P. Craig Ellertson graduated Salt Lake Community College in the field of Commercial Art and worked for a number of years doing ad layouts for a small classified newspaper, a magazine printing company and an independent home improvement company all here in the Salt Lake area.
As the years went on he tried his hand at pen and ink, acrylic prints, gouache, oil pastels and watercolor but in the end kept coming back to colored pencils. He likes the control he has with them and found that he could treat them almost in the same fashion as paints. Therefore, he has concentrated on using various types of colored pencils and pastels. Also within the last couple of years he started using scratchboard and incorporating colored pencils and permanent inks to his works.
Another love of his is photography and generally taking his own reference photos but has on occasion purchased the rights from other photographers to their reference photos. He has been blessed with the opportunity to visit other counties such as Africa, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands and, not to mention, right here in his own backyard where he has brought back many photos and the memories that he tries to instill into his paintings.
Over the years Craig has won several awards at the Hogle Zoo’s annual art show taking the Director’s Choice Award two years in a row. He was also invited to do an exhibition at the Valley Arts Center in Clarkston, Washington in 2019 and taught a two day “Introduction to Colored Pencils” workshop. He has been invited to come back again in September of 2022 to teach another workshop.
Craig was recently asked by Colored Pencil Magazine to write an article which appeared in their July 2021 issue entitled “An Artists Background”. The article addressed his thoughts into the detailing of the backgrounds in his paintings and some of the techniques he uses.
Craig currently attends a weekly artists’ work group headed by Jan Henderson who is an internationally recognized colored pencil artist. He is also a member of CPSA, Colored Pencil Association of America.