Tag Archives: drawing

Fancy Apple

Fancy-Apples_web Fancy Apple

11″x17″ Graphite on 2 ply Bristol.

This is the fifth of five fancy fruit renderings; all taken from memory, not from a still life set up.  As with the other four renderings, this a drawing of how I feel about the apple.  It is a fun fruit to eat, and memories of apple blossoms, apple slices, and fancy red attitudes accompany the pale yellow-white fruity insides.  How can you eat an apple without sensing its geometry?  What about its leaf, and stem, and skin?  An apple is so very firm in its universal image that even strange varieties are recognizable as apples.  Doesn’t every one have an opinion of this fruit? Green or red or brown or yellow, apples are the first fruit of memory.  “A is for apple!”

Having taught a number of art classes over the years, a favorite quote, (of my own) became a standard part of my daily diatribe. “If you can’t paint an apple to look like an apple – how do you expect to have people trust your dreams when you paint them?”  Now after many long years I realize that sometimes you can see from even a greatly abstracted form, the artist can paint their dreams or any thing they wish.  It is in the way they render that portrays, or better betrays their hidden skills.  It is not so much the moving of interests over time that keeps artists from painting their dreams, but more it is the changing of reasons to believe their work needs to be painted at all.  Once seen in the mind, we often move on to the next dream, only capturing few sketches and random individual works as evidence anything was going on in the first place.  It takes a lifetime to assemble a true picture of what the artist dreaming mind is doing, and then does it relate or have value?  Most recognized artists attend to building a body of work that is desirable to a consuming public.  The vast majority of artists do not achieve this or even attempt it; they just make art.  After they are gone, others gather up the mess and say “Look what this person was doing,” if anything.

Apples:    Apples are known to be a member of the rose family.

Apples are thought to date back 750,000 years.

25% of apples volume is air so they float.

Flushing, Long Island, was the location of the first orchard planted for commercial purposes, “1730.”

The average person eats 65 apples in a year.

The most popular apple varieties in the US are: The Red Delicious, the Golden Delicious and the Granny Smith.

There are 10 seeds on average in an apple.

50 leaves give their energy to produce one apple. 




Fancy Pears


Fancy Pears Pair

11″x17″ Graphite on 2 ply smooth bristol.

Fourth of five images in Fancy Fruit renderings.

The pear with its seed center exposed and bites sliced out is a mental image from childhood, perhaps it was the first time I saw a pear just becoming a treat!  The overall flavor of a pear is curly and friendly and sensitive.  It is easy to bruise a pear or dent its surface, and easier yet to eat.  Unlike other fruit (except peaches), they don’t last long once you start, as they are wet and juicy and require either slicing or just starting on one side and going around to the other in one event, leaving only the core center and the stem.

This drawing was also done entirely from memory and is not any more accurate than that.  I realized after doing it that I had more of a peach seed in the middle as pear seeds are small and multiple.  So given that, it is probably a new fruit invented by this artist and called a Pear.  Again, doing this in black graphite on white bristol seemed better than a colored version.  Perhaps it is because we have all been led into seeing memories in Black and White.

Pears;     In the U.S., most pears are grown on the west coast (about 95%):  Oregon, Northern California, and Washington.

Musical instruments, furniture, wood carvings, are often made of pear wood; it is also used to make wooden kitchen utensils as it doesn’t impart odor or color to the food.

Pear wood is tough and will withstand many trips through dishwashing without splintering or warping.

Because pear wood doesn’t warp, it also makes great architect’s rulers.

In Europe, before tobacco was introduced, people smoked pear leaves.

In the world today, over 3000 varieties of pears are grown.

Fancy Oranges


Fancy Oranges 11″x17″ Graphite on 2 ply smooth Bristol.
Third of five images in Fancy Fruit renderings.
Sliced, wedged, or just peeled and eaten, oranges have a taste that looks like tangy fun. The sections have a texture, and the fruity meaty part have a different texture. The cell sections have a slight resistance to being bit into.  Fun to peel, fun to squeeze (but can be dangerous as choking hazards), oranges are not as much fun to hold as a banana, but are far more popular to compose in still life paintings.
The surface of an orange is hard to render because of its bumpy, dimpled complexion.  Most often, you will see one of two styles: a palette knife approach with broad, orange colored strokes defining shape and shadow, or a near photographic detailed painting showing off high skills in rendering.  Anything in between these two styles is usually including an orange as a part of a larger composition where the overall image is created, rather than the personality of the individual fruit.  I like all these styles too, but for my rendition of an orange it seemed to be more interesting to just make a black and white graphite image of a response to how they are perceived in memory.
Orange facts:
After chocolate and vanilla, orange is the world’s favorite flavor.
Oranges came to the New World in 1493, on the Christopher Columbus voyage II.  Of all the orange crop only about 20% are sold intact (whole). Orange juice, preserves, and extract comprise the rest.
Florida is the number one producer of oranges in the U.S. & number two in the world.
The name “orange” is not to name the color of the fruit. Originally, the Arabic word naranj was used to describe the fruit flavor.  In English (wrong word division), the word became narange, and over time lost the initial “n” and the a became an O in the 14 century.  Orange (the color of the fruit) was then used as a name for that color in 1540.  So, the color got its name from the fruit, not the other way around.

Old Dutch Harbor


Carbon graphite pencil on drawing paper 12″x18.” Original sketch rendered in 2005.  Dutch – Holland Harbor, circa 1500s.

This is a drawing of the early Dutch harbor with windmills (one of three images).  It is not a historically accurate image, but a contrived image of my own imagination. It is about how the Middle Ages formation of Holland (c.1400s-1500s) was challenged first by Spain, then France.  The early dikes were little more than mud piled up and re-enforced with wooden stakes and grass.
Rocks and boulders, as could be found, were used for more critical elements as gates and bridges.  A series of floodgates controlled the flow of ocean tides, allowing traffic into the town and shutting out the high tide as needed.  These mounds made the first sites for windmills to pump out the seawater and make dry land to farm.  The mounds were called “polders.”  There was a confluence of three main rivers draining out of Europe and access for shipping made this location a prime piece of mud. This did not go unnoticed by the major sea powers of France and Spain.  The quiet Dutch harbor would grow to become the greatest seaport in the world, now known as Amsterdam.  The windmills also gave rise to the industrial power that made Holland prosper as well.

The first image in this set shows the arrival of the French armada. (see “French Armada Arrives in Old Holland Harbor” below).

The second image (see “Ice Bound Ships,” this section) shows how the second attempt ended in almost the same strange occurrence of a flash freeze.

French Armada Arrives in Old Holland Harbor

Carbon graphite pencil on drawing paper 12″x18″ Original sketch rendered in 2005.  Dutch or Holland Harbor circa 1500s.

This drawing was done for a video (one of three images) about how the Middle Ages formation of Holland was challenged first by Spain, then France. The French ships were sailing into the harbor and were stopped short by a flash freeze storm. In their first attempt to conquer the Dutch, they awaited a morning thaw, but the Dutch citizens went out on the ice the night before they were to attack and set the entire French fleet on fire.

The second image (see Ice Bound Ships, this section) shows how the second attempt ended in almost the same strange occurence of a flash freeze.


Chili Peppers in Rococo Sauce

Chili Peppers in Rococo Sauce (8.5″x14″).

This was originally a pencil B/W doodle scanned into photoshop and colored. It was a half sketch (that is, only half of the design was drawn, copied and flipped, then stitched together to make a “whole”).


This is the B/W original drawing- half sketch pencil work. The grey tones were added with felt tip markers, and black areas and outlines done with Papermate felt tip pen.


I use it in my screen saver slide show!


Ice Bound Ships

ice ships-1  Good ole #2 pencil on drawing paper 11″x17″  ( 2009) Original drawing. 

The image was a study sketch for a video story. It turned out well enough to use without further rendering and was one of three. I will post the other two when I find them.

The story was about the French Navy attacking the Dutch ports. Their ships, carried horses, weapons and men enough to lay siege to the ports. A strange cold freeze came across the harbor the night before the attack and every ship became icebound in the great harbor, so they unloaded the horses and men to attack, but as suddenly as the freeze came, warm streams of water beneath the ice caused it to melt; with heavy armor and weapons, the horses, men and weapons all fell through the unstable ice and the men drowned. (This was their second failure at the campaign).