Onions – terrific and awful

Onions make me cry embarrassing, hot tears that blur my severely myopic vision. But I cannot resist them. They add such a delicious flavour and tone to a dish. So I cry. And that is why they are terrific and awful.

This was my first foray into drawing with India ink. Which is a fancy way to say ink from an inkwell. Also: India, probably. It feels incredibly shakespearean to draw or write with India ink. The modern day quill.

It took me three tries to get this the way I like it.

onion - first tryFirst try:

I forgot to conserve highlights, got carried away with shadows, frustrated because the India ink wasn’t running the way I wanted to, and finally drew a big fat X on the whole thing.

Happens sometimes.

I need to learn to walk away when it starts going in weird directions. It’s an important technique to use, because often, it’s less of a disaster than I think, and is sometimes the beginning of something I will like. 

onion - second try (with beard)Second try: 

The ink did what the ink wanted to do, as ink is wont to do. And I decided it was too inky. Which is true. Half an onion became black. So I did the only thing I could.

I made it more ridiculous, with faces, and a beard that hooks on. Because that what I do when art goes unexpectedly and becomes unsalvageable: overreact.

Onions - terrific and awful

Ink and watercolour on paper, 8×10


Last try worked out to my liking. Here is the progression, if you are into that kind of thing:

onion (final try) - drawing

onion (final try) - inked

onion (final try) - painted


onion (final try) - with text

Naturally, the final thing is scanned and much larger. You’ve probably already noticed it. Because you’re observant and attractive.