Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Illustration Friday: Layer

Well, I was really tempted to do a drawing of one of my hens, my layers, but my chicken-drawing skills aren't quite ready for public consumption.  Then, I remembered my post last month in which I chatted about David Tanis' cookbook, The Heart of the Artichoke. From the moment that I saw Maren Caruso's gorgeous cover photograph, a cross-section of an artichoke, I've wanted to draw a similar view.  So, I went to the grocery store and bought an artichoke, whacked it in half and started looking at it. Its layers are quite beautiful - the way the greens lighten into yellows as they move inward, ending with the little magenta "brushstrokes" on the innermost creamy petals. It's easy to get a little lost in the details (sort of like drawing a pinecone), but once I had the basic parts and pieces botanically correct (sort of ), I was able to take a little artistic license with the details. Artichokes are just so beautiful...and delicious.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Sweater

When I saw the topic, "sweater", I knew that there would be some wonderful illustrations this week, and I haven't been disappointed. There are some really great pieces, especially from the wonderful creators of children's art.  But for me, this was a tough one...I rarely draw people, or clothes-wearing animals, so I had to think about it in my terms, which usually start with botanicals. My saucer magnolia is blooming, and its flowers burst out of furry little sweater-like buds, but after drawing the quince last week, I wanted something different.  Yesterday, I was at Safeway and saw the kiwi...all of that colorful goodness wrapped up in little fuzzy brown  sweaters.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Illustration Friday: Reverse

Blame it on my graphic design background, but when I see the word "reverse", I immediately think of type or graphics "reversed out" of a background color, often black. And since I may not have time for another drawing this week, I decided to have my Illustration Friday entry double as a Valentine drawing of sorts. Granted, it's not your typical pink or red Valentine, so if you're more of a traditionalist, feel free to scroll down and enjoy the quince buds instead. Either way, Happy Valentine's Day!

Update: My drawing was selected as "Pick of the Week" on Illustration Friday! (It's a completely random selection process, but I'm still tickled. Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket...)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter, interrupted

 I've been trying to get started on my "reverse" drawing for Illustration Friday, but the weather in the Santa Clara Valley has been too distractingly warm and sunny.  This valley was once called "The Valley of the Heart's Delight"...isn't that a wonderful name? (Much better than "Silicon Valley" which is what most people call it these days.) When I moved here in 1979, a person driving through San Jose would pass busy, viable orchards on many major avenues.  Today, most are gone, within the city itself, but we still reap the benefits of the temperate valley climate.

Every year, when the fruit trees and shrubs start to flower, I admire my neighbor's flowering quince and vow to plant one in my yard.  Well, that still hasn't happened, but she always urges me to come over and cut as much as I like.  I decided not to include the blossoms in this drawing, because I just love the plump buds, sitting there waiting to explode.  When I started the drawing, I quickly rendered the petal areas first, and I'm awfully glad that I did - when I returned to finish it the next day, they were almost all in full bloom! The subtle shadows don't show up very well in this scan; this drawing is definitely one that might photograph better than it scans. I'll let you know when I get to playing around with that.  Now, back to thinking about "reverse"...