Monday, 1 December 2014

Onions are Like Ogres

Another busy weekend with the family meant some more work on the studio. This time the ceiling got some attention, and I now have a good layer of insulation up there, followed by some plasterboard to finish it all off. Almost instantly, it was much warmer and cosier, with less of an empty sound. With shelves, door curtains and stuff, it's getting to be home sweet home. 

'It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.'
Charles Spurgeon

So, with the studio taking up a lot of the weekend, I didn't get to do much painting, but I did make a start on my 'Alternative Christmas Baubles'. Lots of shiny rotund botanical objects have been festooning Facebook recently, with burnished, bronzed autumnal conkers taking centre stage. Alas, I am not blessed with the close proximity of a Horse Chestnut tree, so had to sit that one out this time, and really felt I had missed out. However, it did get me thinking on the theme of bauble shaped subjects. Tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and onions may not be the first choice for the Christmas Tree, but given a bit of imagination, and some strategically placed raffia or twine, I could buy it for a little festive composition.

Onion and oniony colours.
Using all my favourites

Ha ha, I've had a brush with onions before in
Knowing Your Onions

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

This week, I will be putting that idea into practice, starting with a shiny, red onion

Drawing first then. Onions to say the least are a bit like ogres. Not like according to Shrek, that they have layers, but because they are bloomin' difficult. The accurate drawing of an onion relies on getting the radiating lines in the right proportions, to give the three dimensional oniony roundness and ribbed effect pattern on the skin. I guess you could get the old school protractor out, but luckily my proportional dividers performed the task beautifully.

With the onion, it's important to make sure that all the lines come together at the top, as if to meet a vanishing point. Same goes for the bottom of the vegetable. In the middle, or the Equator as I like to think of it, the lines widen as this bit is coming forward towards the viewer. As the lines start to go around the sides, they appear to come together again as the disappear off the edge. it's all to do with perspective, that I am sure someone could go into a lot of detail about. But not me, and not today. I'm just pleased that it looks okay.

Those radiating lines were a pain, and I still might shift a few here and there.

Adding a raffia tie hanging from the top of the paper gives the baubly look I was aiming for.

A little tomato, like a red shiny nose, adds a pop of bright red

Moving the tracings around the page, I can get the composition I am happy with 

Mixes made and washes puddling away nicely, it's on with the show!


shevaun said...

What a wonderful idea!!

Polly said...

Hi Jarnie, Love the idea of vegetables as baubles - vegebaubles!

This is going to be fabulous, I can see it already .

Janene said...

What a fun idea--I can't wait to see what the finals look like!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks, I am so looking forward to this one. Veggiebaubles! They will be all the rage this year ;)x