Sunday, September 28, 2014

A page from my sketchbook

If you're wondering why anyone would spend several hours drawing a boring, old onion, the answer's pretty simple. For me, at least. I wanted to know if I could.

You see, much as I admire photorealism, I've never really wanted to give up the artistic licence that more arty pictures allow. Yet, I always wonder if I could do it if I wanted to. I'm not sure if I've quite achieved it with this - I discovered that a magnifying glass and smoother paper would have helped. Still, I learnt a lot and it probably turned out better than I expected.

Here are the stages for this sketch:
The outline in graphite pencil.
Outlining details with raw umber.
The first layers of colour.
Building up form.
Almost ready to improve the contrast.

Does it look real, do you think?


  1. Vicky,

    That's the best onion I've ever seen. I never thought an onion could look so attractive. I like your reason for drawing it. It was a challenge. I understand about creative challenges because of my writing. I often want to do something different with my writing, just to see if I can be successful. Well, you have certainly been successful! Thank you for posting the various stages. I like seeing how you did it. Now all you need is an onion poem to go with your drawing. Is there such a thing? An Ode to an Onion....

  2. Thank you, Sue! Your comment made me curious so I Googled 'onion poems' and found an ode to an onion and a poem that talked about the onion being a symbol of truth. It seems that onion tributes are serious business - so much so that I thought I ought to try to honour the onion with my own poem. Here is my humble attempt:

    O bittersweet the onion,
    I've cried throughout my life
    Each time I've stood before one
    And sliced it with my knife.

    Or, for the Shakespearean onion:

    O, onion, thoust art beauty
    Thy skin so smooth and clear
    When I chopst thou into pieces
    I dost shed a silent tear.

    I appreciate your feedback on my sketch, Sue. And, you're so right about challenges. The next portraits I'm planning are challenging because they're a bit different to what I've done before.

    Thank you for your lovely comment xxx

    1. Vicky,

      Oh my! I love your poems. I don't think I could write an onion poem. Are you going to copy these poems into your journal?

      I am looking forward to seeing your next portrait. Something different? I can't wait!

      Challenges help us grow in creativity, I'm sure. I've been stretching myself by trying to write stories associated with random words. Probably not the best stories I have ever written but they are satisfying to me just because I came up with something!

    2. I hadn't thought of writing these in my journal, Sue. They were just a bit of fun that popped into my head as I was lying in bed (did you see the time that I posted it!). Still, that's a good idea - my art journal could do with something to liven it up a bit.

      I hope you post or publish your random words stories. They sound very intriguing. I wonder if you've had to use your sense of humour to make your words into a story.

      Thank you for being so encouraging, Sue :-)

  3. YES it looks real. Oh my heavens, yes!!! It also looks "arty," as in pictures you spoke of in regard to artistic license. I can almost smell it. I wouldn't be surprised if I started shedding tears :)...

    And your poems!! I absolutely love them!!! Shakespeare would be very proud.

  4. I'm glad you understood what I meant about arty, Nancy. So often, I'm in awe of photorealism but the pictures I like best are a bit more arty.

    It was fun thinking up those poems! Who would have thought the humble onion could be so deep - or have so many layers!

    Thank you for your feedback, Nancy. Your comments always bring sunshine into my day :-)

  5. Ode to an onion

    If I’m cut deep
    Do I not bleed?

    And in so doing
    Thus make you cry?

    Peel me gently.
    Peel me slow.

    Best under water
    To stay my flow.

    (If you can hold your breath that long!)

    Wonderful sketches, Vicky. Brilliant.

    God bless.

    1. Victor, that's so beautiful - and quite philosophical! To think the humble onion could inspire such enchanting words! If I had known, I would have drawn two of them :-D

      God bless you, too :-)


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky