Oranges and oregano

I woke up way too early today so I drew before breakfast on my iPad. I’ve been using Procreate and an Apple Pencil for a year or two, and even though I’ve tried many of the watercolour and oil brushes, I keep coming back to my favourite — the one that is most like working with analog drawing tools — the 6B pencil. I don’t really use many of the features available to me in the app, like layers, transparency, fills, etc. That just seems too much like working in Adobe Illustrator. For me, using Procreate is like having a giant box of coloured pencils at my disposal. I use one pencil and just keep changing and layering the colours. The beauty of the process for me is having all of this available and easy to use, even before my morning coffee.

24 Comments on “Oranges and oregano”

  1. janice fleetwood-bean says:

    shari, you keep me going. thanks for uplifting emails. greatly appreciated. janice fleetwood-bean


  2. Susan says:

    That’s lovely


  3. T. Cenova says:

    Very naturalistic especially for an electronic medium. This is a great ad for the Apple Pencil!


  4. What a fabulous drawing!
    Hockney would be impressed. You recall, I’m sure, that he initially got hooked on drawing on his iPhone because he could wake up and start drawing/painting right away (hence various scenes out his bedroom window as the sun was rising).

    But, back to your drawing. I love it, all the layers and textures… and the glow of the oranges! Can you please keep getting up early and posting your drawing. It’s great to have your post with my morning coffee. (I did not get up early today, though I thought about it. 😄)


    • Thanks Alison. I certainly do recall that Hockney painted so many great scenes from his bedroom window, so your comments are much appreciated. I love all the small vases of flowers on the windowsill. As for me, I don’t think it will be a problem to do more early morning drawings. 6 am seems to be my normal wake-up time these days, much to my dismay.


  5. Jeff Gold says:

    Very effective drawing. It really feels like colored pencil (with a little pastel chalk in the background) and has a very natural look. The contrasts are great and the reflections vibrate with life. Did I mention the composition? Beautiful!


  6. Denise says:

    Love how you share all of your tricks and tools with us. So inspiring to try something new! Love the oranges, and their reflections everywhere in this.


  7. No matter what medium you use your work says you. This is so good. It does not look digital. The 6B pencil is also my favorite along with the Derwent and Procreate pencils.


  8. Dinna says:

    I love how you captured all the reflections. When you paint indoors do you use any additional lighting to create or diminish shadows?


    • HI Dinna. Thanks for asking. When I am in my kitchen (like for this one) I usually have natural light, except when it’s early or late in the day. In my studio where I do a lot of tabletop sketches, I have to use artificial lighting because it’s in the basement. I do have lots of lights but I’ve installed ones that simulate natural light as much as possible, meaning that they are neither too yellow nor too blue. That helps. But I always have multiple cast shadows wherever I am.


  9. JOHN EGAN says:

    Wonderful artwork. Thanks for sharing what and how you use them.


  10. Betsy says:

    I learn so much from your blog. For the last few days I got busy and forgot to check in, and now I get to see several new works.

    I really feel inspired and get a fresh take from your paintings. Sometimes I set out to try understand the approach you took by slowly examining your layers or trying to analyze how you handled composition or color combos. Other times I just drink in the overall effect and enjoy the picture. Either way, it seems to be having an effect on my own attempts at landscape painting. Learning!


    • Betsy, thank you so much. I say this often so forgive me if you have already read this. It gives me great joy to draw and paint, as well as write about the process. I feel very fortunate that I have a receptive audience, that we can go back and forth, and that occasionally people feel inspired to draw or paint too because of something they see on my blog. So I thank YOU for writing.


  11. joantav says:

    Nice digital work….love the shine on the table and that wonderful pot!!!


  12. okaypolliwog says:

    Love those reflections!



  13. I love the background. I have a reflective black glass coffee table that’s perfect for a background for oranges or persimmons, but at my near-beginner level it’s hard to capture the glossy shine of the reflective surface. You did it so wonderfully here. Was this base on a reflective surface or more artistic license with the background


    • Hi. Thanks so much for writing. I have a black quartz kitchen counter. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake because it is so hard to keep clean, but it a black reflective surface so there is no artistic license. Just a lot of struggling with how to capture it!


  14. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear friend Shari,
    Very well drawn. I love your sharp mind of drawing that reflection and shadow of the items. Brilliant idea and thought.
    A very beautiful color combination.

    I need not have to say, that I love all your sketches.
    All the best and good luck.


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