even surface with the colored pencils.  Through her membership in CPSA, the Colored Pencil Society of America, Kendra was introduced to new surfaces and new possibilities for blending.

Claybord boxes with colored pencil lids and interiors
Not all colored pencil and pastel artists use brushes, but when they do, there are specific needs based on the surface and type of pencil they use.  In her work, Kendra chooses different substrates for differently styled pieces and alters her brush work accordingly.  When using a sanded surface, Kendra burnishes the pigment down into the surface with a soft blending brush.  Bristle brushes can work for this, but they will wear down quickly.  The IPC line, Ink, Pastel and Chalk, has some alternatives with slightly softer, but stiff, synthetic hairs made just for this task. 

Blending the pigments with Gamsol
In choosing to blend the colored pencil with solvents, Kendra uses an even softer brush, usually those meant for watercolor.  Once the drawing is complete and the colors filled in, Kendra uses an odorless mineral spirits, Gamsol, to blend the piece.  The softer brushes, like the mongolian sable she uses here, work easily to move the pigment.  And, these brushes hold up extremely well with solvents, being quite easy to clean.  A close look at this piece will show that the original drawing is rather textured, but the blending gives the painterly touch that Kendra is known for.

With her skill and output, Kendra's work and teaching is highly sought.  If you're interested in learning more about Kendra and her work, including a new online course, tune in to her blog and website

Online colored pencil course with Kendra
Kendra currently has a show on display at the Providence Art Club, Body and Soul, featuring the amazing Claybord box series along with hanging 2D work.  The show will be open through November 9.  On November 15, her show in Bristol, RI at Angelina's shop will open and run for three weeks. 

Keep your eye out for the issues of Colored Pencil magazine, they will be featuring Kendra in an upcoming article.

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.


  1. Thank you, Karyn. I'm honored that Dynasty Brush has shared their brushes with me and given me this opportunity to be featured!

  2. I've been a witness to the decades of developing talent of Kendra Bidwell-Ferreira. I look at a picture she gave me as a birthday present when in college, which was quite 'accomplished' even back then, but then look to her work today, and marvel at her rising talent through the years! Especially these past several years, with her pursuit of learning from other talented artists, & investigating the best 'tools' of the trade, I am continually 'wow'ed by her abilities as an artist. I also believe her personal traits of humility and reverence, has made her all the more accomplished.

  3. Sure thing, Kendra! My pleasure, so glad to have found you online. It certainly pays for artists to post their work on the social media networks.

    Yes, Sheila. Her work is amazing. I look forward to viewing it in person at some point. Thank you for writing about her character, too. It is hard to get to know someone in a phone interview, but she is very pleasant, thoughtful, and super easy to work with. I can only imagine she is quite a bit more in person.


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