Shawn Falchetti, CPSA




Shawn Falchetti is best known for his ethereal figurative colored pencil works drawn on sanded papers. Born in 1971 in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in fine art from Wilkes University and pursued a technical career after graduation. During college, he loved the rich and expressive colors of oil paints, and after graduation he found himself yearning to continue creating and exploring color and mood. In 1999 he discovered Ann Kullberg’s book of colored pencil portraits. Amazed at the rich, painterly colors and subtle transitions achievable with this medium, he immediately bought a full set of Prismacolor Premier pencils and began drawing. Shawn joined the Colored Pencil Society of America in 2004.

Shawn’s work is primarily on sanded supports – heavy-weight papers screen printed with toned gesso mixed with pumice. He finds the finely speckled sandpaper surfaces create a distinct, soft look to his finished pieces, and, combined with his focus on lighting and color, helps to evoke dreamy, ethereal scenes. Up to twenty layers of color are applied to achieve his subtle tones. His figurative works have a tangible mood and are deeply personal, often featuring his wife as the subject.

His work has appeared in CPSA Explore This!, the CPSA Annual International Exhibitions, North Light Books Strokes of Genius series, Colored Pencil Magazine, Drawing Magazine and the Artist’s Magazine.

Shawn is a Signature Member of The Colored Pencil Society of America, and lives in Pennsylvania, USA.

The relationship between light and mood has always fascinated me. There’s an inherent drama to a high contrast figure bathed in sunlight, while a quiet, diffused interior has a lazy, subdued atmosphere which suggests what’s behind the scenes has a whole life of its own. The mood of the work is the most important element for me, and with each piece I try to convey the feel of the moment. Although my work is realistic, my goal is to portray the intangible content of the scene.

Nearly all of my work is dry colored pencil on toned, sanded paper. Up to twenty layers of pigment are built-up in succession to achieve subtle tonal and color transitions. I rarely use solvents because I feel the paper’s texture and tone is integral to the work. The bare paper speckles layered with fine pencil strokes help to convey the soft mood evident in my scenes.