Artist Travis Sylvester Is Not Your Average Pencil-Pusher


“Ghost,” Colored pencil, 2014
by Travis Sylvester

Look closely at the image of the trout in a net above. Can you guess the artist’s medium? It’s hard to believe that Travis Sylvester can create such a realistic portrait using just colored pencils, but that’s been his artistic weapon of choice since he was in high school.

“I really enjoy the results that I get out of colored pencils,” he says. “They allow me to create very vibrant images with hard sharp edges, while at the same time I can smoothly transition through all of the brilliant colors on a gill plate.”

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sylvester picked up his pencils again in 2009, after not drawing for about ten years. During that time, he had spent a lot of time in the outdoors, especially fishing. When he returned to his art, it seemed the perfect time to combine his two loves. The results are a series of trout drawings that have earned Sylvester wide acclaim. So lifelike are his drawings that many folks assume that they are oil or acrylic paintings.

“My favorite part about drawing trout is trying to capture that awesome shimmery wet look,” Sylvester days. “If my completed drawing looks wet, or if it appears that you could reach out and touch the fish, I am happy with it.”

His inspiration comes from catching trout himself or seeing brilliant photographs and works from other artists. You can see many of Sylvester’s works and purchase fine art prints at his website.


“Tranquility” (Colored pencil, 2013) depicts a Kern River rainbow trout.
by Travis Sylvester

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