Raquel Baranyai

Following a few general interest courses in Drawing, I attended the (then) Ontario College of Art, where I graduated as a mature student. After working with clay and copper enameling, I wanted to reconnect with my passion for drawing, to capture colour and form on paper. I decided to learn how to use coloured pencils and love the versatility of my chosen medium.

I began taking a University of Toronto class with Professor Celia Godkin. Later, I continued learning from books on the subject, increasing my skills. When joining the Botanical Artists of Canada, I had a chance to take two workshops in Toronto with Arlene Steinberg, a coloured pencil artist from New York, and have been working on my own since then.

Coloured pencils allow for soft techniques, hard edges and colour saturation. The range of possibilities is infinite, and the techniques varied. Basic sketching has a character of its own, and sustained work becomes paintings, where line disappears and only colour, tone and textures prevail. I have also found coloured pencils are wonderful tools to describe detail and colour in botanical subjects.

As sometimes it happens in life, separately followed paths converge. In my case, my love of nature and a strong desire to pass on to others what I have learned led me to feel more and more comfortable working with botanical subjects. It also continues to increase my botanical knowledge, and gives me a deep enjoyment of the subject and the personal interaction with students.

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