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Original Creation

Twenty-minute pear on a window sill

mbbrickner 01 Jan 2022

Acrylic on paper | 9”x12” | To help me work on loosening up my style, I only gave myself 20 minutes to sketch and paint this photo of a pear I took the other day. There were definitely details that I wanted to do more with, but I learned this idea from a YouTube teacher, Malcolm Dewey, who suggested setting a timer and forcing yourself to work with the painting in the time you have.



Did you paint from a photo or from real pear? I noticed for myself that photo locks freedom as I always want to zoom in. I do not have much experience with real things but out of few I think it is more liberating. What do you think? Which way you think works better for you? Photo or still life setup?

This was painted from a photo that I took. I have tried a still life set up and my biggest problem is trying to determine the right angle and framing of the image. I find that I paint the shapes as I think they should be rather than the shapes I’m seeing, if that makes any sense. Whereas, working from a photo helps to “flatten” the scene so that I can better pick out the shapes and angles. I should say that when I paint from a photo, I only use it as a basic reference to establish the basic beginning elements. By the time I get to tightening up shapes and adding highlights and shadows, I almost never reference the photo. I agree that that painting from a photo is limiting, however it is helping me better understand angles and general composition.

It totally makes sense not only in terms of shapes, but also for me in terms off color. Very often I paint color that I think is right and not the one I see with my eyes. Framing from still life is challenging. I agree.
Thank you very much for your response!

Certainly! Thanks for the question — it helped me think about the differences.

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