At first glance, the oceanic artwork of Brisbane-based artist Bethany Moffat might look like photographs, but it’s actually a series of hyperrealistic colored pencil drawings. Impressively, Moffat spends several weeks on each piece, sketching the silk-like ocean surface, one pencil stroke at a time.
Moffat quit her day job to pursue drawing full-time 6 months ago, and she’s been “making waves” ever since. Fascinated by the ocean, her portfolio celebrates the tranquil beauty of soft waves and ripples in deep blue hues. “Growing up by the sea I experienced both fear of deep water yet also admired the beauty of its creation,” says the artist. “There is healing power in salty ocean air. I will forever be fascinated by how the sea can be so terrifying and tumultuous, yet calm at the same time.”
Moffat’s meticulous process is a testament to her incredible patience, and mirrors the powerful, never-ending flow of the ocean itself. Each piece is beautifully rendered with layers of deep tones and realistic shading, so it’s no surprise that Moffat needs plenty of coloring pencils to achieve this. For her latest drawing, titled Moonlight, the talented artist used around 70 pencils—can you imagine how much pencil sharpening that involved?