Learn How to Paint the Joyous Pears with an Oil Painting Lesson

Hello, my dear friends!

Today I would like to tell you about the working process on a wonderful still life called «The joyous pears».
As for me the pears are very eloquent fruits, they can be very different. And if you place them in an interesting way, the composition with pears can be met with a mixed reception and the hidden meaning and the implication can be found in the idea of the painting.

In order to make this painting I have used the square 55х35 cm canvas set in the horizontal position.

You will need the following paints for this still life art lesson:

  • White
  • Mars Brown
  • Raw Sienna
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Lake Pigment Red strong
  • Cobalt Violet Deep
  • Phthalocyanine Blue
  • Sky Blue
  • Olive

also you will need:

  • palette knifes, synthetic and kolinsky brushes,
  • big brush for the background,
  • several chisel brushes №3-8,
  • kolinsky or kolinsky-like synthetic brushes № 2-3, № 6-8 round;
  • cloth
  • paint thinner
  • graphite pencil

1. Make the sketch on the canvas with the help of the graphite pencil or the crayon.

2. Make the mix of the white and the blue colors (in favor of the white), add a little paint thinner. Fill in the whole background (the wall behind the pears) with this rare paint using the big brush.

3. Fill in the background with the highlights and shades, form the texture. Make several thick mixes (in favor of the white):

  • White+ Sky Blue
  • White + Cobalt Violet Deep
  • White + Phthalocyanine Blue
  • White + Olive
  • White + Mars Brown
  • White + Yellow Ochre

Apply these mixes on the canvas each after each with the help of the palette knife.

At this stage of our painting lesson you should already fully understand where there is a light and a shade. I have imagined that the shade is on the right and the light falls on the front-left and the top sides of the pears.

4. Apply the paint on the tablecloth plane. Use only the white at the top where there is a lot of light, add a little bit yellow on the left and blue on the right.

5. Let`s come over to the falling part of the tablecloth. Paint it with the dark shades of white:

  • White+ Cobalt Violet Deep
  • White + Phthalocyanine Blue
  • White + Mars Brown
  • White + Mars Brown+ Cobalt Violet Deep

Make the basic tone of this tablecloth part using the lighter white (White + Mars Brown+ Cobalt Violet Deep). Apply this mix with the palette knife as if you are spreading the butter on the bread – make quite pastous vertical brush strokes.

Then add the darker shades on the folds of the tablecloth.

The folds should be made with the different intervals. Try not to draw them too accurate and correct.

6. Set the color for our pears. Use the following mix for the basic background color:
Yellow Ochre + Cadmium Yellow Medium + a little White.

7. After you have applied the basic color, you can outline the light and the shade. The shades should be drawn with the Mars Brown, the mix of Mars Brown + Raw Sienna and the Yellow Ochre. The shades are on the right and at the bottom falling to the wall.

The light is on the left. Use:

  • White + Cadmium Yellow Medium;
  • White + Yellow Ochre + Raw Sienna.

Use the White + a bit of Cadmium Yellow Medium or the pure White to draw the overtone.

8. The next stage of our oil painting workshop is outlining the plums scattered on the table. As far as there is a lot of paint (on the table cloth), first of all you should remove the excess paint making the form of the future plum with the help of the palette knife. Then apply the plum paint: Phthalocyanine Blue + Cobalt Violet Deep. Outline the light on the top with the same paints adding the white and mark the shade at the bottom: Phthalocyanine Blue + Mars Brown.

Outline the shade of the plums on the tablecloth with the mix of Phthalocyanine Blue + Mars Brown. Do it with the help of the kolinsky brush without any pastous brush strokes.

Also add the little tails to the plums and the shades on the tablecloth making the light strokes.

At the same session or the next day, when the paint dries up a bit, you should improve the color, the light and the shades of pears, plums and tablecloth – embellish the picture a bit.

1. Now our drawing art lesson will help you finalize the shade and the light on the pears. Draw the shade using different mixes: Mars Brown, Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna. The shade is on the right and at the bottom.

The shade should smoothly change over into the half-tone – you should use the lighter mixes of paints:
basis –Yellow Ochre+ Cadmium Yellow Medium +Raw Sienna+ Cadmium Lemon…

Paint the light more pastous than everything else and add the White, also actively use the Cadmium Yellow Medium and the Cadmium Lemon.

No matter what part of pears you paint, all strokes should repeat their forms; this means they should be soft and slightly «rounded up».

Here are some useful art painting techniques for you. In order to smear the clear brushstrokes and to get the smooth transition from shade to light, you can use the soft round brush and make the rounded brushstrokes slightly touching the pears` surfaces and smoothing all the contrasts.

Add some specific feature to each of the pears: the color (try to use its own specific color for each of the pears), the shape, the position on the table space.

2. During the draughtsmanship process add the little tails to the pears and outline the shades behind. Draw the shade falling from the pears with the dipping brushstrokes using the dark mixes: Cobalt Violet Deep and Mars Brown. The shades should fall on the right side.

3. Outline the branch of the chokeberry in order to combine all the items on the table. At first slightly sketch out the branch. And when you are satisfied with it, paint the branch with more intense colors (Mars Brown + Olive, Mars Brown + Cobalt Violet Deep). Also there should be the shade falling from the branch – you should paint it more fluidly and less expressively.

Outline several leaves with the mix of Olive+Yellow Ochre using the palette knife in a very abstract way.

4. Let`s come over to the berries. There should be some berries on the branch and on the floor. Outline the berries with the mix of Phthalocyanine Blue + Cobalt Violet Deep using the palette knife with the rounded tip. Draw the overtones on the berries with the pure white using the thin brush and slightly touching the left side of the each berry. Add the shade under the berries.

Also you can make the overtones on the plums more clear.

5. Finalize the folds of the tablecloth. Add the sharper shades. Improve the edge of the tablecloth removing the excess paint with the help of the palette knife.

still life art lesson
How to paint still life with pears

6. Then paint the branch of the chokeberry which is carelessly thrown on the table. Outline the branch and the berries with the kolinsky brush and draw the shade.

Take the 15 minute rest from the work.

Then one more time improve some details and finish your work on the painting.

Sign the painting with the palette knife.

That is all. Our fine art lesson is over.

I wish you good luck and new success in your creative work!