Vanitas is a type of symbolic still life which was commonly executed by Northern European painters in Flanders and the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This sketch features objects from my studio (minus the onion and lime – those are from the fridge).

click image for larger

The term “vanitas” refers to the arts, learning and time and the impermanence of life. Common vanitas symbols include skulls, rotten fruit, smoke, watches, and hourglasses and musical instruments. In other words, cool stuff to draw.

Wikipedia has more on the topic.


For Illustration Friday…

“After pillaging the spoils of many, many plastic pumpkins, Mr. Vicker’s head died and his stomach took over. The stomach kept the head as a hat.”


Argyle Monster

Argyle Monster, for Penelope Dullaghan’s Monster contest.

Train Sketches

and some other miscellaneous things.

Herringbone, the sea dock worker.

Anchovy Study

The Night Fly


© copyright 2007 jim doran.


For Illustration Friday.

“Just passin’ through!”

Just Passin' through