Thursday, April 8, 2010


8 x 8 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I started this painting as I usually do with a dry brush approach, no medium just a little of burnt umber on the brush.  With the drawing I took a bit further than what I usually do, I drew in the shadow shapes just to give me a blue print how they will look.
Then I applied the darks within the shadow shapes, the colors I used was french ultramarine blue and burnt umber it gives me a deep black for first passage.
Then I applied the mid tones from the darks creeping towards the lights, the colors I used here was viridian, cadmium yellow light, and cobalt blue.
Then I stated the lights from the mid tones, I also put the darks in the stem.  With the lights I used cadmium yellow light, titanium white, and a bit of viridian.
After molding the lights within the pears I moved onto the base, adding the mid tone color which was burnt sienna, burnt umber, titanium white, cerulean blue, and naples yellow.
After the base was filled in I stated the background with naples yellow, cerulean blue and titanium white.  I made sure to make the horizon line a little blurry than it needed to be to focus more on the pears.  Bringing the background color to the base will create more of a color harmony that compliments the pears.
I then went into the pears and started from the mid tones to indicate the indentations and surface texture.  I keep the paints pretty thin in the mid tones, I want the layer underneath to visually blend with the layer I am laying down.
After the mid tones I moved into the lights, I restated the mid lights and went thicker with the paints.  Going thicker at this stage will create more texture with the highlights, I used titanium white in the highlights.  When the highlights and mid tones were at a stage that I liked I went into the darks and stated them again to make them deeper.  I used ivory black and a fair amount of paint, if you go to thin you might pick up the paint thats not dried you have to apply the right amount of paints in the shadows it's always a tricky area to paint.  The edges are also important in this stage, going around the pears and blurring some areas and keeping others hard is important to achieve the visual impact you'r going for.  You can see that I added a thin application of burnt umber in the cast shadows.  This painting was fun to do, pears are always tricky to paint because of their texture.   Overall it was fun to paint, hope you enjoyed!


Jesus Estevez said...

Great job with the Pears Jonathan , it is amazing how you remember what you did in each state of the painting plus the colors that yo use.You are teaching a lot with this Blog.

Nori Tominaga said...

thanks so much for the step by step. great work

JRonson said...

I'm so jealous about your work, i confessed that i've tried to paint a still life but it was not so good, and your work stills fabulous

Dean Grey said...


I adore pear paintings!

These look wonderfully photorealistic yet the slighty intense colors keeps this artwork painterly. (I appreciate seeing each step too!)

Great job on this!


r garriott said...

Absolutely stunning! Happy to have found your blog. The work-in-progress is fascinating.

ronit abigail said...

your art is inspiration for me , jonathan , and it tuch my heart deeply , thank you so much for sharing