Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Illustration Friday: Grounded

Prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore Bristol, vellum finish

When I saw the Illustration Friday topic "grounded", I started thinking about botanical things underground. It's interesting to me that, while many roots and bulbs that grow underground are white or brown or something in-between, a few—like carrots, radishes, and red onions—are richly colored. 

It seems that most still-life artists, or botanical artists, have a number of onion pieces in their portfolios. It's easy to see why: they're great fun to draw—with their papery, translucent skins, and layers of color.

I just bought a new scanner (my techie husband is going to be setting up a different computer system and it's not compatible with my old scanner), so I will be curious to see how it does with colored pencil and pencil drawings. I'll keep you posted!

36 comments:

  1. I love the shiny slither of onion skin revealed under the top layer.Beautiful....

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  2. Beautifully done!

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  3. Sarah...they just keep getting better and better! Such a beautiful rendering--and you have really achieved that "papery" feel of the skins. NOT easy to do! GORGEOUS colors! Btw, please let me know about new your scanner. I have been doing battle with mine, so I'd love to know how yours works out for you.

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  4. So sensitive, subtle & beautiful! I have another theory why so many artists have painted onions-- in addition to their lovely colors & silken textures-- they are such cooperative & patient models, rarely wilting, drooping or rotting before the painting's done (even for a slowpoke like me)!

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  5. Wow, at first glance I thought it was a photo! Purple onions have such great color, which you captured so nicely.

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  6. Really gorgeous. So realistic. I also will be curious to learn about your new scanner. My colored pencil scans seem so different from the original.

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  7. Beautiful! You can almost smell the cut up one! Colors are perfect!

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  8. Your gorgeous art always makes me so happy. I stand in awe- w/love- v

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  9. Great idea for grounded! It gives me hope that somewhere deep in the frozen ground (at least where I am) that there maybe some sort of life sprouting and starting it's way to the surface!

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  10. FABULOUS! I think onions and pears are de rigeur for artists.

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  11. I like your creative spin on 'grounded' here. This is an amazing sketch of my favorite purple onions. I am amazed at how real they look - I feel like I could just reach out and pick them up off the page. This must have taken hours and hours and hours! Do you draw from looking at the real object, or by looking at photos?

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  12. Thanks everyone! I'm never sure if I should answer you on our own blog, but I'll try this here this time:

    Melissa: that was my favorite little detail, too!

    Dana: you're so right...I have some gorgeous pears in my fridge just dying to be drawn, but I'm afraid they'll ripen before I get to them!

    Claire: this took about 7-8 hours I think, over 3 days. I almost always draw from the real object; I think my work looks really flat otherwise. I know that many people draw from photos very successfully, though!

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  13. Your interpretation of grounded is so original Sarah! What a fabulous drawing of your onion. Bulbs are such interesting miracles of nature there is so much new life stored within.You are making full use of your new pencils.
    Jane x

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  14. What a beautiful onion! Great rendering!

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  15. Great colors and texture !! I can smell these onions from here.

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  16. Really beautiful illustration Sarah, love the composition, and the colour.

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  17. Fantastic illustration! You captured the color and texture perfectly. Hope you see some rain soon - but not too much!

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  18. Gorgeous! I can hear the crinkly-ness!

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  19. Wow, this just jumps off the page Sarah!

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  20. It is very nicely drawn , indeed every single layer is clearly recognizable , its papery texture...

    BTW, wasn't you crying when you was drawing cut open onion? I have always problems when cooking .....:)

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  21. Wow... just wow. Did not think I could be so impressed by an illustration of an onion! very good!

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  22. Soooo beautiful - lovely work.
    Sue

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  23. Your colour pencil works is fantastic. I love your rendering and the way your colours blend. Great work.

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  24. Sarah, you are a master. I can count the artists whose realistic work blow me away but you are one of two who I absolutely respect here on the blogs. I marvel at how you illustrate these pieces, capturing all the nuances, the blemishes, the striae, the transluscence, the scratches and other natural characteristics that the whole thing is perfect!!! Joseph Banks and Redoute may have started aesthetic botanical illustrations but I treasure yours even more. I still shake my head with awe every time I see those chestnuts up there!

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  25. This is gorgeous, Sarah. The color is perfection!

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  26. That IS curious that so many artists paint onions. Your onions are exceptional, however! So many shades of pink and purple, and the highlights and shadows perfectly placed. Wow!

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  27. Incredibly GORGEOUS, Sarah..your work is so beautiful! I've been so very amiss at visiting you..I am so sorry. I look forward to hearing all about your new scanner too..mine's about kaput! :) Wishing you a fabulous new year ahead.I love your new resolutions..I need to come back and visit more to see your sketches (always so beautifully done) and to see more of the Emu egg! How amazing!!

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  28. Beautiful! Looks so real and I can almost smell them...

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  29. this is amazing! beautifully done!

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  30. Beautiful. I wish I could draw still life like you! Such a wonderful interpretation of the onions.

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  31. I thought it was a real photo!

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