Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Painterly Pear

6x6 oil on panel click here to bid

I gave myself a little break today on the tough compositions, I may try one later on but I had a visiter in the studio today! Erika is a new daily painter, she started at the first of this year and came over to paint with me today. I showed her some of the little tricks I've learned at workshops or on my own since I've been painting everyday. I'll post one at the end of my daily rant. Actually this post is going to be chock full of little tidbits so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

So Erika mentioned that she wants to try to not blend as much and wasn't sure how to do it, so I showed her the exercise that helped break me of the habit, it's also one of the dpw weekly challenges, the one color per stroke challenge. . It's an exercise I go back to alot when I feel like I've been noodling around too much with my paintings. I'm going to try it with the spoon and eggs and see if it helps. (and no I don't own stock in dpw, nor am I trying to suck up to the Marine's, I have just learned a lot from doing the weekly challenges. for real.)

First tip, I had a blogger ask me if I lined up my paintings so I could see my progress, so I thought I'd post a pic of my wall of fame :) It's full, no room for new ones so I better get on the ball selling them. I actually put these shelves up myself ladies! no man required, he was busy watching football. I bought moulding at Menards, the kind that has ridges so it holds the little dears very nicely and if I have to put one in front of the other, they stay separate and don't stick. I screwed the l brackets to the boards first, then screwed them to the wall. I left lots of space thinking I might paint larger someday, who was I kidding? (word of warning: If you use your signifigant other's cordless screwdriver and forget to return it to it's proper spot, you MIGHT be in a bit of trouble when he goes to use it and it's not there)

Second tip, here is a pic of my easel and jury rigged still life setup. I had been sitting for the past week but it was really hurting my back, so I decided to stand. I had to get my still life up higher, note the tote with cardboard on top. I am still in search of an adjustable height table that is affordable but for now, this works just fine. I bought the white display thingy at Hobby Lobby for $5, the light at Menards for a couple bucks (actually I might have stolen it from my fiance's garage, but that's neither here nor there, he hasn't noticed yet) I have lovely North light compliments of the prior owners who built their barn like all barns are built so the west to east wind blows through to keep the animals cool. Also, not shown in the pic, but also available at menards is the "fatigue" mat? not sure if that's the name but it's a thick rubber mat to keep your legs from getting tired while standing. (you might also find them in your husband's garage, but again, just don't get caught)

Ok, enough about me, here is a pic of Erika with her pear. Feel free to visit her blog,(remember when you all just started your blog and how excited you were everytime you saw a new follower?( Ok, I'll be straight with you, I still get excited ;) But she's new, so give her a hand up......

FINAL USEFUL TIP One of the tips I learned from Carol at the workshop and I forgot to share with all my blog followers so Ill share it now, but it's only useful if you have an iphone (although there are similar apps for other smartphones.) There's an app called Value Viewer. It's $5, but it's invaluable! Basically, you take a picture of what you're painting with your phone and it breaks it down into three values so you can make sure your compostion "works" in terms of balancing value. Usually you should have a large amount of one value, a small amount of another, and just a smidge of the third. I use the app on almost every composition and I have a feeling it will be especially good for plein air and landscapes where it's a bit harder to judge value. Here's a pic on my phone of it in use. This is the pear I painted today.

That's all for today, hope I haven't bored you to tears, I would have saved some tips for tomorrow but I would have forgotten by then.


  1. Loved this post. How nice you had a friend to paint with, thats always fun! I loved reading all your tips. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  2. It WAS nice to have someone to paint with! It reminded me of taking a workshop and how I miss my workshop friends! Once in awhile artists actually have to be social, as hard as it might me!

  3. Great pear!
    You always make me laugh.
    I appreciate that.
    It is so nice to know we can turn to
    things like pears to paint, or a cup
    in the kitchen cabinet.

  4. Wow this post is chock full of good stuff! I forgot about finding the great value app for windows. A picture really is worth a thousand words, the wall of paintings look amazing! The shelving/storage solution is brilliant! I just bought foam core today to make a box. Thank you for sharing all this Kristen! I'll check out Erika Blog!

  5. So much good information...I am downloading value viewer as I type! Thanks so much for sharing. Now to go check out Ericka's blog!

  6. Kristen, you are a phenom! Your pear painting is luscious and so painterly; it shows that you are absorbing all that you learned and even more through your "doing." Thank you SO much for your photos of your set-up and sources for supplies. Sounds like you and Erika are having so much fun! Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing!!!!!!!

  7. I enjoyed your Blog..my first visit...Loved the art wall idea. I have been doing daily paintings myself, and the numbers are mounting. I am heading out to get some moulding..Being a copy kat..hahah ..Keep your brushes wet! Gabriele