The Pears, graphite and charcoal

Can you spell fun?  Lately I have been able to do that with drawing and this next one was a perfect test for fabric details ~

The Pears, a graphite and charcoal drawing (5.5 x 5.5) on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.  Why so small?  I had a left over piece of paper and thought it would be perfect for this still life.  There were a lot of challenges in this one, with the wood table and fabric mostly, but once I figured out how I was going to achieve some of the small details the drawing was all about having fun.

Charcoal was used as the background, its flat qualities allowed the darkness to stay in the background nicely and let the still life arrangement take front and center from any view point.  For the pears, wood and fabric, graphite from 4H to 3B was applied in many layers, taken away and re-applied until a nice rich quality was achieved.  Cross-hatching strokes and blending were the two techniques mostly used for the pears, wood and fabric.  See the fringe?  They were too fine for my kneaded eraser or Tom-bow, so I was able to use Frisket to pull off the graphite (interesting, right?).

Graphite is a cool medium (at least for me), I like being able to create a painterly look from a pencil.  Thank you for checking in.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend – click onto the image for a larger view.

The Pears

No Thursday’s drawing this week – I’m working up a composition and nearly complete, just considering some details and then it should be ready for next week.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Drawings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to The Pears, graphite and charcoal

  1. Terrific! The cloth is amazing with the threads coming out! ~Rita

  2. Heartafire says:

    Gorgeous. Perfect lighting and textures. I love this still life!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Holly – the lighting and shadows were the elements that attracted me to work it out in pencil. Glad you enjoyed the drawing!

      • Heartafire says:

        It’s splendid, Mary, you know I dabble in art, watercolor and acrylics. I gave up on oils, so messy and takes so long to dry, though I love the results. You have blown me away with the perfection of these mono drawings , they take my breath away!

        • Mary says:

          Wow Holly, thank you – very generous and graciously accepted. Do you draw Holly – I believe the pencil would be your friend, just as the pen is. I’ve seen some of your art posted and really love the free energy that I always feel from your pieces. Best to you for a wonderful weekend.

          • Heartafire says:

            I was very strong with charcoal years ago, it was such fun and easy for me, not as good now as I am not painting enough.
            such is life! thank you for the kind words Mary!

  3. Paris says:

    It looks to be lifting off the page, the detail is incredible-love this Miss Mary ❤️👏👏 xx Paris

  4. kkessler833 says:

    Beautiful! Love the contrast!

  5. jvandervlugt says:

    Hi Mary. I’m always a little behind in responding because although I follow you, it’s hit and miss getting the new post notifications.

    This picture is unreal. That’s a compliment. I re-read where you used charcoal, where you used graphite. I want to touch the pears and feel their “shininess” and the cloth, it looks so 3-d and rough with the frayed edges. Fantastic. 👌 I agree with doranrule’s comment, “keep astounding me.”

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Joanne. I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this drawing – it was a great piece to teach me about fabric, drawing it and working the shadows for the 3-d effect.

      I understand about the notifications, I saw that you un-followed and re-followed, this is the only way I know of resetting the notification of posts.

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Wonderful, especially the detail in the fabric.

  7. dorannrule says:

    Fabulous rendition Mary! You keep astounding me.

  8. Beautifully done again! And I love the way you’ve talked us through your process. A very inspiring post which is distracting me beautifully from some watercolours I’m supposed to be working on today!!

  9. Marick says:

    The tears of the cloth are fantastic!

  10. I never tire of pears as a drawing subject. And your drawing has such lovely tonality and quietness. Graphite and charcoal are very expressive mediums.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much, especially the part of the “tonality” because that was my connection to the piece. In this case it work beautifully and gave the piece an understated presence. I agree with you about the expressiveness of graphite and charcoal – love them.

  11. You really outperformed that small paper Mary! What a great composition, I remember from art school always watching how our teacher was setting up the table, an apple or two, a bottle or more, a cloth, soft or shiny or textured and so on. Was always fun and this drawing reminds me of those days when the set up was ready and we start having fun! You managed to cover all aspects of your subjects on display perfectly, especially the cloth, some amazing details considering the surface amount you had! Brilliant!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you. Amazing to me, is that when I’m drawing fabric I find I’m looking for the same patterns, textures, lines, shadows, etc. as I do when painting or drawing the ocean. They are there, it’s a matter of paying attention to how the light hits a fold or wrinkle, etc. and then using my drawing utensils to create what I see. This is very interesting. There is a technique that I haven’t used yet, stippling – and I’m working on a piece right now that I think I might be able to incorporate it in certain areas, that will be interesting. This drawing was a neat still life to work on, thank you for your thoughts and encouragement! Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Wow! You created that with only a pencil? That’s amazing, Mary. I have to agree with Cynthia, you are a magician. Excellent!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Jill – pencil is an amazing medium that I’m just starting to explore its limits. I don’t know about a magician, but I’m enjoying the ride. Have a great weekend.

  13. I agree with Cynthia. You ARE a magician. Wow!!! ❤

  14. exiledprospero says:

    The cloth looks so real. Amazing.

  15. I might have said this before….however, I have to say this is my favourite…absolutely beautiful in every respect. Technically superb, but also a wonderfully intangible element to it. Bravo…have a lovely weekend. Janet:)

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Janet for your generous feedback and looking so closely at the technical details. It was pretty easy to get lost in it once I got going, there were plenty of challenges too. I’m glad you liked the drawing – your compliment means alot.

  16. neihtn2012 says:

    Just looking at your drawing, and the way the details are rendered, I wouldn’t have known it was so small. You are having too much fun! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Hien, I’m glad the smallness of the piece didn’t prevent me from getting the piece done because I learned a lot and know I’ll be able to use the information and techniques in future drawings. Can’t wait, I’ve got a scene in mind. Thanks again ~

  17. Resa says:

    Exquisite! It is very photographic, especially the fray on the fabric. Well done!

  18. Susan Feniak says:

    Neat still life Mary!

  19. John says:

    It’s a three-D image, nice work! I thought the dimension was 5 foot by 5 but that’s a bit large eh?

    • Mary says:

      So funny John – thank you. Yeah this one is only 5″x5″ – it was an experiment that happened to work out well in this size. Can’t image drawing a 5′ x 5′ – now that would be something, lol!

  20. Nicodemas says:

    This is really beautiful! I hope it is shown in a gallery.

  21. Beautiful work! The cloth looks amazingly real!… 🙂

  22. Beautiful drawing, Mary. So much detail on such a small piece of paper! I’m in awe. 😎 Happy weekend.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Sylvia – you are amazing. I know the paper was so small, but I think the drawing will look okay in an 8×8 frame with an 5.5 x 5.5 mat cutout. We’ll see – it’s the smallest I’ve drawn or painted, mostly done this size as an experiment to for some of the techniques used. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  23. Jackie says:

    Beautiful work, Mary! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  24. Amy says:

    I agree with Cynthia. Magical and beautiful art works from your creative mind and by your magic wand. 🙂

  25. Arts & Rhymes says:

    Lovely work, Mary! I love the cloth, so well done! 🙂

  26. Tom Donovan says:

    Hey Mary – Love this drawing. The composition, forms, and values all work in harmony. Especially like your rendering of the cloth. Nice. Agree with you about the flat charcoal background. I have used a block stick of soft charcoal to get a rich pure black background. It is quite dramatic and promotes the light in the middle and foregrounds. Beautiful work. – Tom

    • Mary says:

      Hi Tom, thanks so much for your thoughts and feedback – really appreciate your artistic eye seeing the various parts to this drawing. Sometimes I use carbon, although it’s got a bit of reflectiveness, not quite as flat as charcoal, but it’s nice and dark when you need that. Charcoal is an awesome medium. Thank you for comments!

  27. You are a magician, and the pencil is your magic wand!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Cynthia. Got to say with this drawing it had me so in focus – wow, loved every minute of it. Back to the drawing board – have a great weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s