colour pencil | water colour | tempera

Beyond the colouring book

Working with coloured pencils is much more sophisticated than it sounds. You can get many different effects and create works of art that can inspire and give just as much pleasure as any other artistic endeavour. My work is mainly animal art, both wild and domestic.  Pet portraits are an area that is close to my heart, working from owner photographs to create a personal memory of a beloved companion. 

Who is Margaret

I am a retired United Church minister who is, at last, able to give myself freely to my artistic desires. Art has lived in the background of my life for quite some time and now I can fully embrace that part of me. I have tried several different media but find that coloured pencils and graphite pencils are what suit my artistic path. My preferred subject matter is animals, both wild and domestic. I seek to show their spirit in the best way I can.
I also do calligraphy, specializing in Celtic script, and dye silk scarves. My artistic interests are varied but it’s the pencils that truly speak to who I am as an artist.
Art has become my passion and my mission is to create art that speaks to the heart to bring peace and wholeness to the spirit.
Art Education
Georgian College of A.A.&T., Barrie, ON – 3-year Material Arts Program (1981)
Brock University, St. Catharines, ON – Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (1989)
St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton, AB – Doctor of Ministry with a work of art project entitled “The Spirituality of the Iconographer: An Encounter with Mary” (2004)
Westland Gallery, London, ON – Square Foot Exhibit
Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre 12 x 12 Exhibit
Woodstock Art Gallery Visual Elements 63 & 66
Woodstock Art Gallery 50/50 Exhibitions and Sale
Norwich Museum – Local Artists Exhibition
Oxford Creative Connections, Inc. – Members Exhibitions
Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre – Members Exhibitions
Special notices
This appeared in the June 2020 issue of Colored Pencil Magazine. The drawing is one that I did for a Valentine’s Day card and was chosen by the publishers to be used for their campaign to send cards to seniors’ homes during the pandemic.
Oxford Creative Connections, Inc.
Coloured Pencil Society of America
Coloured Pencil Society of America Chapter 104 Detroit
Lambeth Art Association
Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre
Woodstock Art Gallery

Pet Portraits

Our pets are precious members of our family. They are loved and give love back. Each has a story of its own, whether we got them from a breeder or rescued them from an unhappy situation.
I would like to help you remember your pet, dog or cat, horse or donkey, or whatever animal has found a place in your heart. They may still be an active member of your family or have crossed over to the rainbow bridge.
Working from your good quality photos I will with much care create a coloured pencil or graphite drawing that will memorialize your much loved pet. Please contact me and we can discuss all your wants and needs.


Creating a drawing takes a lot of time to complete depending on the subject matter, detail required and size. However, commissioning a drawing is easy and simple. Contact me through my contact page, email or phone. State what you are interested in having me do I will contact you to discuss the piece more fully To secure your commission a $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required (e-transfer). Shipping is free in Canada

What does it cost

Pricing: 9 x 12 inches coloured pencil drawing – $150 (matted, final measurement 11 x 14 inches) 12 x 15.5 inches coloured pencil drawing – $200 (matted not framed) I also work in black and white using graphite pencils and the pricing for this would be $125 and $150 respectively.

Helpful photo hints

I work from your photographs so taking the right photo is very important. The photo should be: A high-resolution photo taken with a digital camera, if possible taken in natural daylight, the photo should be taken at the same level as your pet. When zooming in, we can see much detail in the face and a good reflection in the eyes (this is what gives the drawing life). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


I love donkeys. I love their soft noses and big soulful eyes. The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Puslinch, ON cares for more than 80 donkeys and mules who have no other place to live. As a supporter of this organization, I will donate 10% of the price of any donkey drawing sold.


I have two pieces of Margaret’s artwork. She is a talented artist who brings colour and texture to life. I have a piece she did of my border collie. She has refined her techniques and you want “to pet“ the artwork she has done of animals. Her artwork and creativity are a wonderful addition to any home. She is truly a gifted artist. – Maureen Roberts
Having been a fan of Margaret Trapnell’s work over many years, I’m happy to attest both to the artistry and technique of her works.  From early, rich icons laced with jewel tones and gold leaf in a highly structured art form, to more free-flowing graphite animal portraits, and more recently explorations in colour and watercolour,  Margaret’s talent has evolved and explored new mediums and boundaries.  Proud owner of a number of her sketches adorning my living room, Margaret’s work can be whimsical and fun to serious.  She specializes in custom pet portraits and purveys her works in various sizes from cards to larger artwork … suitable for all budgets.  Always a delight.  Always fresh.  Always revealing.  As good art should be! – Liz Dawson