Some Artists Use Pencils, This One Uses Pencil Shavings

Teacher and part time artist Meghan Maconochie uses colored pencils to create art, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of coloring with the pencils, she sharpens them and layers the shavings to on a white background to create all kinds of cool things, ranging from animals, to food and portraits of pop icons.

Meghan’s love affair with pencil shavings began when she participated in a color competition called ‘Nifty250’ last year. “I was sharpening a pencil when I decided to create the Nifty250 logo using the shavings from the pencil,” she said. She did just that, and her work was declared the winner. Soon, she began making more and more pieces using pencil shavings.


She starts off by making a pencil sketch on paper, to use as a base. She then applies a thin layer of shavings on the outer edges of the drawing, and layers it up to give it a more “sculptural look”, often spending several hours on a single piece. She sharpens each pencil by hand, and her sketches require anywhere between half a pencil to an entire box of pencils. “My hands have calluses from all the sharpening,” she said. “I have tried using an electric sharpener but the shavings end up being too fine and turn to dust pretty much.”


Meghan is now involved in a photoseries called ‘Project365’, in which she makes one pencil-shaving sketch a day and posts it on Instagram. Her work has been tremendously well received. Unfortunately, she throws the shavings away after photographing them. “I am experimenting with different fixatives to see if I can preserve the image,” she said.


Most of Meghan’s artworks reference pop culture icons. “I like to create pieces that people can relate to and recognize,” she explained. “I very much create what inspires me that particular day or week, whether it be music, film, people or other artists.” Some of the famous personalities she has depicted in her art so far include Audrey Hepburn, Amy Winehouse, Harry Potter, Nelson Mandela, among others.


One of Meghan’s most popular pencil-shaving sketches is of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe, which she posted a few weeks ago on Instagram. The post attracted over 800,000 likes, and was ‘regrammed’ by thousands of people, including Miley Cyrus, who wrote: “South African school teacher Meghan Maconochie’s artwork!!! Made all from pencil shavings! S-o-o-o-o-o stoked Insta is here on earth so we can share our art around the world.”


Given the popularity of her work, Meghan soon intends to exhibit and start selling limited-edition prints of each image.







Photos: Meghan Maconochie

Sources: Dispatch, Bored Panda

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