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Delicate but Realistic Portraits by Shannon Coyle

A graphite portrait of a boy in hockey gearNicholas, graphite

Shannon Coyle is a figurative artist specializing in graphite drawings of pets and children. Currently based on The Bay of Islands in Newfoundland and Labrador, Shannon draws on artistic training in drawing and painting to craft delicate but realistic portraits.

A graphite portrait of a fluffy dogMoses, graphite

As we noted in our previous feature of Shannon’s graphite portraiture, the artist tends to work with a very soft touch, relying on blending and fine, exacting pencil marks to build up images. I find this technique works especially well for the artist’s chosen subject matter. On pets, there are places in a portrait where each individual hair seems to be visible, drawing the viewer in with great attention to detail, while in other areas individual pencil marks blend together to create a soft, whole image that’s reminiscent of the texture of a housecat’s fur.

A screen capture of Shannon Anne Coyle's art websiteThe front page of Shannon's art website


I’m also really impressed by Shannon’s various seagull studies. The way the artist renders the structure of the birds’ feathers lies in remarkable contrast to her drawings of the uncertain, ever-changing forms of ocean surf, creating fascinating tension in each seemingly simple drawing.

A graphite drawing of a bird flying over ocean watersEscape, graphite

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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