Monday, August 6, 2012

A Tomato Family

Prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum, 5" x 8"

When I was setting up this still life, it occurred to me that it looked like a little family portrait. So, the whole time I was drawing these tomatoes, I envisioned them as such: Mom, Dad, the baby next to its mother, and the two older children by the father—one refusing to sit up straight.

These folks were all born and raised in my garden: the "parents" are a wonderful heirloom variety called "Kellogg's Breakfast". They're a beautiful yellow-orange, and are fleshy, very sweet, and have few seeds. You'd almost think you're eating a nectarine—so delicious. The "kids" are "Sugar Sun" cherry tomatoes, also really yummy.

There's nothing quite like a beautiful still life. Here are two of my favorite still life painters:

Janet Rickus paints gorgeous, often whimsical, pieces. (I think that perhaps her sense of humor led me to create a tomato "family" with my own drawing.) Her work is hard to describe in words...you've got to take a peek here.

Abby Ryan creates a daily oil painting, usually an elegantly simple still life, and they're gorgeous. Each painting is then auctioned off on eBay. She collaborates with a potter, Jury Smith, who creates beautiful pieces specifically for use in still life paintings. Isn't that fascinating? And you can even watch videos of Abby painting on her blog and her website. It's a joy to watch.

I hope you'll check them out!

10 comments:

  1. Sarah, your Tomato family portrait is so deliciously gorgeous! You have definitely elevated the color orange to an art form ;)
    As for the still life painters--I already know Abby's work and it sure is amazing! Thanks for the link to Janet Rickus. Very different from Abby's classic style, but every bit as incredible. Her colors are amazing!

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  2. I really like how you paid attention to the background detail as well. It really rounds out this fun tomato version of a family portrait :)

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  3. I am awed by your use of colored pencils. Absolutely brilliant.

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  4. Your 'tomato family' is delightful and your work is Yummy-licious !!!

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  5. It is apparent that you have a lot of insight into family dynamics. This is a fabulous family portrait. Thanks for the introduction to these two artists (and potter)!

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  6. Lovely! I like the way you did the highlights. So far I think I'm raising an orphanage in my garden because I haven't gotten any parents yet, just kids, but they're wonderful kids :)

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  7. Your tomato family is just charming. The oranges are also so vibrant!

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  8. They do look like a family! And they're drawn beautifully. I really love the textures of the setting too: the wall, the wood, and especially the metal edge with the nails in it.

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  9. I love your tomato family! I can really relate to your story about this. I find myself drawn to 3's being the mom of 3 sons, and also groupings of 5 that represent our whole family. Quite fun. Also interesting to hear about these less common varieties that sound so tasty. I'll have to keep them in mind for our garden next year. Enjoy!!

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  10. Hi Sarah, Fab tomatoes ... funny, I have just painted some Mr Sripey heirloom tomatoes myself for a job. Your so clever with your pencils...lovely work!

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