A Look at a Pear

July 1, 2013

Read the post for full details.

130409_IFJM_PearsDetailLeft: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketches with the top sketch painted in with DaVinci Gouache. All on a background of a Gelli Arts Printing plate monoprint and collage. With some rubber stamping after everything else was completed. Approximately 9 x 12 inches.

When I was preparing posts for last week about the Gelli Arts Printing Plate and my demo I also scanned this page from my 2013 fake journal.

The journal is too large to fit on my scanner so the whole page isn't shown, but I thought you would enjoy the sketches and especially have fun looking at the painted pear. I really enjoyed painting the stem.

In my second image which is a detail of the painted pair you'll be able to see it even more clearly.


Left: In this detail of the scan you can see the stem built up with a bunch of different colors. You can see the whole painting made over the PPBP sketch, and a background that had been printed with the Gelli Arts Printing Plate (look closely at the body of the pear and you'll see all sorts of circles emerging, which were part of the underlying pattern of the print).

I believe you should sketch and paint things that interest you. First because it's your life and life is too short to sketch things that someone else directs your attention to. Second, if you are sketching and painting something that caught your interest you'll be more apt to stick with it and give it a solid try even if you're having a tough sketching day. And third, because if you love something, or are interested in it (and might fall in love with it observing it) you'll look closely to really see the details (and then you will fall in love with it). 

And the next thing you know you'll be sketching even more things that catch your interest. And your heart will be rather full of a sense of wonder.

Note: Before you run out and buy and DaVinci Gouache please read this section of posts where I review them on my Official International Fake Journal Month blog. I would scroll down to the April 24, 2013 post which will set a context and explain how I worked with the gouache and what I found. Then the other posts will show you more examples and later developments which caused me to stop working with this paint, even for rough sketches.

Oh, and why do I like to sketch pears? To me there is a lot of play to be found in working out their shape either in simple line (as shown at the bottom of the journal page) or with paint. They are surrounded by neat (yes I talk that way) negative space. They provide a good color blending exercise. They have very interesting stems and stem attachments. Dick loves to eat pears so they are always around the house. (When I buy them for sketching I pick up various pears and examine their potential as sketch subjects. Happily Dick likes all varieties.)

I find that peppers are also fun for the same reasons. And of course when I had a resident dog, well you all know how that went. Sketch what you love.

    • lisa
    • July 3, 2013

    If I asked this twice, I apologize, I don’t see my earlier message.

    First off thank you for the advice re: da vinci gouache.

    Is there a less expensive brand of acrylics that you’d recommend than my beloved Goldens for large scale works? I’m feeling paralyzed to start, because I know I may use a lot of paint , and if the color isn’t right at first, the beauty of acrylic is that you can paint right over iit.

    Thank you so much for being the necessary kick in the pants to JUST DO IT.

  1. Reply

    Lisa, I don’t remember you asking this so we’re even! I use Golden Acrylics myself, and some Daniel Smith. I pick my acrylic paints for quality because I only use them for stand alone paintings. That’s the first criteria. The second criteria then is smell. Do they smell too chemical-ly. If so I can’t use them. There are a lot of great brands out there and Golden and DS are the ones that meet those two criteria best for me.

    I saw a promo for Stephen Quiller acrylic paints from Brera years ago and got them and used them and they were great and not too smelly. Since that time I believe Quiller has come out with his own Name label and it may be the same paint or a different mix I don’t know.

    On ALL of those the cost isn’t something I considered because they were as I said for paintings I was going to sell and I needed something that wouldn’t smell.

    (FYI When I say Golden acrylics I mean the regular ones NOT OPEN acrylics—the Open line has an ammonia like smell or something. I don’t remember, but it made me sick.)

    Lascaux makes a wonderful line of quality acrylics that don’t smell badly, but I had already sunk money into DS and Golden when I discovered them and since I don’t paint much in acrylics it will be a while before I can replace them.

    So I’m not the person to ask for less expensive acrylic brands and I’m sorry I can’t help you with this. The acrylics I use on the gelli arts printing plate are inexpensive bottles of “craft” acrylic which are great for this purpose because they are so liquid they stay moist for the printing process. (The brands I’ve purchased have said that they are lightfast and so on but I can tell there’s not a ton of pigment in the paints.)

    I don’t worry about the archival issues with these prints because it’s work in my journal, and not something I’m going to sell.

    I could never recommend that you use any of the paints I used in my fake journal for your actual art—if you cared anything about archival issues.

    Also you talk about your beloved Goldens, which means that you are already familiar with them so I think you would be very disappointed with any of the craft paints.

    I would suggest that you call Wet Paint and ask to talk to someone there who knows acrylics (there are several people on their staff that work in acrylics). They sell a bunch of different brands of acrylics—tubes, bottles, jars, and different qualities. I’m sure they could find something that would fit in your price range and needs.

    Good luck finding something that works for your needs. Keep painting.

  2. Reply

    P.S. Lisa, I don’t know where you live but Wet Paint does mail order.

    • Lisa
    • July 5, 2013

    Roz, thank you for that helpful advice!

  3. Reply

    I’ve been using Liquitex acrylics for years, both soft and full body. And they are cheaper than Golden. You may want to check them out 🙂

  4. Reply

    Colette, thanks for giving that suggestion to Lisa. I don’t use Liquitex because they don’t meet my smell factor issues, but just barely, so years ago I used to bring some to classes (because they were economical; I don’t teach a particular class that needs that product any more). I have friends who are using them for the Gelli prints.

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