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About Bet Borgeson
and the Colored Pencil Medium

In the August, 1982 issue of American Artist magazine,
Bet Borgeson wrote the first article in the U.S. on using colored pencils
as a fine art medium.

In 1983 Watson-Guptill Publications of N.Y.published
Borgeson's (and the colored pencil medium's) first book,
The Colored Pencil.

Raised and educated in Southern California, Bet Borgeson began her first formal art studies at UCLA. After moving to the Pacific Northwest Borgeson completed her art education with a degree in painting from Portland State University.

She was by this time working mostly in colored pencil, exhibiting and selling her work in various Oregon and Washington galleries and museums. Examples of Borgeson's Art in Colored Pencil. Although colored pencil as a fine art medium was not then generally familiar to the public, it became increasingly clear that its unique handling characteristics and potential were also not well understood by other artists. Since Borgeson was already teaching oil painting, she felt that she should additionally be spreading the word about colored pencils.

To further explore the techniques of this medium, and to devise new ways of using it, she began contacting other artists throughout the U. S. who worked with colored pencils using different styles and techniques. A three-year effort led to the development of many new and vital techniques for colored pencils. It also led to Borgeson’s and the colored pencil medium’s first book, The Colored Pencil. This proved to be a groundbreaking book.

The wide and international distribution during this book’s first year, a second book the following year--Color Drawing Workshop--plus a pivotal interview by Susan Stamberg of NPR’s "All Things Considered" have since been credited with ushering in an explosion of worldwide interest and enthusiasm for colored pencils as a fine art medium.

Bet Borgeson has continued her pioneering work with additional books, with colored pencil exhibitions, by consulting on a major Prismacolor Art Pencil reformulation, and through her teaching. She has conducted seminars and workshops at many universities including Rhode Island School of Design, University of Washington, University of Oregon, Portland State University, and at nationally known art centers.

Bet Borgeson taught studio art courses in colored pencil on this site from 1999 to September 2016. 

Photo of Bet by Alice Borgeson, Winter, 2012.  (For 2016 just add a whole lot of wrinkles!)

Some of Bet Borgeson's books are:

Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner,
The Colored Pencil, Revised Edition,
Basic Colored Pencil Techniques, Colored
Pencil Fast Techniques, and
Color Drawing Workshop.

More About These Books