Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cherry Trio

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself stumped for botanical subjects. Though there are still some very interesting things in the garden that I could have used, I just couldn't find anything that I really wanted to draw. So, I headed to the supermarket's produce department where I snatched up a nice bag of plump cherries. I love drawing cherries and recently sold a pen and ink illustration of them that I did 2 years ago. With a new Library art exhibit approaching, I decided to do another one to exhibit there, only this time in color. This is what I came up with:

Now, I might add that the real task was to avoid consuming the subjects! Did I mention that the rest of the 1 1/2 lb bag I purchased was largely devoured by a precocious fruit fiend?..Um...I mean by my 5 year old daughter ..:)

I wanted to do a trio of them so I grabbed three of the best looking ones from the bag and came up with an arrangement. First came the initial drawing on transfer paper and then traced that onto my Fabriano Artistico paper.

I followed the suggestion of botanical artist, Ann Swan, and actually used black to layer in the shadows on the cherries. I normally use dark sepia but she suggested that gray tones would not be dark enough for such dark cherries like the ones I found, and like the ones she used in her book. So, I began layering with black and then used Black Cherry(Prismacolor)over that. This should be done,per her suggestion, to absorb the black. Next came the layering of Permanant Green Olive on the stems.

I softened the darker tones and colored in the lighter areas with Red-Violet, Madder, and Magenta. These pencils are all Faber-Castell polychromos except for the Black Cherry Prismacolor one that I mentioned above. The result is what you see below. I got so wrapped up in this process that I neglected to stop and photograph the progress as I layered the colors in.

( I had to use auto correct because the photo was too dark.)

I still have to finish the stems and burnish everything but I will photograph the final illustration, with better lighting, before it's framed.


  1. Ooh, I love cherries too. These look deliciously dark and shiny. I am sure they will go down a treat at the exhibition.:)

  2. I had to get another bag this week, as we've all been craving them now...I suspect we were about to get fruit flies so I had to break down and throw the arrangement in the trash. :O.

  3. Well done! You did it in the right order (unlike me) with your tonal studies ;P Fab studies they are too. How lovely that you have a daughter, and isn't she a pretty little thing?! Great post. I never knew you did a grey-tonal and then put the colour on top. Fascinating.