Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cherries in a chinese bowl

Cherries in a chinese bowl
8"x11" coloured pencil on Saunders Waterford HP paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I bought some cherries on Monday - as a still life prop of course! This was drawn (eyeballed) and completed in one sitting of about 2-3 hours on Monday evening.

I've never used my little chinese dishes before as dishes for a still life and I think the size, shape and colouring works rather well. The set-up is on top of one of my foamcore boards (usually used as drawing boards), perched on top of an archive box, which was placed on the sofa next to my armchair - all so I can draw in comfort! It's side lit involving a daylight bulb which I use when drawing at night. The only thing I did in setting up was overlap the two dishes and then twizzle the arrangement until I got a good set of shadows. I sometimes seem to be more attracted to the shadows than the supposed subject matter when doing still lifes. I guess it's because I'm always attracted to resolving the light and colour issues.

The background is my usual open hatching involving most of the colours used in the rest of the work. The cherries were really difficult to do as I couldn't get a good dark black red. I'm finding I'm using my karisma/prismacolor pencils less and less as I prefer the control I get with my polychromos, pablos and lyra rembrandt pencils - so my prismacolor 'black cherry' was not an option!

Have I finished this? I'm still umming and erring over whether to go darker with the background.

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  1. This is lovely. Personally I like the soft background very much and wouldn't fiddle with it.

  2. That's lovely, Katherine. I have a weakness for blue and white Chinese bowls. I think you nailed the colour of the cherries - they look like cherries, taste like cherries. Yum! I don't know how you can achieve this so quickly. Glad to hear you prefer pencils I can actually buy in Italy over Prismacolors, which I can't.

  3. Beautiful. I really love this. I like the delicate back ground, so if I were you I'd experiment with your scan in photoshop to see first before darkening the background. Just out of interest is there a reason why you wouldn't use a colour from another brand? All my coloured pencils (three different brands given to me to test when I was an art student, together with stray children's pencils and goodness know what else) are all mixed up together in several tubs and I just use whichever colour I think I want regardless of brand. This description obviously gives an indication of the chaotic nature of my work space!

  4. have you experimented with using a deep dark green under the deepest dark red you have? sometimes that gives you the deep red you want.

    (complimentary colours: viridian + alizarin crimson makes a great black or deep dark green or burgundy)

  5. oh I forgot to say - it's lovely :)

  6. These are very colorful and yummy looking. With pastels and other media I use dark green in with the red to go blacker/darker. I don't use colored pencils much, would that work?

    Anyway, these are lovely and I enjoy your set up and painting in a comfortable way. :)

  7. Oh gorgeous!
    I know what you mean about being able to get a bit more control with polychromos, versus prismacolors (I NEVER thought I'd say that!) Still, I wonder if the black cherry isn't "low wax" enough to mix in without muddling it all up.

  8. This is beautiful - cherries, mmm my favourites! Like Vivien, I found the darkest reds I got were with a green underlayer.

  9. Thank you for all your appreciative and very helpful comments

    I completely FORGOT about using the complementary colour - I'd been rushing around all day so can only assume I was feeling pretty brain dead at the time and now feel a bit silly!!!


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