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Artist Showcase: Judy Lewis


For Judy Lewis, 1997 was a rough year. Ongoing physical pain had finally forced her to give up playing classical guitar.

For years, the guitar had been her comforter and companion—the vehicle for her artistic expression. In 1997, however, she was forced to find another artistic pursuit to fill the void.

That same year, after seeing her sister’s folk artwork, Judy had a sneaking suspicion she had found a new vehicle for her creativity. She threw herself at painting and quickly rediscovered the joy of artistic expression. Judy claims that her beginning works were far from masterpieces, but she had found a hobby worthy of the hours of practice she had once devoted to music.

Just as Judy’s skill as a painter began to increase, the mobility in her arms began to deteriorate further, and painting became too painful. Again, she had to find a new means of expressing herself creatively. It was at this point that she discovered Darrel Tank’s 5-Pencil Method and began a love affair with the “humble pencil.”

Judy has become quite a prolific graphite artist, and her work continues to improve with each new project. In her most recent work, Judy decided to tackle a subject she felt would push her to the next level. She typically feels more comfortable drawing animals than she does humans, and she saw the portrait of the chimp (above) as a good practice for both. Judy explains:

“With my chimp drawing...not only did his eyes draw me in, but the texture of his aging skin, the creases under his eyes, and his graying beard are all things that will be in a human portrait. I also struggle to achieve contrast in my drawings, and I felt he would teach me that as well.”

“I used Darrel’s method to draw him and incorporated all the little tips on texture that Darrel has showed us in his online classes. [For this drawing] I just relaxed and enjoyed the process rather than concentrating on every technical aspect, and I believe I have done my best drawing so far.”

If you would like to see more of Judy’s work, check out her profile at

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