About the Artist

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Artist's Statement

"Like most artists, I have a need to communicate pictorially rather than with words. Although I try to push the limits of realism in a black and white medium, simply imitating reality isn't my primary goal. I use the technical skills I have developed to tell a story or evoke an emotion. I feel I've successfully communicated with someone when they identify with the essence of a particular piece, and it brings about new thoughts or feelings."

About the Artist

A natural ability and strong desire to draw surfaced early in J. D. Hillberry's life. While growing up in Wyoming, he began developing his own techniques of blending charcoal and graphite to give a photo realistic look to his drawings. J. D. uses this monochromatic medium to focus the viewer's attention to the drama of light, shadow, and texture without the added influence of color. Throughout his career, He has tried to push the limits of realistic expression with drawing. After moving to Colorado in 1989, Hillberry began experimenting with trompe l'oeil drawings. Traditionally, this type of artwork is done with oils, but he has successfully rendered images so realistically, they fool the eye into thinking that real objects are displayed in a shadow box frame. Working out of his studio in Erie, Colorado, J. D. Hillberry continues to expand the public's perception of drawing.


Nov. 1996 - 99 Great American Artists, Cincinnati, OH
  • Exhibited original drawings in this prestigious invitation only exhibition held at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Nov. 1995 - 98 Artists of America, Denver, CO
  • Invited for the fourth year in a row to this exhibit of realism held at the Colorado History Museum.

July 1994 Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver CO
  • Selected out of over 2000 applications from 49 states and 5 foreign countries to exhibit in the number 1 rated outdoor art festival in the nation.

Aug. 1992 Bosque County conservatory of Art, Clifton, TX
  • Exhibited original drawings in this annual show and sale held the highly regarded Conservatory of Art.

Selected Awards

1993 - 2010

Garnered more than 50 awards in nationally acclaimed juried art exhibitions throughout the United States. They include:

  • 15 Best of Show Awards

  • 11 First Place Awards

  • 7 Best of Media awards

  • 4 Judges Awards of Excellence

  • 2 Peoples Choice Awards



2008 - 2019

Selected as the  Bayou City  Art festival Featured Artist
Downtown Houston, TX

  • Artwork featured on posters, signs, tea shirts, and billboards for this nationally acclaimed art festival.
    Photo of Houston Billboard

  • After winning awards at the top racked Main Street Art Festival in Fort Worth, TX in 2006 - 2009, JD was invited to be one of 6 Jurors to help choose the artists for the 25th anniversary of this highly prestigious art festival.

Media Coverage

August 2016

Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine "Deceits that Delight"

  • Trompe l'Oeil artwork featered in this highly regarded nationally distributed art magazine.

Spring 2013 The Drawing Magazine "Shades of Gray Competition"
  • Artwork featured as a winner in National  Competition.

Sept. 2004
The Artist's Magazine "Blending In"
  • An article demonstrating the blending techniques and materials used to create the appearance of a variety of  textures.

July 2004
Drawing Board "Creating Realism with Contrast"
  • Six page article showcasing work and techniques required for realistic drawing.

Spring 1999 InformArt Magazine "The Pencil"
  • Illustrated article regarding the diverse subject matter and style of pencil artwork. 

Mar. 1999 The Artist's Magazine "Great Paintings By Design" 
  • Artwork featured in an article about creating strong compositions in this nationally published magazine.

Jan. 1995 -98 Southwest Art Magazine
  • Listed in the magazine's index of artists whose original work can be purchased in major galleries in the United States.

Nov. 1994 Western Horseman Magazine
  • Featured artist in the Gallery section of this western oriented magazine.

Selected Publications

Mar. 1999 Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil, Northlight Books 
Cincinnati, OH
  • A 128 page book illustrating JD Hillberry's techniques for drawing realistic looking textures using charcoal, carbon and graphite pencils. Distributed world-wide by the nations leading publisher of art technique books, it has sold over 50,000 copies since publication and was recently translated into Chinese. The English version of the book can be found in over 480 public and University Libraries around the world.

Sept. 1998 Incredible Optical Illusions, Quarto Publications, 
London, England
  • An original trompe l'oeil drawing is featured on the title page of this book published in Europe and distributed by Simon and Schuster.


Limited edition reproductions of original drawings are sold in galleries and frame shops across the United States. They are also available from the JDH Art studio in Erie, CO. Email: [email protected]


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