Last one in the Harvest series skews tropical with papayas. This ended up being both the biggest fruits (only four on here) with the smallest details (little black seeds).
I changed up my approach on this one and worked pretty evenly across the whole thing. This also has the most variety in colors of the set: dark green and black for the seeds, yellow and orange for the inside, and yellow, green, grass green, and a clay color to desaturate the skin.
3rd of 4 in the Harvest series – avocados, cut open to show off the green insides and shiny pits. Same approach as the others: start at the bottom and slowly develop a pattern along the way.
These are made with Prismacolor colored pencils, and on this one I used seven colors total: green and yellow for the insides (blended with ivory), grape purple and grass green for the pebbly skins, and brown, dark brown, and yellow (blended with ivory) for the pits. It took a try or two to figure out the right appearance for the pitted halves.
Another fruit in the Harvest series – this time, a little pile of blueberries. This one’s more of an experiment in subtle patterns within a dense texture. I varied the amounts of blues and purples, and tucked in the stem area here and there to aim for something random-looking but balanced. I also made the front/bottom area a higher contrast and slightly bigger so it would give a proper sense of perspective.
Like the persimmons, I started on the bottom and gradually worked my way up. It got a little tricky to avoid a pattern that was too regular. Some areas started to get that fishscale-like regularity, and I found the best way to avoid that was to jump to different parts of the image while laying out the initial blueberry outlines. I think the hand (and eye) tend towards patterns that are both (1) regular in frequency and (2) trailing off in whatever direction you write. It’s the same issue with writing sentences on whiteboards, though (annoyingly) it can happen even on a tiny scale like this. Sometimes the best thing to do is to keep interrupting and switch to something different frequently to insert the randomness yourself.
Here’s a bright little drawing of persimmons from memory. I drew this with Prismacolor pencils to experiment with blending techniques to replicate the muted sheen on the fruit. To get this look, I lightly filled in layer of orange and red and/or brown around the edges, and then pressed hard to blend a peach color for the sheen and orange for the rest. The leaves are a mix of two shades of green, ivory, and a pinkish brown.
I started with the fruits at the bottom and completed each one before moving to the next because I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to add something else in here (a pixie in hiding? a knit fruit? a glass ball? make one float up?). I briefly contemplated an Escher-like transformation of the leaves into birds. I ultimately opted to fill it in as you see because I liked the visual rhythm.
I’d started this illustration a while back during a Two Buck Tuesday event at Kaleid Gallery, and felt compelled to finish it now that we’re well into fall. I’ll be taking it full circle and bringing it back to Kaleid for the annual HARK! Holiday Show and Sale in about a month.
I recently painted a part of this epic mural project called 100 Block. Organized by The Exhibition District, this is a mural created by 100 different artists each painting a 3′ x 3′ square. Now that it’s complete, it’s being submitted for a Guinness World Record for “largest collaborative mural” (as in: most number of artists working together on a mural).
The call went out last May during which I made a small (12″ x 12″) painted concept. This is based on a photo I found in the Library of Congress of Mrs. Norris with homegrown cabbage (photographer: Russell Lee), a photo I’d found a little while ago while browsing the LoC archives. It reminds me a lot of the coastside and CA central coast, though finding out it was a photo of a victory garden was a neat little discovery too. Unfortunately the original mural location fell through, so I had no idea when (or if) this might happen.
It came back to life at the end of January once a new location was secured, and we started the elaborate process of alternating artist times so we could all do our parts. They provided everything including the scaffolding, tape, paint, and brushes thanks to many excellent sponsors. I was a little nervous about both the texture of the wall (very bumpy) and getting the right color mixes since they weren’t my paints. So: I ended up blocking out the main shapes very quickly, and each area probably went through 2-3 rounds to get the colors right. The lighting also shifted a lot during the day from dark clouds to bright sun, so I’m glad it came out as balanced as it did.
The timing ended up being extra complex due to the weather. More than half of the original artist days to paint were rained out, so we had a lot of reschedules. It was completed in time for the First Friday artwalk, though, and it looks great!
A few mentions in local news:
• Artists Collaborate to Create Possible Guinness World Record Mural In Downtown San José (NBC Bay Area, Feb. 27, 2019)
• Massive Mural Project Underway In Downtown San José (San José Mercury News, Feb. 20, 2019)
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