Saturday, September 25, 2010

still life exercise in coloured pencil in the largish moleskine folio sketchbook, unfinished

Autumn Fruits, coloured pencil in moleskine folio (8.5 x 11.5 inch pages)

I did a still life set up with a friend today - not something I normally do. He'd set up this mix of fruits and a couple of glorious deep purple/burgundy onions. It isn't finished by a good way, it was just a sketchbook exercise, but you can see I enjoyed doing that onion and the time I spent on it by the lack of darks worked up to balance it elsewhere! I ran out of time to deepen them further. To make a balanced composition it really needs more darks - which shows even more clearly when it's turned to greyscale below .....


details below ..........

I like to use coloured pencils in a scribbly way, overlaying colours and building the subtle changes - for instance with yellows, sugar pink, magenta, burgundy, cadmium red, orange and I can't remember what else in the melon to try to catch the juicy glow of it.

If I were to finish it then I'd work on the 2 right hand pears to make them 3D, push the darks as necessary elsewhere, to balance that onion, work on the water and stems in the carafe that doesn't show up much but is at the back ... look at the lovely distortions in the water etc but I think I'd still leave the edges unfinished and let it spill out from the centre, raggedy edged and flowing with the white of the paper surrounding. (I'm not planning to do any more to it)

What do you think?

7 comments:

Jean Spitzer said...

I like it the way it is, except it's making me hungry.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

A diva onion, with the best supporting cast, I can hear her dress rustling as she performs. I thought the placement on the page was really interesting. The crease in the book seems to balance the carafe which brought to mind the birch pictures and their divisions.

Robyn said...

Some peoples' exercises are other peoples' art, Vivien. I always love your still lifes, this one is no exception. I can see you loved drawing that purple onion. Very nice composition and something about your drawing wants me to pick up and feel the objects. That has to be good. Of course you could always develop this into a mixed media painting - that would be lovely :)

vivien said...

:>) a diva onion? what a lovely image!

I think I'd like to do some more still life when I can Robyn - but maybe arrange my own objects and also take it further

My artichoke flower head is drying nicely and I want to bring in a couple of hydrangea heads to dry as well. I'm planning to draw them - fantastic intricate shapes :>)

Bridget Hunter said...

This is a super piece of work. I don't use coloured pencils but you inspire me to try.

Jeanette said...

I've never done much of still life either, but certain ones do appeal.

The onion is the star of the show and of your interest. Perhaps a piece with just the onion could be interesting - all those colours in the purples...

vivien said...

Yes, I prefer either more simplicity - or else the pattern and drama of a Shirley Trevena arrangement - but not this very traditional nothing-to-do-with-each-other subject-wise.

If you want to see coloured pencils used well, check out Katherine Tyrrell, Gayle Mason and Nicole Caulfield - friends who are real experts.