Happy Valentines! I love doing the February issue because it allows me to add content that is all about love and romance – and maybe an excuse for a few little risque things.

We start with an interesting interview with Brigita Novinec who creates these great little keychains on heart-shaped wood charms. She then walks us through the steps to creating one of your own. Also working on wood is Kaitlin Mason drawing beautiful feminine pieces on panels.

Next, we have Thyra Rutter who contacted me with an article on her elephant art. Once I read it I was amazed at how she has turned her talents into a tool to save the lives of these vulnerable animals.

From here we join our featured artist Deborah Maklowski. Many of you know her as the president of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) but have you seen her work? If not, I think your reaction will be the same as mine. It has such emotion and character, choosing subjects often overlooked and undervalued. She is a great writer as well, as you will see in her artist statement.

I couldn’t resist the small work of illustrator Sovoroo and was delighted to have her share a quick peek into her world. Our readers also share with us the moment they fell in love with colored pencils. If you are a subscriber, you are automatically signed up to win the book of the month and anyone can get an exclusive 30% off. For now, read an excerpt by Chris Legaspi who has some great life drawing exercises you can do anywhere.

It’s tea time! Joanne Snook-Hann heads of the workshop with a beautiful rose teacup created just for this issue.

So are you inspired and ready to start drawing? Not so fast – first, read my tips on getting ready to art then get started on the Art Challenge and create a perfect gift for your valentine!

For valentines, we are giving away a special Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal and pen set. Visit our giveaway page to see how you can win. www.coloredpencilmag.com/giveaways.

Last, we have a limited edition “In Love with Colored Pencils” bag with goodies to celebrate Valentine’s Day – makes a great gift for yourself or art friend! www.coloredpencilmag.com/store

Sending out love to you all!

Sally Robertson

Thank you to this month’s sponsors:

 Blick Art Materials | Brush & Pencil | Jerry’s Artarama  | Quarto Publishing