Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Still Life

I’ve been seeing some really fun holiday sketches online the past few weeks – Santas, decorations, special tree ornaments and their related stories (see Joan Tavolott’s blog for a great series!).

12/23/15 colored pencils
As I’ve enjoyed them all, I’ve tried to think of something unique from my personal holiday traditions to sketch. You’ve seen my record-breaking Santa series, of course, but I was trying to think of something in my home to share. I rather hastily sketched our Christmas tree a couple years ago, and in 2012 I included some Christmas tree stories along with the sketch. Other than a tree, I don’t do much holiday decorating . . . what could I sketch?

One food-related tradition for Christmas Eve is that Greg and I pick out some extravagant cheeses, smoked fish, champagne and other favorites that we don’t generally indulge in the rest of the year. The past few years we’ve been getting Dulcet “double cream” cheese from Beecher’s, a local cheese maker that started out in Seattle’s Pike Place Market (there’s now a store in NYC, too). The reason we can’t indulge in this cheese the rest of the year is not so much because of the cost (although it is a bit pricey); it’s the fact that it contains so much fat that our arteries can’t handle it more than once a year! Dulcet is, by far, the best cheese I’ve ever eaten (well, except maybe in France).

Were also going to have some really sweet local pears and juicy satsumas to neutralize the fat in the cheese. (HA!)

So – before we gobble them up tonight, here’s a still life of some of our holiday goodies. Merry Christmas!

Technical note: I sketched this with Caran d’Ache Supracolor II and Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer water-soluble colored pencils. I decided to use water only on the cast shadows because I like the texture of the paper showing through on the fruits. One thing I really like about sketching with colored pencils is that I can draw the initial contour lines with the same color that I will be filling in the contour with (rather than a black pencil or pen), so the contour line fully disappears. Another thing I love about colored pencils is how easy it is to blend a mix of colors (see photo below of all the colors I used). What I don’t like is that it takes me so much longer – this little sketch took a full hour, and I’m sure I could have done it with watercolors in less than half that time. 


  1. This all looks so yummy! When better than the holidays to indulge? lol Thanks for the link to my blog. I have one more ornament post to tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

  2. Sounds like you and Greg know how to enjoy Christmas eve. My wife and daughter will watch Xmas movies, something that couldn't be more boring to me. Bah humbug :-)

    Merry Christmas Tina.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...